White House Kitchen Garden

White House Kitchen Garden in 2021
White House Kitchen Garden, 2021.

Official White House Photo by Katie Ricks.


The current White House Kitchen Garden was planted on the lower South Lawn by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2009. The garden provides locally grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs for the first family and White House guests.The garden continues a long tradition of growing vegetables and fruits on the White House Grounds. Even before President John Adams moved into the White House in November 1800, he requested that a vegetable garden be planted. During the mid-19th century, the White House produced much of its own fresh fruit and vegetables on a one-acre kitchen garden. During the Civil War, First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln regularly visited local hospitals to distribute strawberries and other fresh fruits to wounded Union soldiers. During World War II, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a Victory Garden encouraging Americans to grow their own food to supplement food shortages during the war. In the late 1970s President Jimmy Carter planted a small herb garden. First Lady Jill Biden added a floral cutting garden to the north end of the current garden in 2021 in order to continue her tradition of bringing fresh cut flowers as gifts when she travels.

White House Kitchen Garden Beehives
White House Kitchen Garden Beehives

Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

Did you know?

The White House has its own colony of bees that produce honey for the First Family. The White House Executive Pastry Chef Susan E. Morrison is the resident beekeeper, and she regularly uses the White House honey as a secret ingredient in her recipes.

Baskets of peppers, okra, tomatoes, and other vegetables on a table in the garden.
Produce from the garden, 2017.

NPS / Nathan King


The best times to get a close-up view of the White House Kitchen Garden are during the Spring and Fall Garden Tours, as well as the Easter Egg Roll.

Outside of these special events, you can catch a glimpse of the garden from outside the South Lawn fence. When standing within view of the White House along E St. NW, look to the left to spot the garden and the apiary.

If you’re interested in presidents and food, you will enjoy an exhibit at the White House Visitor Center about several presidents’ favorite meals. Find out which president’s favorite dish was squirrel stew!


What You Can Do

  • Plant your own kitchen garden. If you have the right space in your yard, you can build up your own vegetable garden. A wealth of books and online resources are available to help you learn how to get started, and your local garden center can be an excellent resource for advice and equipment.

  • Plant a container garden. If space is limited, you can grow many types of produce in pots or boxes out on your porch or balcony.

  • Plant in a community garden. Many communities have a public gardening space - the District of Columbia has twenty - and may offer community education courses to help you learn how to build up a garden, tend the soil, compost, and more!


White House Gardens

  • A patio area walled in by greenery.
    Children's Garden

    The young grandchildren of the President are commemorated with bronze castings of their young handprints.

  • Rows of flowering plants in front of the White House
    Jacqueline Kennedy Garden

    Sometimes referred to as the East Garden or First Lady’s Garden, a garden has been here since First Lady Edith Roosevelt's in 1903.

  • A row of flowering plants leads to the Oval Office.
    Rose Garden

    The current Rose Garden reflects a renovation in 2020 that was initiated by First Lady Melania Trump.


Last updated: October 13, 2023

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