Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Fun: Model White House Features Replica Of Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden

Tiny Kitchen Garden added to edible White House at US Botanic Garden...
Miniature White House Kitchen Gardens seem to be turning into a trend for models of the White House, a testament to the wide reach of First Lady Michelle Obama's South Lawn project.

Every year during the holidays at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, there's a special exhibit that includes miniatures of DC landmarks, made of edible plants. This year, a mini Kitchen Garden has been added to the replica White House. The Kitchen Garden is made with teardrop eucalyptus, rosebuds, putka pods, wheat, and Indian paintbrush. The replica White House is made of Cinnamon sticks, honeysuckle branches, sea grape leaves, sea grass, horse chestnut bark, and palm. (Above: The USBG White House and Kitchen Garden)

The mini Kitchen Garden is tucked next to the South Portico, in the same way the mini marzipan Kitchen Garden for the White House Gingerbread House is right up against the wall of the South Portico, in White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses's white chocolate-covered extravaganza.

The USBG mini White House was designed by landscape architect Paul Busse, who's been doing a magical Holiday Train exhibit at the Botanic Garden since 2004. (Above: A detail of the replica Kitchen Garden)

Mixed in with the trains are the Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Supreme Court, among others. All are made of primarily edible dried plant materials.

Busse also added a swing set to the White House replica this year, because there's now one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, for Sasha and Malia Obama. The swing set is made of bamboo, canna seeds, acorn, gourd, and pear sticks. If you're visiting the DC area over the holidays, it's an incredible exhibit--stunning for adults, who can appreciate the workmanship, and pure magic for kids, with the trains rolling through a historic and Christmasy landscape. The exhibit is open through January 10, 2010.

The USBG is at 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20001. Phone: 202-225-8333. Hours are 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; admission is free. On the web here.

*Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/