On Saturday, Melania Trump debuted the new design for the White House Rose Garden by tweeting photos along with this message: "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 soon as people on Twitter saw the images, they let loose with their opinions. Some people just criticized the aesthetic of the new design by calling it "cold and empty," while others pointed out that the First Lady was prioritizing the garden during a global pandemic that's killing thousands of Americans and surpassed a global death toll of 800,000 this weekend.
Melania modeled the Rose Garden after the Trump family. Cold and empty.— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) August 23, 2020
The Rose Garden now looks like a cemetery, which perhaps is actually appropriate given what your husband has done to our country.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 22, 2020
The First Lady is set to deliver her Republican National Convention (RNC) speech from the White House Rose Garden. Some people on Twitter imagined that scene as a bleak one:
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.— A Worried Citizen (@ThePubliusUSA) August 19, 2020
Others were concerned about the trees in the garden.
In fact, in many municipalities, it's illegal to remove healthy trees. Someone should check out D.C.'s bylaws, u less The White House is exempt as federal property.— Lindsay’s Mum #ProtectUSPSWhistleblowers (@christmasali) August 22, 2020
I only pray the gardener saved Jackie’s trees— I Am Me (@IamFedUp007) August 23, 2020
I’m way more irritated about the Rose Garden than I thought it would be.— Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) August 23, 2020
This is an abomination.
🙋♂️Raise your hand if you think Melania ruined the Rose Garden.— Steve Herzfeld 🌊 (@american2084) August 22, 2020
Who the hell remodels their garden right before they get kicked out of their house?— Brynn (@pcbrynn) August 22, 2020
In case you need some context as to why so many people are referencing the Kennedy family in these tweets, here's a little history from the White House Historical Association and Rachel Lambert Mellon. The American designer, who died in 2014, wrote that she was commissioned by President Kennedy to redesign the Rose Garden so that it might be as impressive as the gardens he saw at official residences in Europe.
"The garden was begun in the spring of 1962 and finished at the end of the same year. It was truly President Kennedy's garden," Lambert Mellen wrote in her long retelling of the garden's story. "His concern for the growth and wellbeing of this garden was never ending. Often in the late afternoon working there by myself, changing and pruning plants, I would notice that his door would be open. He would be working at his desk. I was aware of and touched by the serious tranquility of this scene. As he left the office, he always stopped to say, 'Hi,' or 'How is the garden doing?'
According to many people on Twitter, this seems to be the update for President Kennedy, if he were here to ask that question in 2020:
If you don’t like what the Trumps have done to the Rose Garden, wait till you see what they’ve done to the Constitution.— Mark Jacob (@MarkJacob16) August 22, 2020
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