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How the garden grows

The White House

Building gardens at USDA facilities all over the world is "a very good thing," First Lady Michelle Obama said on a visit to the Department of Agriculture today, for the example it sets for communities around the world. And she had kind words for Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has been leading that effort.

She even brought a gift to help the garden at Agriculture's headquarters get started -- a seedling from the Jackson magnolia tree on the South Portico of the White House, planted by President Jackson in honor of his wife, Rachel, who passed right before they moved into the White House.

"I hope that this seedling brings years of joy and beauty to the garden that will be planted here, in the same way it has brought beauty to the White House for 180 years," she said.

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