Melania Trump Unveils Newly Renovated Rose Garden To Mixed Reactions

by Leah Groth
Originally Published: 
White House Rose Garden 2020
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

FLOTUS Melania Trump unveiled her White House Rose Garden renovation on Saturday, and the internet had a major reaction

In late July, the First Lady of the United States Melania Trump announced she was embarking on an exciting project: overseeing the renovation of the White House’s famous Rose Garden. Dating back to the early 1900s, the gorgeous outdoor space has been utilized by several Presidents as a stunning backdrop for many a press conferences. Most recently, Donald Trump had been using it for his White House Coronavirus Task Force press conferences. On Saturday, just in time for her Republican National Convention speech, FLOTUS unveiled her massive home improvement project — and social media had major thoughts about it.

“Excited to honor history & celebrate the future in our beautiful @WhiteHouse Rose Garden this evening,” Mrs. Trump captioned a photo of the garden on Instagram. “Thank you to all who helped renew this iconic & truly gorgeous space.”

When announcing the project, she explained she would be restoring to its 1962 design, when President John F. Kennedy hired famed horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon to create a masterpiece.

“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future,” the first lady said in a statement. “Preserving the history and beauty of the White House and its grounds is a testament to our nation’s commitment to the care of this landscape and our dedication to American ideals, safeguarding them for our children and their children for generations to come.”

After three weeks of renovations, Trump removed most of the colorful flowers and plants from the garden, replacing them with mostly pastels, including taller white roses in honor of the first papal visit to the White House by Pope John Paul II in 1979. She also added a diamond-like shape of boxwoods and removed nearly a dozen crabapple trees. Other changes include the removal of a seating area on the east side of the garden, and the addition of a 3-foot-wide limestone walking path that borders the central lawn.

As for the cost of the renovation, the White House refused to reveal how much money they spent but ensured that it was funded by private donations.

Reaction to the renovated garden space was mixed, with people having major opinions about Trump’s project.

Some people were mostly concerned about the design element of it.

Others felt it was a bit insensitive, due to the state of the world with the coronavirus pandemic. Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist, even declared it a “Marie Antionette moment, tweeting, “Who cares about a redesigned rose garden when we’re in the middle of a pandemic, 175+ people are dead and millions are out of work?”

Comedian Rob Delaney, a longtime Trump non-supporter, just used it as an excuse to make a joke.

FLOTUS will be standing in her new Rose Garden on Tuesday night, where she will make a speech supporting her husband at the RNC — despite the fact that federal rules prohibit using the White House as a setting for political events. Trump also plans on using the White House to deliver his speech.

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