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White House Rose Garden

White House Rose Garden Backlash Speaks to the Importance of Curb Appeal


Aug 24, 2020 by Maurie Backman

The White House Rose Garden got an overhaul this past weekend, and the internet is up in arms about it. The White House grounds have long been used for news conferences and major events, and now, first lady Melania Trump plans to give her Republican National Convention speech from the famous Rose Garden. In fact, Melania Trump herself oversaw the Rose Garden renovation that's taken many people by shock.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the Republican National Convention will be held virtually due to concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. President Donald Trump is planning to accept the Republican party's official re-election nomination from the White House's South Lawn.

Why the backlash?

You'd think renovating a garden would be a fairly non-controversial event, but many critics are blasting Melania Trump for her failure to preserve the historic integrity of that outdoor space. The Rose Garden was originally crafted during the Kennedy Administration, with then-first lady Jackie Kennedy overseeing its design. Melania Trump has received sharp criticism for getting rid of a lot of the foliage and color that the Rose Garden became well-known for.

The most notable change to that iconic outdoor space was the inclusion of a wide limestone walking path bordering the central lawn. The point of this was to make the garden more accessible to people with disabilities. Melania Trump also had pale roses installed, as well as technical updates to make it easier to broadcast from the garden.

Another point of contention? Usually, the White House can't be the setting for expressly political events, so the Trump family is being criticized for breaking with political norms.

The importance of landscaping

The fact that so many people are going crazy over the Rose Garden renovation brings the importance and significance of landscaping to light. For ages, real estate professionals have talked about the importance of curb appeal. And a study by RealEstate.com says that landscaping and hardscaping have the potential to deliver a return on investment as high as 150%.

Real estate investors in the business of flipping homes should pay attention to the role landscaping plays in drawing in buyers and commanding top dollar for listed properties. In residential settings, basic shrubbery, mulch, and a splash of color can really go a long way.

In commercial settings, the right landscaping could be the thing that draws in tenants. Corporate tenants, for example, may be drawn to buildings with expansive, well-landscaped courtyards -- those that not only make for nice scenery on the way in and out of a building but offer an appealing spot for employees to break for lunch or get some fresh air during the workday as well.

Landscaping is important in other settings, too. Medical complexes with lush landscaping can put patients in a better frame of mind while flowers and greenery can draw potential customers toward retailers in outdoor malls.

Of course, most landscaping projects won't be as high-profile or controversial as Melania Trump's Rose Garden update, but one thing investors can take away from that is the importance of preserving the integrity of existing designs that work. House flippers, for example, should pay attention to the way surrounding homes are landscaped to get a sense of what fits in the neighborhood while commercial property owners should do their research to see which designs work best in larger settings.

Ultimately, the White House garden still looks lovely, and it's still a prime spot for outdoor events. And chances are, the Rose Garden won't change too drastically now that this recent renovation has been met with mixed reactions.

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