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Doesn't appear that any one of the candidates have any tendencies to gardening or horticulture. Too bad. I might have more respect for them if they did.

Newt's landscaping is just like him--kinda vulgar, very suburban, but not unstylish, with a crazy kind of playfulness in all that pruning. Newt horrifies me, but makes me laugh at the same time.

The only house that provokes even a slight degree of envy here is Mitt's. I'd like a super-tasteful rustic/elegant lake house, too.

I'm the leftiest of liberals, but I don't see a problem with most of these landscapes or homes. First, you are looking at winter photos - how does your garden look at this very second? I know the ones shown sure looks better than mine right now! Also, the Huntsmans townhouse in DC has a terrific hill-side, non-turf front garden and a really nice back courtyard garden. Finally, I don't think the Gingrinch front garden pictured shows "tightly wound" -- to me it shows a playful, whimsical side that I find unexpected. I'd have guessed a straight hedge along the street edge and all lawn behind it actually.

Michele, I also lust after that lake house.

I do not see this home as a monster size house at all. And what about Al Gore and all his mansions? While 5200 sq ft is large so what?
I see a sense of jealousy here. You are attacking a person based on the home they live in? Funny how if a left leaning anti-lawn gardener had a specimen collection of topiary conifers the love fest would ensue big time. What about someone who lives in a camper but has an outstanding garden, would you also attack their home?

Please there are more fish to fry than a modest McMansion. 5200 sq ft is large but not overly so by today's standards.


As if landscapes for Democratic candidates would be much better. Should I leave the size Al Gore's mansion out of the discussion?

Good gardening blogs are hard to find. Leave the partisan politics out of garden discussions, please.

I saw these photos yesterday, also, and am appalled. To me, ones house and ones garden reflects how one connects to the environment. Obviously, none of them do (and neither does Al Gore--if one is not willing to walk the walk, then talking the talk doesn't count.)

look for the gardener behind the garden ; for sure, not a politician. The one who sculpted all the topiaries was probably trying to have some fun of his own !

Joseph, no partisan point being made here, and I'd love to post photos of Dem homes. And as you and Greg point out, Al Gore's home is MUCH worse, at 10,000 square feet. His electric bill is 20 times the average in Nashville. Here's more about that:

I'm more interested in seeing their *back* yards. I keep my front yard somewhat "normal" but all bets are off at the back of the house.

Thanks for posting this. The nosy Nellie in me always likes to check out other people's landscaping and, of course, scrutinize it to pieces. I think Newt Gingrich's front yard looks hilarious. Maybe his gardener is Edward Scissorhands.

Actually, these houses look modest compared to the houses of most high ranking officials and celebs, especially Ron Paul's quite small house and property. I also see no evidence of a lack of gardens. They look like normal suburban homes to me, not at all my style, but much less grandiose and pretentious than I expected.

I would think anyone who is anti-lawn might approve of Ron Paul's property if not his platform. Aside from the postage stamp front lawn, his backyard is a patio which seems filled to capacity with well cared for potted plants and container gardens. The rest is a swimming pool. No backyard lawn at all. Does he not get points for that?

Ron Paul's patio photos feature a pair of squirrels -- seemingly undeterred by the photographer -- happily snacking on an impressive sunflower.

Extremely dull and conventional landscaping, with Newt's as just a variation on the theme. Sort of landscapting service you'd find in most affluent communities. Maybe there's some real gardening going on in the backyard, but I doubt it. Too bad.

On the other hand, I wouldn't say no if someone offered me the Huntsman townhouse or Mitt's mansion in the woods.

Yeah, the townhouse is nice, too.

I see no problem with people who have money spending their money on a home! You only come around once, enjoy!

My wife and I are regular watchers of Top Chef. During the Washington season I was irritated that the potted plants on either side of the front door were dead through most of the episodes. I think they were Alberta Spruces, or something of a similar shape. I couldn't believe the program people didn't do something about that. Details people!! So I was glad to see that Mr. Huntsman has replaced them with something living, maybe Sky Pencil Hollies.

The "so what" about 5,200 sf is how screamingly unethical it is for only 2 persons!
"Partisan politics" DOES belong on garden blogs - do you think that individuals running for political office will not have any effect on the environment? Or on whether or not your township tries to arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard?
It's past time for ecological ethics, based on understanding science. Gardeners above all should understand this.

I don't think square footage is as much of an issue as resource consumption. If the house is made out of recycled materials and heated with chicken breath (I once read an article about heating a conservatory with chicken breath), then who cares how big it is?
This link to Flikr will show the Chicago mansion owned by Barack Obama, purchased with help from Tony Rezko. The landscaping, what there is of it, is stark.

I will be unsubscribing from this blog-it's disappointing when partisanship surfaces in the garden. I prefer blogs that focus on positive ideas and not finger-pointing or snarky remarks-there's enough of that in everday life.

The landscaping does stand out but the house also matters. What a beautiful house indeed. Who did their landscape lighting?

I am so glad to see all the push back from this rant... It's ridiculous to expect everyone to be gardeners. Although I love gardening myself, and enjoy this blog it's silly to be partisan about a politicians garden. They do have tremendously important jobs but I'm more interested in their voting record than the looks of their gardens.

Indeed, 5,200 square feet for two people just seems crazy!
I personally like the 7th home with the wild landscape all over.

Amanda, I'd be shocked if any of them were gardeners. The photos were still interesting to me - for their choice of homes and landscaping style, if nothing else. I also find interesting the homes and gardens of movie stars in LA or elsewhere. All light-hearted stuff.

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