In a Donald Trump presidential administration filled with one shocking travesty after another, former First Lady Melania Trump‘s stark and color-free “redesign” of the famed White House Rose Garden was one that so many people were heartbroken over. Now a petition on Chang.org is begging First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff to restore the garden to it’s former glory, before Melania had her team rip up decades old trees and flowers from it. The garden was first designed and restored by former First Lady Jackie Kennedy in the early 1960’s after years of neglect.
The petition reads, “In 2019, Melania Trump had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself. Jackie’s legacy was ripped away from Americans who remembered all that the Kennedy’s meant to us.” It continued, “We want Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to take this on and restore the Rose Garden to Jackie’s original design.”
The Change.org petition also showed a photo with the stark contrast between how the garden once looked with how it appears today. The “before” photo showed gardens filled with colorful tulips, roses, snapdragons and other vibrant flowers. The “after” picture showed how all of the gorgeous blooms had been ripped out and replaced with green shrubbery and sparse white flowers. In other words, a White House Rose Garden free of colorful roses.
Melania’s new garden was completed in Aug. 2020, just ahead of the Republican National Convention. The then-FLOTUS told the Committee for the Preservation of the White House on July 27 that the design was an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future.” However, it came as the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging the United States. Some called Melania “Marie Antoinette” for being tone deaf and oblivious to the suffering of so many Americans, while doing a vanity landscaping project that was completely not needed.
After three weeks of renovations — which the White House claimed was paid for by private donations instead of taxpayers — the new White House Rose Garden was met with almost universal disdain. It was called “bleak” for being so dreary and color-free. The garden is used to hold many presidential press conferences and announcements, and hopefully it will be restored to it’s former glory by the Bidens.
The Rose Garden infamously served as a COVID-19 super spreader event when Trump announced in a Sat. Sept. 26, 2020 news conference that he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Several of Trump’s aides, numerous attendees and eventually President Trump and Melania all ended up testing positive for COVID-19 after the maskless Rose Garden event.