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Petition Wants to Nix Melania's 'Boring Tribute to Herself'

Signees want first lady Jill Biden to restore Rose Garden to the Jackie O version
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 10:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – When Melania Trump redesigned the White House's Rose Garden last summer, the result wasn't embraced by all. While several upgrades were made, including an improved drainage system and tech enhancements to make the site more media-friendly, critics were peeved that the then-first lady removed some trees and many of the garden's most colorful flowers, with some likening the new look to "a cemetery." Now, a petition that has secured more than 50,000 signatures is asking current first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff to restore the Rose Garden back to how it used to be—the handiwork of yet another first lady, Jackie Kennedy. The Rose Garden was first created in 1913 by Ellen Wilson, wife of President Woodrow Wilson, with Kennedy's more vibrant remodel coming in 1962, notes Glamour.

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Before Trump revamped the garden herself last August, the White House put out a statement noting it would be brought back to its 1962 footprint, per Insider. Though the petition claims that "Trump had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself," a USA Today fact-check from last year notes that the trees removed weren't cherry trees. It reported that 10 crabapple trees were taken down and replanted elsewhere on White House grounds, a plan that had been first discussed by Nancy Reagan over concerns about the trees' growing size. Still, the signees agree that "we want Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to take this on and restore the Rose Garden to Jackie's [original] design." (Read more Rose Garden stories.)

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