Anyone who watches The View knows that panelists Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain don’t always see eye to eye, but they’ve found common ground on one topic: first lady Melania Trump’s revamping of the White House Rose Garden.
On Saturday, the first lady, who will speak from the garden’s grounds on Tuesday as part of next week’s Republican National Convention, unveiled the reconstruction she’s undertaken of the White House Rose Garden. The redesign — the first significant overhaul since horticulturalist and philanthropist Rachel Lambert Mellon (known as Bunny) launched her vision during the Kennedy administration — sees the addition of limestone walkways, the planting of white and pink roses alongside sculpted round bushes and boxwoods, and the removal of roughly a dozen crabapple trees which are due to be replanted elsewhere.
Trump’s horticultural project — which she announced in late July — has previously come under fire from critics who say its timing, amid a pandemic, is low-priority and out of touch. Now that the final results have been revealed, some of the criticism has focused on the garden itself.
Among those left cold by the makeover is View co-host McCain, who found the more muted new color palette “really upsetting not to mention not nearly as beautiful.”
I normally think Melania has impeccable taste - but removing Jackie O’s rose garden and all the beautiful flowers and color for whatever reason I find really upsetting not to mention not nearly as beautiful. Not everything historical is meant to be redone :(
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 22, 2020
Hostin agreed, responding “same” when a Twitter commenter complained that she was upset about Trump’s handiwork, which she claimed “ruined” the historical garden. “It’s a minor thing, I know, but it’s our house not Melania’s,” the original poster tweeted.
“It’s not minor,” McCain replied.
It’s not minor.... ☹️
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 23, 2020
Mia Farrow and Rosanna Arquette — each a vocal critic of President Donald Trump — were also among those voicing their disdain. (The cherry trees referenced in Farrow’s tweet were in fact crabapples, which will reportedly be replanted elsewhere.)
Melania killed the cherry trees and tulips.
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 22, 2020
Others have defended the first lady’s redesign, preferring it to the original and telling critics it was unfair to compare the current blooms to more colorful varieties not currently in season. Advice columnist and author Amy Dickinson, for instance, called the new look “stately.”
I like it! I think it looks stately. I thought the crabapple trees looked crowded and overgrown.
— Amy Dickinson (@AskingAmy) August 22, 2020
According to a report from the Associated Press, the redesign includes drainage improvements, technological updates and tweaks to make the grounds more accessible to those with disabilities.
“Protecting the historic integrity of the White House landscape is a considerable responsibility, and we will fulfill our duty as custodians of the public trust,” the first lady has said.
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