The White House kitchen garden has won a stay of execution – after first lady Melania Trump hinted at a love of gardening.

It had been feared that President Trump, a keen golfer who owns many golf courses, would order the veg garden, created by Michelle Obama, to be ripped out (AG, 24-31 December 2016).

During the US election campaign last year, President Obama said: “I guarantee you he’ll dig-up Michelle’s garden. You think I am joking?”

But in a statement to CNN, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, senior adviser to the First Lady, said: “The First Lady has a deep personal commitment to her role as caretaker and nurturer, beginning with her family.

“Mrs Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House gardens, specifically the First Lady’s kitchen garden and rose garden.”

The comments came after Mrs Trump accompanied Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, around the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

In a statement, Melania Trump said: “Both our countries’ history and cultures are steeped in the nurture and nature of gardening.”