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story.lead_photo.caption Journalists get an overhead view Saturday of the White House Rose Garden, which underwent a three-week makeover based on its original 1962 design and will serve as a backdrop for rst lady Melania Trump’s convention speech Tuesday night. More photos at arkansasonline.com/823rosegarden/.
(AP/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON -- First lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the White House Rose Garden. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday.

White House officials said the renovations were paid for by private donations. They declined to reveal the cost of the work.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to view » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1XjhfLcD44]

The location of the first lady's speech will be just one of the ways that the Republican National Convention will break with political norms. Federal rules prohibit the White House from being the setting for expressly political events, a regulation that many presidents have flirted with violating.

But the Trump family will be the first to use the executive mansion for a political convention. Beyond the first lady's address, President Donald Trump will deliver his acceptance speech Thursday night from the White House's South Lawn, where a stage was being constructed over the weekend.

The flowers in the garden are largely pastels, which are favored by the first lady, including taller white roses, which were in honor of the first papal visit to the White House by Pope John Paul II in 1979. A diamond-like shape of boxwoods was also added, while about a dozen crabapple trees were removed and will be replanted elsewhere on the grounds.

Gallery: White House Rose Garden, before and after

[Gallery not loading above? Click here for more photos » arkansasonline.com/823rosegarden/]

Moreover, a seating area on the east side of the garden -- used at times by presidents for lunch and other meetings -- has been removed and will be replaced by a yet-to-be-announced art installation.

The most visually striking change to the garden was the addition of a 3-foot-wide limestone walking path bordering the central lawn. Less noticeable changes include improved drainage and infrastructure and making the garden more accessible for people with disabilities. Audiovisual, broadcasting and other technical fixes are part of the plan, too.

"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 released when the renovations were announced.

Presidents have long used the Rose Garden as a backdrop for major events, and Trump has been increasingly using it for outdoor events, which are considered safer for gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The president and first lady were set to attend a reception in the garden Saturday evening.

A rose is shown as journalists tour the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A rose is shown as journalists tour the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Roses are shown as journalists tour the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Roses are shown as journalists tour the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Journalists get an overhead view of the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Journalists get an overhead view of the restored Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Photo by AP
A rose stands out Saturday in the restored Rose Garden at the White House.
(AP/Susan Walsh)
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