News and Commentary

‘Cold, Colorless, Boring’: Critics Blast Melania’s Rose Garden Re-Do
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump has revamped the White House Rose Garden.

“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,” she wrote Saturday on Twitter.

The First Lady said she wanted to return the garden to its roots, honoring the original design by Bunny Mellon, made at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1962. “The garden was designed with the presidency in mind, according to the First Lady’s office. The removal of a holly ledge allows a better view of the garden on the president’s walk along the colonnade from the residence to the Oval Office on his daily commute,” the Daily Mail reported.

But critics on Twitter immediately bashed the overhaul.

“Sad. It was lovely before. 30 million Americans dont have enough food. and you do this – at our expense,” actress Mia Farrow wrote.

“You destroyed our garden! How DARE you! Do you have no appreciation of history? Do you have no understanding of America, of what this gorgeous place MEANT?! Your tasteless, crass, white-power mindset is disgusting. Get out of OUR house! It’s not yours to destroy!” wrote Kurt Eichenwald, a former reporter for The New York Times who has been a longtime critic of President Trump.

Some predictably got crude (and had difficulty with spelling). “You tasteless b****. You cut down cherry blossom trees and removed tulips and desecreted [sic] a truly special place. I f***ing hate you and everything you stand for, you tacky, low rent, wife for hire,” wrote one person on Twitter.

Michael Beschloss, an NBC contributor and presidential historian, posted two pictures side by side to show a comparison (but one showed tulips, which usually bloom in early spring, while the other was taken in late August).

But Beschloss also posted another picture from 1923 showing a very different Rose Garden, complete with topiary arches.

“What a shame, Melania took something beautiful and made it cold, colorless and boring,” wrote another person on Twitter.

“The tacky, tasteless terror took the Joni Mitchell lyric, ‘paved paradise, put up a parking lot’ literally. Right up there with her terrifying red Christmas trees. Everything Melanie does looks like it was designed by Tim Burton,” wrote another.

But the Mail wrote that some changes were an effort to improve growth in the garden. “Ten crabapple trees that were part of Jackie Kennedy’s original design were removed from the garden, with officials saying the shade they cast over the garden was compromising the health of the plants.”

“The Rose Garden now looks like a cemetery, which perhaps is actually appropriate given what your husband has done to our country,” wrote another Twitter user.

“I’m an avid gardener and conservationist. But here’s some non-political feedback. And I’ve never tweeted to the WH, POTUS, or FLOTUS until right now. This is terrible. Removing pollinator trees and replacing with so much lawn is so bad ecologically. This makes me sad,” wrote another.

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