Cover art for podcast The White House 1600 Sessions

The White House 1600 Sessions

89 EpisodesProduced by The White House Historical AssociationWebsite

The White House Historical Association presents The 1600 Sessions, a podcast that explores the history, untold stories and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office – The White House.


84. Bunny Mellon and the White House Rose Garden

Philanthropist, stylemaker, and renowned gardener Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon was not formally trained as a horticulturist or landscape designer. However, her natural curiosity, exquisite taste, and disciplined practice, made her much sought after by anyone who wanted a gorgeous garden much like the ones she created on her estates - including President John F. Kennedy. Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, traveled to Mrs. Mellon’s beloved home in Upperville, Virginia which she turned into a place for scholars to study her vast collection of books and manuscripts on plants, gardens, and landscapes, called the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. It was at Oak Spring that Stewart interviewed Thomas Lloyd about his grandmother’s most famous design: the refurbishing of the White House Rose Garden during the Kennedy administration. Lloyd is a co author of several books including “Garden Secrets of Bunny Mellon” and is a member of the Association’s National Council. They walked through Mrs. Mellon’s gardens to see what helped inspire her design of the Rose Garden, and got a rare look at the memory book handcrafted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as a gift for her close friend Mrs. Mellon to commemorate the White House project.

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