Nation: Those Who Stay On

When Irving Williams discusses Washington as a "transition environment," he is not talking politics. "The hot, muggy nights bring on fungus and disease," says Williams; yet the winters are neither cold nor wet enough for northern grass. As head gardener of the White House, Williams solves the problem by planting K31 fescue on the South Lawn and a mixture of bluegrass and fescue on the North Lawn, which faces Pennsylvania Ave.

Though most voters have the impression that a new President inherits a virtually empty Executive Mansion, hundreds of specialists remain, no matter...

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