MARCH 26, 1942
SEATTLE, Wednesday—Seattle is certainly giving me beautiful weather. I cannot help being somewhat envious of daffodils in the garden and flowering shrubs in actual bloom, when I realize that I shall probably return to find the countryside at Hyde Park still looking as though Spring is far away.
I have a letter from a lady who lives near here and who read in the paper that our White House greenhouses would have to be demolished. She feels that this is a very heartless performance because she loves flowers and says that many people long to have even a small greenhouse, so to demolish one that is in service seems to her a wanton waste. Unfortunately, people who live in the White House have little or nothing to say about it. The grounds of the White House, like the parks of the City of Washington, are under the direction of an Army officer.
The greenhouses happen to be across the road from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Those who plan cities decided there must be a road where the greenhouses now are, and that wartime was not the time when one should spend money for new ones. No one in the world could be more regretful than I am to lose the greenhouses. I am fully aware of what it will mean in years to come to other people, for I have enjoyed the abundance of cut flowers, plants about the house and beautiful, decorative ferns and palms, probably more than anything else since I have been in Washington.
Above everything else, I have enjoyed being able to send flowers at Christmas and Easter time, not only to friends and officials, but to hospitals and churches, long a White House custom. At other times, it has been possible to send flowers in far greater profusion than if they had to be bought, to people who were ill.
I can, therefore, say to my correspondent that she does not begin to know how much I shall miss the White House greenhouses. I am sure in the future, whoever comes to live at the White House will feel as I do. This is a war measure, however, and we must bow to the decisions of the Bureau of the Budget and whatever government and congressional officials are involved.
Last evening we had a nice talk with two boys from Seattle College, who are at present working at the Boeing Plant. One of them was at the institute conducted by the International Student Service at Campobello last summer. I am always glad to see these young people again when I am out here.