One of the most noticeable features of The White House, besides its grandsome structure, is the Rose Garden. First formed by First Lady Ellen Wilson, the first wife of President Woodrow Wilson, it replaced the colonial garden by President Theodore Roosevelt’s wife, First Lady Edith Roosevelt. In fact, throughout the years, each First Lady added a personal touch to this place.
Melania Trump wasn’t an exception. However, unlike those redecorating the Rose Garden in the past, Meania faced harsh criticism by the wide public and a group of historians who mocked her taste and claimed she stole the garden’s soul by getting rid of the 10 crabapple trees, planted during John F. Kennedy’s time in office. ”What happened to the trees?” Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief and Washington Correspondent, wondered. The White House answered at the time that the trees were casting too much shadow on the flowers and that they would be planted at other places around The White House. This answer, however, didn’t put those concerned about the Rose Garden’s new look at ease.
Among the rest, Melania strengthened the infrastructure around the garden, set up new cameras, audio visual equipment, paving, drainage and lighting. She also made the place more accessible for people with disabilities. One of the things she also added was the limestone walking path bordering the central lawn, flanked by treeless beds.
The Rose Garden isn’t just a place for enjoyment. It is also where many conferences and other special occasions take place.
“Decades of use and necessary changes made to support the modern presidency have taken a toll on the garden and have made it more difficult to appreciate the elegant symmetry of the Mellon plan,” the White House wrote in a press release.
”If this isn’t a Marie Antionette moment I don’t know what is. Who cares about a redesigned rose garden when we’re in the middle of a pandemic, 175k+ people are dead and millions are out of work?” New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow tweeted. And he wasn’t the only one who showed their rage at Melania.
Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian and author, called Melania’s redesign of the garden an ”evisceration.” “Evisceration of White House Rose Garden was completed a year ago this month, and here was the grim result—decades of American history made to disappear,” Beschloss wrote on Twitter.
Melania, however, didn’t respond to the criticism, but now, as a year passed by since the redesign of the garden and people still lash out at her, she decided to answer back.
Her office posted a photo of the garden with all of the roses lifted up high in their glory and charm and tweeted back at Beschloss: ”@BeschlossDC has proven his ignorance by showing a picture of the Rose Garden in its infancy. The Rose Garden is graced with a healthy & colourful blossoming of roses. His misleading information is dishonorable & he should never be trusted as a professional historian.”
.@BeschlossDC has proven his ignorance by showing a picture of the Rose Garden in its infancy. The Rose Garden is graced with a healthy & colorful blossoming of roses. His misleading information is dishonorable & he should never be trusted as a professional historian. https://t.co/LU243SANF1 pic.twitter.com/PuVOSjxx5w
— Office of Melania Trump (@OfficeofMelania) August 8, 2021
Jill Biden seems to be one of those people who appreciate what the former First Lady did with the garden. Recently, she posted a photos of the beautiful flowers with the caption: “Spring is here at the @WhiteHouse!”