What a President Tells His Gardener

Guide: John Ousley

Length: approx. 70 minutes

Distance: 1-2 miles

Stroll with Mr. Ousley as he muses about his years in the early White House (1825-1852) and the presidents he knew who, with him,  began the legacy of the White House gardens. We think you will be surprised to learn how much gardens can tell you about a person and about their period in history!

For instance, do you know—

Which US presidents were farmers before they became president? Or

Which president wanted to create an American forest of trees from around the world?

What about the president who preferred gardeneing to governing? Or

The president who planted that very special magnolia?

John Ousley knows all of this plus the Latin names for the house's flowers, bushes and trees. He knows everything about the White House gardens he tended and the U.S. presidents who loved or hated them. 

 Chris Daileader as John Ousley

Chris Daileader as John Ousley

 If Mr Ousley is terribly busy when you arrive for your walk, he might ask you to actually lend a hand with the gardening. You do travel with your gardening tools, don’t you?

Stephen Spotswood (click here for bio), an award-wining DC playwright, wrote the lovely, poetic script for Mr. Ousley. His beautiful words make you almost feel the growth of the country during it’s early years. 

Come walk with history!


Curious about John Ousley?