Melania Trump ripped out Jackie Kennedy’s colorful garden for an all-white snoozefest

Trumps Participate in the signing of a Proclamation on the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment

A month ago, Melania Trump announced plans to redesign the famous White House Rose Garden, an area of the White House grounds which gets a lot of camera-time. The WH Rose Garden is adjacent to the Oval Office and the sweeping pathway running alongside the West Wing. In the early 1960s, Jackie Kennedy worked with some of the best garden-designers in the country to lay out a beautiful garden full of what I thought were cherry trees (cherry trees are seen throughout DC, many of which were gifts from Japan) but are in fact crab apple trees, I guess. Jackie’s garden also had tulips, rose bushes, irises, violets and more. The Jackie Kennedy-designed garden was a riot of color in the spring and summer, and the trees provided shade and relative privacy along that covered West Wing walkway.

I said at the time that it sounded like the garden had to be dug up anyway, because there was a need to make technical improvements. As in, the electric cables had to be updated underground, and a better drainage system had to be added. So I understand why *technically* they would have needed to dig up part of the garden. But Melania decided to put her gothic-horror stamp on it. I guess we should be glad that she didn’t want Blood Trees of Doom. That being said, ripping out the cherry trees SUCKS. And it also sucks that Melania’s garden aesthetic matches her husband’s racism – only white flowers allowed in the Rose Garden now.

USA Xmas Tree Lighting

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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105 Responses to “Melania Trump ripped out Jackie Kennedy’s colorful garden for an all-white snoozefest”

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  1. Q says:

    Eww. It looks so sterile now.

    • Flamingo says:

      That’s kind of her look. Remember those horrible white Christmas decorations a few years ago? I suppose it’s better than it could have been. If he had redone it, everything would have been spray painted gold.

    • escondista says:

      I think it’s beautiful against the house and i absolutely love white but i think i would have added in blue hydrangea or another blue flower.
      An even better idea would be to plant loads of native grasses and native flowering plants that the local wildlife could eat and use. There are bee hives that I believe Mo installed and the Pence family added hives to the VP residence. I am sure those bees would love more food.
      We are redoing a portion of our yard in Austin with lots of native flowers and grasses in hopes of supporting a dwindling habitat while allowing our kids to view more natural happenings here.

      • Swack says:

        My daughter and I are going to do native grasses and flowers in our yards! Our bee population was down this year and want to get it flourishing again.

      • Betsy says:

        I support the use of natives, but from what I’ve read, if you’re worried about the bees (I am! They’re my favorite thing about my garden – I love my bees), they can use anything with nectar.

        Not that anything in my garden worked this year. My god. What a horrible year for gardening for me!

      • kelleybelle says:

        That is an amazing idea!

      • madameX says:

        what a great idea! I adores seeing native and pollinator-friendly flowers buzzing with life. It is so relaxing and uplifting .

    • A says:

      It looks like a really respectful garden

      if it were in front of a mausoleum.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        “…if it were in front of a mausoleum.” It basically is, because that’s where our constitution is buried, after having been slowly killed off these past four years.

      • NatureLover says:

        @ A and @ Lucky Charms, I am absolutely heartbroken that this tasteless twit had all of those trees that had been planted since 1939 taken out! This is a disgrace and I am utterly speechless! Look, I know she doesn’t want to come 10’ within her husbands area, especially naked which she would rather be in another building or state for that matter, but what she has done is equivalent to renovating Lincoln’s bedroom with IKEA furniture! Does she have NO shame? I know that she doesn’t because she married a rapist, racist, xenophobic, narcissistic monster, but couldn’t she just have painted a half bathroom?

    • Minnie says:

      Sterile and sad

    • Sarah says:

      To me this is what people with no taste think is tasteful. Bland and nondescript with no thought to the history of the place.

    • goofpuff says:

      yeah, even the colors are pale and sad. I love the vibrant colors of the original. It shows America and how vibrant we are. This one is just KKK blandness and how they want to mute everyone brightness.

      Also those trees were so beautiful! Couldn’t they have just trimmed them back?

      And the sidewalk was so unnecessary. Why is it there? There’s another walkway behind it for people to traverse. This sidewalk seems to go nowhere.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      The Trumps’ ruining of America continues. No detail (like a garden) is too small to avoid the Trumps’ poison. Anyone who is a member of the republican party or who votes republican is to blame. Never forget that.

    • Snappyfish says:

      A cheap time whore’s idea of a garden at Versailles

  2. minx says:

    Aging Sugar Baby has no taste, just like her husband.

    • BW says:

      Well, she married him. That says a lot about her lack of taste.

    • Yvette says:

      She and her husband have absolutely no class. When I heard the report last month that she’s adding a tennis court to the White House grounds my first thought was “Well, say goodbye to Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden.”

      I remember when Donald first got in Office and everyone felt sorry for Melania. Then people were shocked when she wore that “I Really Don’t Care. Do You?” jacket to visit kids being held in cages. I believe that is who Melania was, is, and will always be. She and her husband are nothing but walking Egos. Just like him, she only wants ‘her’ name to be mentioned in history books related to White House projects.

      Unfortunately, her husband wants to re-design Air Force One for pretty much the same reason. Donald says he wants it to look more ‘American.’ He says that the current Air Force One’s blue colors, especially the ultramarine blue, “Is a Jackie Kennedy color and doesn’t look American.” Sad, because for decades (since 1962, when Jackie Kennedy re-designed Air Force One) when people around the world saw that big, beautiful blue plane coming in for a landing, they knew ‘exactly’ who was on it. Americans stationed in other countries have said it’s a spectacular sight to see Air Force One coming in for a landing. So, so sad.

      • HeatherC says:

        Both of Jackie Kennedy’s parents were born in America, as was she. Which made her more of a citizen than Trump by his own standards.

  3. Audrey says:

    To be fair, I heard the renovation was years in the making, but I don’t understand why they couldn’t keep some of the historically significant roses and trees.

    • JRenee says:

      That part ^^

    • aang says:

      A good landscaper could have saved the bushes and trees.

    • Kalana says:

      I wouldn’t be suprised if they were sold.

    • Elin says:

      I’m 99% sure I read somewhere that the crabapple trees are actually in pots, and they’re currently being kept in a greenhouse while all the vegetation recovers from the renovations. They needed a significant trim because their shade was starting to adversely affect the rose bushes. Which I believe are still there, but with it being late August, plus a massive renovation of the space, they’ve obviously been pruned and deadheaded, so there are no actual flowers – which is actually good for the bushes, because this is the season they do most of the actual growing.

      Melania is horrible and I hate most of her design aesthetic, but I don’t think in this particular instance, it’s as bad as all that. I do believe we’ll have roses and crabapple trees in the rose garden again next spring. And hopefully a better president, too.

    • Onnit says:

      Yup. I wish they had kept the trees.

    • Lolafalana says:

      A lot of people don’t realize that trees and bushes have lifespans just like all other living creatures. If some of these were planted decades ago, it is likely they are nearing the end of their lifespan anyway. That being said, I know nothing about how long lived these specific roses or crab apples are. But their time might have been up regardless.

  4. Mina_Esq says:

    Plain and boring, just like Melania. I wonder what they did with the trees, and if it would be possible to bring them back in the future.

    • Lightpurple says:

      They transplanted them somewhere but this is the wrong time of year to transplant mature trees so they will likely die.

      • NatureLover says:

        You ate absolutely right. In order to transplant mature trees, you must do it during the winter months as the trees have slowed their growth down into a dormant period. Also, it’s critical that you remove as much of the main and smaller roots which are easier during the winter months. In know this as we transplanted some older blooming trees when we purchased this house. We were fully informed as to the exact time of year to safely transplant our trees, 6 out 7 survived.

      • Mina_Esq says:

        That’s sad! Not even pretty trees are safe from the Trumps 🙁

  5. SamC says:

    On a positive note, at least they didn’t make the columns the tacky gilded gold that’s Trump’s signature color.

    • ChillyWilly says:


      • Lightpurple says:

        Right? He’s pushing for millions to renovate the place even though it was just renovated two years ago. He wants to put his ugliness all over.

      • Travelin says:

        The millions to renovate is just another massive grift. It will all go to trump adjacent contractors who will take the money and deliver nothing of value.

  6. Florence says:

    Ruined it like she ruined her face.

  7. ChillyWilly says:

    F@ck you, Melanie.

  8. Mumbles says:

    This garden has been the same for almost sixty years. Eight First Ladies after Kennedy felt no need to change this lovely garden and this one comes along and thinks otherwise. Maybe the trees needed to be replaced but what a nice reason to plant new ones. What a metaphor for this administration.

  9. Leah says:

    It looks awful. A rose garden with no colorful roses and she ripped out Jackie’s trees. How spiteful.

    • STRIPE says:

      It’s not just white anywhere from the pics I’m looking at. I see colored roses. They’re just not bloomed yet it looks like. I see white, red, pink, and purple buds. You can see it in the picture Mary Jordan tweeted.

  10. Green Eyes says:

    Donald and Melania have no idea what tradition, time honored, sentimental value, or historic value means because they are a family of Grifters & con artists..Constantly on the move and anything someone else has done gets tossed.. because they have no tie to it and they need to stamp it as theirs if only to wipe away what it meant before. From Donald’s wives to his administration, and well just people in general (the rest of the entire world) everyone is replaceable as is everything. They have no feelings of attachment because the only thing they value is money.. and money can never buy class or style.
    Isn’t it almost Hope‘s turn to be the new Mrs. Soon?

  11. L84Tea says:

    Ugh, that hurts me in my gut. It was so beautiful. Those trees and brightly colored flowers! 🙁

  12. Cecil says:

    My best friend works for the NPS in the greenhouses tending plants that will be planted in major places around Washington (the White House included). While she didn’t work directly on this project, she said her bosses have been incredibly stressed out over this redesign and that the design is all Melania’s doing. Which makes sense, considering that the garden looks half-assed and unfinished!

    But on a brighter note, some of the removed plants, including the crab apple trees, are being cared for off-site and may be replanted elsewhere.

  13. Adream says:

    I’ve studied garden design and the new Rose Garden is more in line with traditional English or European gardens (I.e. Royalty). If the gardens had to be re-done then this is logical but its definitely indicative of how they see themselves as separate from the larger population. The previous garden symbolized inclusion and this is obviously about exclusion.

  14. OriginalLala says:

    Ewww. I’m surprised she didn’t find a way to gild it all in tacky-*ss gold leaf.

  15. Asking for a friend says:

    All white…go figure.

  16. Pamspam says:

    So much for preserving history. Guess that only counts for statues of awful people.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    This isn’t really a garden, it’s a decorative border. I’m thinking of English gardens at stately homes I’ve visited. They’re *amazing* and they’d never be confined to a few hedges and sparse plantings.

    With that said, I did not like the bright flaring yellow roses mixed with bright red, so I would have wanted to move those around too. I personally don’t like yellow roses in general (I know, Texas). I wouldn’t have completely removed all the historic plants, though. That’s stunning.

    • Tana says:

      I bet anything that those yellow roses were an addition by one of the Mrs Bushes. Given they’re from Texas and all.

      I wonder if anyone ever did a series of photos as a chronicle of how the garden changed with each First Lady?

      • L84Tea says:

        That would be right up my alley. That’s a coffee table book I would pour over for sure!

      • Kelly says:

        Also, they could be from Lady Bird Johnson, another Texan. She also was very interest in horticulture and was interested in the preservation and restoration of native plants in planned landscapes.

  18. LondonLozza says:

    All I’ve got, and I know this is b*tchy and shallow, but hey ho … she looks so much like her husband in that first photo – same slouch, same puckered mouth, same squint, same “tan”. Two peas in a pit.

    • Darla says:

      Or, two pees in a pod! lol according to rumors.

    • minx says:

      I thought the same…they’re both tacky and lowbrow. They think they are elites but they have no taste, everything looks slightly sleazy and seedy.
      And I hate her hair, whether it’s a wig or her own. She needs to get a decent cut and stop pretending she’s 25.


    What I don’t get is that if she wanted this all-white theme, the crab apple trees would have tied in really well! Why tear them out??

  20. MarcelMarcel says:

    I loved the comment upthread about how natives could have been planted for bees. Natives would also encouraged butterflies to visit. It could have been so pretty!
    I’m happy that the old crabtrees are being taken of.
    Why weren’t some of the older design elements incorporated into the renovated garden? I find this offensive because I’m a gardener with very limited means. Like it’s not that it’s ugly… it’s so boring. I think she aims for luxury with the monochromatic tones. She just lands at half baked goth because she refuses to have any visual flair.

  21. Scal says:

    To be fair (and I hate this family so it grinds my gears) those two pictures are from different seasons. Tulips in the spring, roses later, mums in the fall. The WH gardeners rotate plantings in the beds seasonally. Several of the rose bushes have been rotated in and out through the years. If you google the RG from after it was completed in august 1962-it’s the same color palette as now, just with the trees.

    That said, the beds getting narrowed and having the vertical height removed at the same time makes it look like a border and not a garden. The sod is already dying. And those pavers are basic and ugh. That’s going to be a drainage nightmare.

    • Qzie says:

      Scal, you are so right about the sod already dying. You encouraged me to zoom in for a better look–those pavers are the worst! Who makes these kinds of choices? It doesn’t make sense, and they look like they would be super slippery with rain or snow. (And we know Drump is scared of slipping…)

      Agree with MarcelMarcel, if they gave one iota of a damn about our environment, planting just a few pollination plants and saying something about that would have been a lovely gesture–especially if that kind of act would have encouraged Americans to follow suit in their own yards. Can you imagine if all the MAGAs started planting milkweed to follow their leader?

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        @Qzie when I was living in a studio apartment I went down a rabbit hole of milkweed and other flowers that attract butterflies. (Native butterflies in Australia have similar tastes to native bees. They like flowers with an exposed stamen and there are some crossovers in floral food sources).
        Anyhow it came to a crashing halt when I remember I did not actually have a garden bed. I’m now in a rabbit hole of finding affordable native orchids on eBay and now
        I have two! They are way easier to take care of then the imported ones I have.
        I’m now in a place with a garden and hopefully I can successfully germinate seeds so butterflies & bees come to visit.
        Anyhow I don’t really understand Melania’s taste in husbands or flower gardens.

      • Lady D says:

        I found a caterpillar/insect two weeks ago that I had never seen before. I put it in a large jug with the environment I found it in and brought it in. Later that day I checked it out and found out it was a chrysalis for a swallowtail butterfly. It had already started cocooning on the branch in the jug so I left it alone. That was nine days ago and it is in the process of coming out of it’s cocoon. It’s been about 40 minutes so far watching it wiggle out. I think this is seriously cool, I’ve never seen anything like it. I will let it go shortly, apparently it will be very hungry but I got pictures.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Very cool, Lady D!

    • Prairiegirl says:

      The paving stones aren’t great but they do make the space a little more wheelchair / walker accessible than having all grass throughout.

  22. 10KTurtle says:

    Ugh it looks like a fancy rehab or mental institution now. Please please PLEASE let us be rid of them before they make good on their plans to repaint Air Force One!!!

  23. beccab says:

    Why does she always look constipated?

  24. Betsy says:

    The emphasis on the columns really puts me in mind of fascist architecture. Were her husband not a fascist, I probably wouldn’t have had that thought – the White House’s neoclassical style isn’t quite what the fascists were copying.

  25. AL says:

    The hyssop will actually grow in and bring some soft purple and the pink roses might help – while these plants all look pretty mature, it should grow in and give more depth next year. I’m so curious what spring will bring – all white tulips? Yes, it’s incredibly boring and if it’s true that the roses had been contributed across the years by all first ladies, then it’s also disrespectful to history. I’m surprised by the hardscape materials – they look like cheap south florida backyard patio tiles to me.

  26. Eugenie says:

    Ok don’t hate on me too much, but I like the after better. I mean I can’t stand her, and I hate the fact that she’s the one who has a hand in it, but the design itself… I like. Roses this time of year aren’t really blooming, so I’d like to see the garden when I’m full bloom. Also the before picture was taken in spring, they could’ve left some tulips? They could’ve trimmed back the trees, but if they had to be taken out, the design isn’t to bad. Now you see roses

    • Lightpurple says:

      Depends on the type of roses. Old roses bloom only once a summer but various hybrids bloom throughout the entire summer season. I currently have peace roses blooming and lots of dark pink ones and a dark red one all in bloom.

    • Lady D says:

      I like both gardens, too. I can see the appeal in each of them.

  27. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    Those trees really did look like they were coated in blood.

  28. STRIPE says:

    Listen I dislike the Trumps as much as anyone but I really don’t hate the new garden.

    Also, it’s not all white. I see white, pink, red, and purple at least. The blooms just haven’t matured yet. I would say wait until it’s in full bloom until we pass judgment. It may be really beautiful!

    That being said I get the annoyance that they moved the historic trees. I just am not personally that worked up about it.

  29. MCG says:

    Unpopular opinion perhaps, but I do kinda love the unobstructed view of the columns/walkway/kinda breezeway thing. But it is screaming for color and flowers and a more gardeny- vibe. Hopefully the trees and bulbs will be replanted elsewhere. I bet Dr. Jill Biden will have a great idea for making this a happy spot again.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I don’t mind the layout but it’s just so colorless now. Also, everything looks so low to the ground since they removed the trees. It’s just lacking in visual interest and contrast. The life has been drained from it, which has nothing to do with seasonality. It’s less a garden and more a decorative border. Hopefully it will look better by next spring and add back some trees?

  30. LittlePenguin says:

    As a gardener, I want to see this in the spring/early summer and see the plants. If she made it all monochrome…blech.
    I really hope the WH gardeners had enough sense to trim things back/not actually change much other than getting orders to remove the trees. Really, really, really hoping that some colour will still show up there.

  31. ennie says:

    I LOVE trees. I don’t like cutting out trees to let the architecture show. I visited Fayetteville in ARK, and I LOVED how many trees were there, obstructing the view from the buildings at the University Campus, but making the gardens look alive, and providing beautiful shadow.
    I come from a sunny country, and one that used to worship politicians, so much that many buildings were designed to show that “grandeur”, the monuments, architecture, please, no more of that. Nature, trees, greenery, that’s what is beautiful. So much prefer the first garden.

  32. Liz version 700 says:

    Not content to ruin the country she had to ruin the Rose garden too! It looks like a half dead backyard now uuugh

  33. Athyrmose says:

    I see what you did there with the headline, Kaiser. You’re amazing. 😂 ✊🏾

  34. Merricat says:

    All white is exactly how they want it. 🙄

  35. Jay says:

    Since Trump will apparently be accepting his nomination from the Rose Garden this week, isn’t this against the law? Can he really ask taxpayers to fix up the cables and relandscape so he can (illegally) campaign from the White house? Also all-white is boring as hell.

    • Marjiscott says:

      I believe it is. Just add it to the pile of illegal items he has done in the last four years. Glad they are going soon.

  36. Kateeee says:

    I’m going to assume that the trees needed to be removed for an actual reason, not just aesthetics. Because let’s be real, it isn’t like Melania would ever go looking for work–it would be more her style to just leave it exactly the same but try to take credit for it anyway. Be best!

  37. AW says:

    Why do I always imagine fing laser beams shooting out of Melania’s eye balls? I think she is an alien from planet hell.

  38. Andrea says:

    She just always exudes the saying—you can’t buy taste!

  39. The Recluse says:

    Those crabapple trees were planted to break up the intensity of the summer sun in DC. That was Bunny Mellon’s strategy with them.
    Those who okayed this plan and Melania are idiots.

  40. Marni112 says:

    As a gardener and owner of a sizable english perrennial garden, her re-design is not respectful of the garden that was there , its history or what it represents. What has not been mentioned is that the makeover was supposedly done so Trump can navigate the terrain given his physical issues.