WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN GARDEN: As the Obama administration winds down, First Lady Michelle Obama recently unveiled numerous updates and changes to the White House Kitchen Garden that will make the garden more accessible to White House visitors.
The updates, made public in a recent ceremony, include an entryway with an arbor, a wider walkway and a seating area with tables and benches, according to a White House press release. An inscription stone in the new arbor notes that the kitchen garden was established by Michelle Obama in 2009 to encourage kids to develop healthy eating habits.
Media reports said the changes were aimed at making it harder for future First Families to get rid of the kitchen garden, which has been a pet project for the First Lady. “I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children,” Michelle Obama said during opening of the garden on Oct. 5.
These latest changes expanded the garden to 2,800 square feet, according to the White House. In 2014, a pollinator garden was planted to provide habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. The White House Kitchen Garden also has supplied fruits and vegetables to the First Family, state dinners and the community. The First Lady has invited students from across the country to help in planting and harvesting the garden.
The home gardening company, W. Atlee Burpee, and The Burpee Foundation, gave $2.5 million to the garden renovations, according to a Burpee press release. The gift will be made to the National Park Foundation, which is responsible for the garden, and will be made over 17 years.
The University of Virginia School of Architecture designed the updated layout, along with the arbor, table and benches. The wood in the wood-and-steel structures was chosen for geographic diversity, such as osage orange from the South, white oak from the Northeast, and redwood from the Pacific Coast. The origins of some of the wood used also have historical significance, such as black Walnut from Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia; and Longleaf Heart Pine from the home of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia.
FALL MASTER GARDENER SEMINAR: Registration is now open for the Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County’s fall seminar “Gardening Through the Seasons”on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Independence.
Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist with the OSU Extension office, will give the keynote speech titled “The Good, The Bad and the Hungry: Dealing with Wildlife Conflict.” Wildlife is a concern for landscapers and gardener. Titchenell will talk about ways to prevent clashes between wildlife and humans, and minimize damage to plants.
Seminars will cover naturalism in contemporary gardens, healthy houseplants, weeds, fungal diseases and more. The day runs from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 5800 Rockside Woods Blvd.
The fee is $48; after Monday, Oct. 17, it increases to $50. The fee includes four sessions, continental breakfast and boxed lunch. Pre-registration is required.
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Commercial photographer Tim Cooper will offer a “Mini-Workshop: Mastering Landscape Photography,” a free presentation sponsored by the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society. The workshop is 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Cooper will discuss light, composition, filters and cameras, while giving tips for creating meaningful landscape photographs. He is on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and is the author of several training videos for photographers.
The lodge is located at 500 West Streetsboro, Peninsula. Free, and no registration is required.