First lady Melania Trump unveiled on Saturday the renovations that have been done to the White House Rose Garden just days prior to her speech at the Republican National Convention.
The iconic garden is famous for its close location to the Oval Office and will serve as a backdrop for the first lady as she gives her speech Tuesday evening for her husbands reelection.
“Excited to honor history & celebrate the future in our beautiful @WhiteHouse Rose Garden this evening,” Melania Trump wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all who helped renew this iconic & truly gorgeous space.”
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 22, 2020
Melania Trump said in a statement late last month she was “pleased to announce a significant renewal” to the garden, which hasnt seen a comprehensive refreshment since it was first installed in the early 1960s under President John F. Kennedy.
“Decades of use and necessary changes made to support the modern presidency have taken a toll on the garden,” the statement reads.
The project—spearheaded by Melania Trump—was funded by private donations and no taxpayer money went to the renovations, according to a White House official.
The Rose Garden has been renovated in the spirit of its original 1962 design, which was first implemented by Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon during the Kennedy Administration, and has since been the gardens guiding blueprint.
The garden is also President Donald Trumps favorite place to hold press conferences and was forced to close for about six weeks during the renovations.
The new design conforms with Ms. Trumps personal aesthetic and the flowers in the garden are largely pastels, which are favored by the first lady, including taller white roses, which were in honor of the first papal visit to the White House by Pope John Paul II in 1979. A diamond-like shape of boxwoods was also added, while about a dozen crabapple trees were removed and will be replanted elsewhere on the grounds.
Moreover, a seating area on the east side of the garden—used at times by presidents for lunch and other meetings—has been removed and will be replaced by a yet-to-be-announced art installation.
The most visually striking change to the garden was the addition of a 3-foot wide limestone walking path bordering the central lawn. Less noticeable changes include improved drainage and infrastructure and making the garden more accessible for people with disabilities. Audiovisual, broadcasting, and other technical fixes are part of the plan, too.