First lady of the US Melania Trump has embarked on an ambitious project. She announced early this week that she plans to restore the famous rose garden at the White House. As with all her work, for this announcement too on social media she was greeted with some bouquets and brickbats.
"Even in the most difficult times, the @WhiteHouse Rose Garden has stood as a symbol of strength and continuity. Today, it is my pleasure to announce our plans to renew and restore this iconic space so that we preserve its history and beauty for generations to come," Melania Trump tweeted.
The 50-year-old FLOTUS's project has been receiving flak because of its timing. More than 150,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 and the pandemic is far from over in the US. A rising number of people are facing the threat of eviction and others suffering from joblessness, all this while the country is experiencing economic problems amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Twitter users are concerned over how the restoration project would be funded given the current economic situation in the US. But, according to the White House the project will be supported by the National Park Service and funded by private donations.
The rose garden restoration project includes electrical upgrades for television appearances, new flowers and shrubs, and two new walkways. In the garden, the crab apple trees will be replaced with white rose shrubs and new drainage systems, while a new assortment of white "J.F.K." and pale pink "peace" roses will also be planted. The project will mostly take three weeks to complete.
The Rose Garden was first introduced in 1913 by Ellen Axson Wilson, the first wife of US president Axson Wilson. The garden sprawls over an area of half acre. It was redesigned by Rachel Lambert Mellon and the then US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961, when president John F. Kennedy commissioned it for revamp.
Rachel designed a large rectangular space bordered by two diamond-pattern planting beds. These beds were filled with magnolia, crab apple trees and boxwood shrubs, and pale pink, yellow and white roses.