A new report has claimed that people were unnecessarily hard on Melania Trump with their criticism over her White House Rose Garden renovations.
The discussion around the renovation Melania Trump did last year while she was the first lady of the United States was reignited earlier this month after Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian for NBC News, shared a picture of a largely flowerless Rose Garden. The former FLOTUS' office hit back at the historian for mocking the redesign and accused Beschloss of sharing old pictures, while also revealing a new picture that showed that the garden has now fully bloomed.
White House insiders have now said that Beschloss and others were wrong in criticising Melania as the Rose Garden was in terrible shape before she did the controversial makeover. The sources claimed that the former garden was superficially beautiful, but in poor shape underneath, reports Mail Online.
According to a 200-plus page report commissioned by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the garden was in desperate need of a do-over as years of wear and tear and constant replacement of trees, bushes and plantings to maintain a bountiful exterior had done irreparable damage. Two of the people who were involved in the redesign revealed that the garden was left with only 11 actual rose bushes when they decided to do it, and now there are more than 200. Irrigation issues, shade and root growth, and other such problems had killed many of the plants.
A person who worked closely with the National Park Service on the renovation project said about its criticism, "There was so much blight and disease and turnover of plantings that what Beschloss and everyone else thinks was the original garden that was 'destroyed' by Melania [Trump], hadn't been the original garden in literally decades."
Gardeners for the National Park Service, which is responsible for the maintenance of the garden, would often dig up the dead stuff and replace them with vibrant, colorful, seasonal flowers and bushes and, occasionally, trees. "It was a constant bait and switch," the source said about the extensive replantation, explaining that while it made the garden always look great, the soil and foundation were irreparably damaged by the constant work.
One of the biggest arguments for Melania's critics has been the removal of ten Bunny Mellon-era crabapple trees during the renovation, which according to them destroyed the original charm of the garden. However, a White House senior staffer familiar with the matter noted that the trees had been replaced with smaller ones multiple times since 1962, at least twice before 2020.
"By the early 2000s, they were just huge. Too big for the space," the staffer said, adding that the trees were previously replaced for the Australia State Dinner in 2019 but "no one was the wiser."