Flower Child, Lou Henry Hoover

The dining cabin at Camp Rapidan, rhododendron are in the front.

                It is the end of March so Spring has begun.  Assuming no more snow for Iowa, perhaps mistaken given the odd weather experienced in 2019, the temperature will rise, the sun will shine, and flowers will begin to sprout and bloom.  Mrs. Hoover loved flowers and was actively involved in landscape efforts around the White House and in the planters located at various locations.  She also determined the planting of shrubs and flowers at Camp Rapidan, the presidential retreat created by the Hoovers in the Shenandoah Mountains.  In comments to the Director of Public Buildings and Public Parks, Ulysses S. Grant III, Mrs. Hoover suggested adding rhododendron, laurel, and azaleas “which are green all the time and look nice after the flowers are gone…”  She also requested Canterbury Bells be planted around the fish pool, East Terrace garden, and planters in the South Portico since “the President is very fond of Canterbury Bells.” 

                At least eight varieties of flowers bear Mrs. Hoover’s name: blue sweet pea; tulip; geranium (bright red); two varieties of orchids (brasso cattleya and cymbidium); canna lily; iris (salmon pink with strong yellow center; and rose (very dark red).  Believing she had enough flowers bearing her name, Lou refused requests to have a dahlia, delphinium, and gladiolus, carry the Hoover name.  Even her husband was honored by having three hybrid varieties carrying the Herbert Hoover name: gladiolus and two varieties of roses.

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