"Melania modeled the Rose Garden after the Trump family. Cold and empty."

By Alicia Brunker
Aug 23, 2020 @ 1:22 pm
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Melania Trump just debuted her month-long restoration of the Rose Garden at the White House, and social media has some thoughts about the new design. On Saturday, the First Lady tweeted, "Excited to honor history & celebrate the future in our beautiful @WhiteHouse Rose Garden this evening. Thank you to all who helped renew this iconic & truly gorgeous space."

As evidenced in photos, the garden — which was originally commissioned by President John F. Kennedy and designed by his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, and gardener Bunny Mellon in 1961 — underwent a modern makeover, in which FLOTUS replaced many elements that were central to the original design. She uprooted the 10 crabapple trees Kennedy planted herself, put white roses in the place of flower beds filled with vibrant tulips, and removed the cherry blossoms that once lined the green space. As for the additions, Trump included a limestone walkway that marks the perimeter of the empty grassy area.

Twitter was less than impressed with Melania's controversial renovation, comparing its new look to that of a cemetery or parking lot. "The Trumps paved a paradise and put up a parking lot," wrote one. Another quipped, "Melania modeled the Rose Garden after the Trump family. Cold and empty."

Meanwhile, others commented on how the White House needed to focus on less trivial matters during a global health pandemic.

"Melania Trump delivering her RNC convention speech from the newly renovated White House Rose Garden - against a backdrop of 170,000 American deaths - is stunningly out of touch," tweeted a user. ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd offered a similar sentiment, calling Melania's redesign the "definition of tone deaf." He added, "While millions are out of work and 175,000 have died from covid then celebrating a garden renovation that didn’t need to be done."

Last month, Melania announced her plans to refresh the garden to "fulfill the dynamic needs of the modern presidency," revealing the space needed electrical upgrades for television appearances, a new walkway, and new flowers and shrubs. Unfortunately, the finished product didn't win over her critics.