I Never Promised You a Rose Garden


The Trumps have been a thorn in the side of America for nearly 4 years. Now with Melania’s desecration of America’s cherished White House Rose Garden, that prickly thorn cuts deeper into our collective flesh.

The Trump Rose Garden strategy is failing miserably.

The once elegant, historical, and lush garden thoughtfully planted by Jackie Kennedy is now stark, barren of any color, and characterless. Much like the First Lady herself.

Whatever one’s political affiliation, the Rose Garden holds a special and beloved place in American history.

White House Rose Garden Before after

Before and after the “renovation.”

Although the Rose Garden is associated with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the concept was first established in 1913 by Ellen Wilson, the first wife of Woodrow Wilson. She replaced what was known as the West Garden with a Rose Garden. Prior to that in 1902 First Lady Edith Roosevelt, wife of Theodore Roosevelt had converted an area of the White House grounds formerly filled with stables, horses, and coaches into a proper colonial garden.

It was of course during the Kennedy administration that the garden we have come to love took form.  In 1962 horticulturist Rachel Lambert  “Bunny” Mellon a friend of the Kennedys helped shape the Rose Garden into what it has looked like for the last 60 years.

Inspired by a  trip to Versaille, John Kennedy wanted a comparable garden for the White House. Mellon’s designs combined European inspiration with American sensibility for a garden that represented the very kind of diplomacy to which it would act as a backdrop.

Let Them Eat Cake

It would take Melania Trump to take the idea of Versaille to heart, by channeling  Marie Antoinette, redoing the garden while the nation is in the midst of a national crisis.

Trump Editorial Cartoon Dave Granlund 2016

Editorial Cartoon Dave Granlund 2016

The stark “renovated” garden was completed just in time for Melania when she speaks from there on Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention. Is it any surprise that white is the dominant theme of the new space of the flower garden?

The lackluster “Whites Only” garden that has replaced the multicolored flowers that once graced it,  could not be more of a metaphor.

Against this backdrop, Melania will make her case for her husband’s re-election.

Likely she will present Trump’s alternative reality where “everything is coming up roses” in America.  A country where thanks to him we have the best economy and we are beating back the Chinese Virus. The millions of unemployed and the 176000 killed by his carelessness over COVID would beg to differ.

Like an evil Johnny Appleseed, Trump has sown the seeds of hatred and bigotry, from the beginning and now under his evil black thumb, it has come to full bloom ready to be harvested. Seeded in hate,  it flourishes like an invasive weed, his divisiveness has run rampant choking off the lifeblood of our nation.

Copyright (©) 2020 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved


One comment

  1. I admit, I’d never seen much about the original rose garden. Heard about it a bunch, but man, you already have a white house. It’s all white and green and concrete walkways. Now there’s more of the same out in the “garden.” The lack of color is disturbing to me. I heard about improving drainage. Okay, that’s a good thing, but taking everything out to strip it down to nothing but short shrubs?

    Granted, maybe they’re very small things that need a few seasons to get nice and big, but damn… I still think the lack of color isn’t going to help the possible impressiveness of what those plants are going to become, if they get any bigger, that is.

    I admit, part of me wanted to laugh when I saw the new design because I’d been taking notes from and watching Ron Finley (aka, the “gangster gardener”) and his Masterclass. I’d rather have HIM design the garden, or at least get another plot to install an organic garden for the White House. The herb garden would be a forest in comparison to whatever that is.


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