We all know that Newport is gorgeous year ’round. But there is an added magic quality when snow is falling and laying so softly on the landscape, within the curves of majestic wrought iron gates, clothing the brown trees in virginal white powder. What a luscious contrast to flowering vines and the emerald lawns of summer.
And as one who was intimately involved in both the design of our house and the garden at Parterre, there is a soulful satisfaction in how the snow plays up details that otherwise are overlooked the rest of the year — especially in a garden. Winter is the time when you can truly “read” a garden’s design, without full foliage to mask the skeletal structure of a tree (like the 95 year old Japanese maple on the front lawn) or flowering plants and bushes to obscure well-positioned key features.
Welcome to Parterre in the snow (complete with snowdrops on my camera lens).
The snail scrowls on the dormer are picked out by the snow but otherwise lost in the overall copper work the rest of the year.
Brrrr…I get cold just looking at the little bronze cupid in the niche under the guest room balcony.
The grandfather of all Japanese maples, whose sculptural glory is accentuated by snow-laden branches.
As the blizzard swirled…the “Winter Garden” is called just that because every planting in this space is evergreen, allowing us to enjoy all the topiary shapes which are exaggerated by the hoare frost and snow; I never tire of this view.
Again in the Winter Garden…the trailing “love knot” of cotoneaster is set off by the additional detail of seasonal red berries.
How could I resist? Nature’s best champagne cooler.
The Orangerie , fronted by four standard cherries (Hally Jolivette cultivar) that almost look as though they’re clothed in their early spring white blossoms. Again, the use of evergreen shrubs (euonymous, berberis, holly, box) under the cherries allow us to enjoy the design of the geomeric parterres.
Looking down the path and under the opening in the yew hedge to the woodland garden beyond.