Rose Garden Before & After Melania Trump’s Changes [Photos]

Rose Garden Before & After


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First Lady Melania Trump’s Rose Garden Renovation/Former President Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden.

First Lady Melania Trump unveiled her changes to the White House Rose Garden this weekend, leading to backlash and questions of whether she ruined the iconic spot. She said in a statement she hoped to better reflect the garden’s design in 1962, completed partly under the direction of Jackie Kennedy.

One prime source of discontent was the removal of the crabapple trees. However, although some on social media said they were cut down, they were removed to be replanted elsewhere on the White House grounds, according to USA Today. Read more about the rose garden and its history here.

Read on to see photos of the White House Rose Garden over the decades featuring every president from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama.

Here’s what you need to know:


Photos of the White House Rose Garden Before Melania Trump’s Changes

The White House Rose Garden has long been a favorite spot for press events, tours with leaders of other countries and photo opportunities. Here are some photos of the rose garden featuring past presidents.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyU.S. President George Bush gestures toward reporters during an outdoor press conference in the White House Rose Garden 10 April, 1992. Standing next to a magnolia tree in full bloom, President Bush said he has ordered his campaign workers to “stay out of the sleaze business”. (J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President George H. W. Bush addresses reporters in a press conference in the rose garden in 1992.

“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,” Melania Trump wrote in a report when the renovations were announced.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, : U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) walks with Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa (R) past apple trees adjacent to the Rose Garden at the White House 16 April 1993. Clinton and Miyazawa discussed economic issues during their meeting in the Oval Office. (LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Bill Clinton gives a tour of the White House Rose Garden to Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in 1993, walking passed the rose garden’s iconic crabapple trees.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton (R), using his crutch as a pointer, shows Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto various flowers and trees during a tour of the Rose Garden at the White House 25 April. Clinton and Hashimoto met earlier 25 April to discuss US efforts to persuade North Korea to enter into peace negotiations with South Korea and other issues. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Clinton points out aspects of the rose garden during a White House tour with Hashimoto. The White House Rose Garden has been a popular spot for tours with foreign leaders.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, : US President George W. Bush walks past a blooming magnolia tree in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC 15 March 2002 as he heads to Marine One to connect to Air Force One and spend the day in Fayetteville, North Carolina visiting US troops at Fort Bragg. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President George W. Bush is pictured in the White House Rose Garden in 2002 with a blooming magnolia tree. He was on his way to visit troops in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON – APRIL 25: United States President George W. Bush leaves the Rose Garden after awarding the United States Naval Academy football team with the Commander In Chief’s Trophy at the White House April 25, 2006 in Washington, DC. The Naval Academy beat the Air Force and Army football teams to win the title for the third year in a row. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bush leaves the rose garden following a 2006 ceremony. He had just awarded the United States Naval Academy football team with the Commander In Chief’s Trophy.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON – APRIL 02: U.S. Park Service employee Tom Geer sweeps away leaves from a Saucer Magnolia tree in the Rose Garden at the White House April 2, 2007 in Washington DC. Later today President Bush will present the Commander-in-Chief?s Trophy to the United States Naval Academy Football Team (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tom Geer, a U.S. Park Service employee, sweeps magnolia leaves in the rose garden in preparation for a ceremony in 2006 in which Bush would award the United States Naval Academy football team with the Commander In Chief’s Trophy.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON – MAY 30: White House staff and officials stand in the Rose Garden while listening to U.S. President George W. Bush (R) speaks about AIDs during a news conference at the White House May 30, 2007 in Washington DC. The president wants Congress to fund 30 billion dollars to fight AIDS around the world. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The White House Rose Garden as it appeared in 2007 during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Bush was speaking about AIDS during a news conference, asking for Congress to fund $30 billion to fight AIDS globally.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyUS President Barack Obama walks around the Rose Garden under a colorful Magnolia tree on the way to the Oval Office of the White House April 10, 2014 after he returned from his two-day trip to Texas. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama walks through the rose garden in 2014. He was on his way to the Oval Office following a trip to Texas.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyThe Rose Garden of the White House is seen through the blooms of a Magnolia tree April 10, 2014, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House Rose Garden in 2014 under the presidency of Obama. The rose garden was known in part for its crabapple trees, which were removed and will be replanted elsewhere on the White House grounds.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 13: Framed by flowering trees, U.S. President Donald Trump announces that he is declaring a national emergency during news conference with members of his coronavirus task force and leaders from the healthcare industry about the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the Rose Garden of the White House March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is facing a national health emergency as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and 30 people have died from the virus in the United States, according to The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a press conference March 13, 2020, announcing a national emergency declaration due to COVID-19.


What Did Melania Do to The Rose Garden? Here Are the Changes She Made

The Internet was not happy about Melania Trump’s changes to the White House Rose Garden. Throughout the weekend, “Melania ruins everything” became a trending hashtag. But what did she actually do to the rose garden?

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As part of the changes to the rose garden, Melania Trump added limestone walkways which make the White House Rose Garden more handicap-accessible. The 3-foot-wide walking path bordering the central lawn was a more noticeable change, accompanying less noticeable changes like improved drainage and infrastructure to make the garden more accessible for people with disabilities, USA Today reported.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Tall white roses signify the visit of Pope John Paul II’s to the White House in 1979. The renovations were made ahead of the Republican National Convention, and Melania Trump will give a speech from the rose garden.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The rose garden renovations also included technological upgrades. Officials declined to reveal the cost of the renovations, which was paid for by private donors.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The rose garden renovations included replanting some of the roses. About a dozen crabapple trees were removed to be replanted in another area of the White House grounds.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Melania Trump unveiled the newly designed rose garden August 22, 2020. A stage was constructed in preparation for her to address the nation during the RNC.

“Excited to honor history & celebrate the future in our beautiful @WhiteHouse Rose Garden this evening,” the first lady tweeted Saturday. “Thank you to all who helped renew this iconic & truly gorgeous space.”

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

About a dozen crabapple trees were removed and will be replanted elsewhere on the White House grounds, according to USA Today.

Rose Garden Before & After

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The month-long renovation project was funded by private donors. A seating area was also removed, and will be replaced by an art installation, according to USA Today.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyWASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 22: A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Rose Garden has been under renovation since last month and updates to the historic garden include a redesign of the plantings, new limestone walkways and technological updates to the space. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Some of the colorful roses filling the White House Rose Garden were replaced with pastel and white flowers. Technical fixes included audiovisual and broadcasting improvements.

READ NEXT: Rose Garden History: Jackie Kennedy Oversaw 1962 Design


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