Truman Hall, the residence of U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is a traditional Flemish country estate built in 1963 for Cote d’Or chocolatier Jean Michiels. The landscape was designed by Belgian landscape architect René Pechère, one of the best-known contemporary landscape architects in Europe. The property was acquired by the U.S. government in 1983 and named after President Harry S. Truman. The property has evolved to a point where several mature trees have been lost; many overgrown, important views obscured; and volunteer plant species have established themselves. Unfortunately, several changes have been made which have diluted the original Pechère design. The gardens are made up of several types of smaller, individual gardens with specific restoration requirements.
The two Walled Gardens, which include the Family Garden and the Four Seasons Gardens, are one of the Truman Hall landscape and gardens restoration plan priorities. The objective is to reestablish the Family Garden for use by the ambassador and his or her family, which will include family-oriented furniture and modifying the plant palette to enliven the space and provide year round interest. Vines will be reestablished to soften the appearance of the walls, damaged paving will be removed and the landscape will be expanded to provide more flexibility of use.