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First there was news that head White House floral designer Laura Dowling had left her job a few weeks ago, with no fanfare, and no one knew why.  There were reports that she’d actually been “escorted off the grounds”!

Two days later the Washington Post’s gossip-column had an update – about a clash between Dowling’s French-schooled style and Mrs. Obama’s preference for  more modern styles. The story quoted “several sources” as saying Dowling left because her “fussy style was not in line with the first lady’s emerging modern and clean aesthetics.” Ouch! What floral designer wants their work to be called “fussy”?

Funny that I saw Dowling so recently at the Philadelphia Flower Show (reported here), where she was introduced as the head White House floral designer, a position we now know she’d left several weeks earlier.  Awkward!

Posted by

Susan Harris
on March 26, 2015 at 8:12 am, in the category What’s Happening.


  1. I saw an online report on this yesterday. My guess is that it was purely a difference in aesthetics. The article also mentioned the business of being escorted off the premises, and painted the First Lady as a shrewish tyrant. The article also came from Fox News, so I can only imagine how much of what got reported was done so to suit the Fox News narrative. That said, I imagine it could also possibly be that Ms. Dowling, like many artists, is a tempermental diva. Who knows? We probably never will know the entire story.

  2. I agree with you about Fox News’ take on the story. The First Lady is a gracious gardener and health promoter. Doubt that she is a tyrant-simply a strong minded women.

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