Time in the White House
Irvin Williams in front of the White HouseIrvin Williams, who worked as the head gardener of the White House for 46 years, recently died at the age of 92. Williams worked during John F. Kennedy’s up until George W. Bush’s presidency. Williams was the head gardener from 1962 to 2008 and in this time he took part in great projects such as; the famous White House Rose Garden which he was in charge of.
Making it to the White House
Williams’ story demonstrates that success does not only come from knowledge and talent but also from dedication and love. Williams had little professional training in landscaping when he was first given the opportunity to work as the superintendent of the District’s Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in the 1950s. His work ethic, passion, and aim for quality helped him stand out and get chosen to do some projects in the White House.
It was these qualities and his love for his work that made him gain great success and led to the first lady, Jackie Kennedy, make him the head gardener of the 18 acres of land that make up the White House property.
His work in the White House
Apart from his basic duties of counseling the first families on which trees and plants to have in the garden and maintaining the ground when events took place in the White House; such as the annual Easter Egg Roll, his also career consisted of dealing with big projects like the previously mentioned Rose Garden and mending of the damage created in 1994 by an airplane crashing in the South lawn.
Williams’ work and skills were admired by many. This is why, throughout the years, Williams dealt with not only the White House lawns, but also: Ford’s pool, Carter’s daughter’s tree house, and George W. Bush’s horseshoe pit.
Williams learned all the 400 trees of the White House, showing his dedication for the job. Though he was not very public on his work and stayed behind the curtains for most of the time, he focused his time and effort on the projects he dealt with. This, in fact, gained him the respect of the many first families that he worked for.