The White House opened its gates to the public last weekend for the annual Spring garden and grounds tour, a tradition begun by First Lady Pat Nixon in 1972.

Thousands of visitors wandered the grounds on the self-guided tour, featuring the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, Sasha and Malia Obama’s swing set, and, the newest addition to the grounds, the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn.

The Kitchen Garden, originally planted in 2009, was replanted just a few weeks ago by First Lady Michelle Obama and students from Bancroft Elementary School in DC and Hollin Meadows Elementary in Virginia. The garden has become an international sensation and important symbol in the First Lady’s campaign to combat childhood obesity.

As the most famous vegetable garden in the world, the Kitchen Garden of broccoli, rhubarb, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, chard, kale, cabbage, radishes, and herbs attracted a long line and lots of oohs and ahs from the crowd. Here are some photos from the event:

whgarden1.jpgThe long line to take a peek at the Kitchen Garden

whgarden2.jpgThe Kitchen Garden, a little over two weeks from the Spring planting


The view from the South Lawn

For detailed coverage on the recent Spring planting of the White House Kitchen Garden, see from Obama Foodorama, an independent blog on White House food initiatives.  Also see the map of the kitchen garden.