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’It’s an honor’: Nelson County farm brings 400 plants to White House Rose Garden

The Saunders Brothers also have boxwood plants at George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Saunders Brothers' boxwood farm in Nelson County is a reliable source for gardens across the region and country, but they didn’t expect the White House to call and request 400 of their plants for the famous Rose Garden.

“It’s an honor. It’s absolutely an honor,” said Bennett Saunders.

A month ago, Bennett and his brother Jim traveled to the nation’s capital to make this happen, and it’s not the first time they’ve been asked.

Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy once called on the family’s patriarch, Paul Saunders, to provide 1,500 plants.

“We had a lot of these plants. We had them in larger sizes, which the White House was very interested in,” said Saunders.

The Saunders Brothers are growing about half a million boxwood plants on this farm, so they already knew which ones they wanted when the White House called.

“This variety right here is green beauty. This is the variety that was planted right beside the podium where the president speaks,” said Saunders.

The boxwood plants speak for themselves — after all, the White House is pleased.

“We just happen to be at the right place at the right time with the right product,” said Saunders.