Melania Trump is preparing to oversee the makeover of the White House’s Rose Garden, but after a series of renovation blunders, some are asking if her green thumb is green enough.
Historically used for outdoor ceremonies, the iconic Rose Garden has seen more action than usual lately, with President Donald Trump opting to deliver more press conferences outdoors due to the ongoing pandemic.
And while the space has seen some minor facelifts over the years, it hasn’t been properly refurbished since 1962 when John F. Kennedy was occupying the Oval Office – so a revamp seems well overdue.
Even in the most difficult times, the @WhiteHouse Rose Garden has stood as a symbol of strength & continuity. Today, it is my pleasure to announce our plans to renew & restore this iconic space so that we preserve its history & beauty for generations to come.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 27, 2020
In a statement, Ms Trump said restoring the garden, which was originally designed by Kennedy friend, horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon, was important for future generations.
“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future,” Ms Trump said.
“Preserving the history and beauty of the White House and its grounds is a testament to our nation’s commitment to the care of this landscape and our dedication to American ideals, safeguarding them for our children and their children for generations to come.”
- Related: Trump bungles Yosemite pronunciation
The renovation is expected to take about three weeks, and will be funded by private donations and overseen by the Trust for the National Mall.
According to Ms Trump’s proposal, the new look will “fulfil the dynamic needs of the modern presidency” by hiding lighting cords, plugs and other electrical equipment needed in the space for presidential events.
But as the First Lady sinks her teeth into her latest project, social media users are comparing her to a different leading lady.
Marie Antoinette would TOTALLY nod her head to Melania trump's tone-deaf aloofness if she still had a head.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) July 27, 2020
Following the July 28 announcement, ‘Marie Antoinette’ began trending on Twitter.
Users condemned the “tone-deaf” announcement, and Comedy Central’s Nick Dyer highlighted the absurd timing given the current political unrest and climbing coronavirus figures in the US.
It’s Melania’s “let them eat cake” moment.
— Tom D. (@ciaomein) July 28, 2020
She’s beauty and she’s grace, but she might not have taste
Many are wondering whether the FLOTUS is up to the task, given her history of questionable White House renovation endeavours.
Earlier in their residency, the Trumps’ unusual choice in Christmas decorations caused a Twitter storm, with users taking aim at the gloomy and dark decor.
ivanka: MY holidays are the starkest and the most disturbingly barren
melania: hold my bare existential dread pic.twitter.com/zo0sv0wO3x
— rachel handler (@rachel_handler) November 27, 2017
Ms Trump encountered further backlash in 2018 over an embarrassing bungle when redecorating the White House bowling alley.
Along with adding her ‘Be Best’ campaign slogan to the back wall, the 50-year-old also rebranded the White House bowling balls – with the wrong logo.
Rather than featuring the White House’s moniker, ‘The People’s House’, the balls were embossed with a logo that said ‘The President’s House’.
The presidents house?? Isn’t it the people’s house???
— Patti DeGroat (@PattiDeGroat1) May 1, 2019
But it seems Ms Trump is blocking out the haters and boldly pursuing her design endeavours – after all, she isn’t the only under-qualified White House resident.
Dream big, Melania!