Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden


Postcards from Parterre’s Garden

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This was certainly the year to take a few (no, a lot) of gulps as regards the garden. Rain, rain, rain. And just as I was thinking “good, yes, but maybe too much of a good thing” spring acted like spring should. The glorious trees, the lawns, the plants — they’ve all been very happy with this much rain. Maybe we should hope for more of the same next year and celebrate this new “normal”? Here are some postcard-worthy images of the garden for early summer 2018…viewscapes and details that say “Parterre”.

The Viewscapes…

Love the pop of red of the potted coleus fronting the white flowering cotoneaster garland.

Happy trees and lawn…thank you, rain.

One of my favorite views — across the Orangerie parterres to the Winter Garden dovecote.

All pruned and ready for the Newport Flower Show.

And the Details…

Such a peaceful time of the day, with the setting sun’s rays casting soft shadows on the garden’s gates.

The heart of the garden.

Stepping stones interspersed with silver dychondra.

Have you ever seen a more perfectly pruned holly?? Thank you, Kat.

The always favorite visitor, the striking Mediterranean Bells (allium Nectaroscordum sicilum).

A French “love knot” adds a bit of whimsy to the Winter Garden, the cotoneaster’s white flowers signaling summer.

Love those striking blue irises in a bed of chartreuse lysimachia.

The rare weeping Chinese lilac is positioned to be seen as you round the curve to the front courtyard.

This little vignette makes the case for the simple beauty of shades of green and the juxtaposition of shapes and textures of the plant material.

When speaking of the garden, I don’t want to forget to mention a favorite accessory, the stone “fruit bowl” — this smaller one is the latest addition to my collection.  But it is even more compelling for the story that comes with it. The Philippine volcano Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, “producing the largest and  most violent terrestrial eruption for the last 500 years.” The ash stone is now the source for cottage industry products that provide the means of support for those once affected by this devastation. This must give new meaning to “rising from the ashes.”

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

16 thoughts on “Postcards from Parterre’s Garden

    1. Order is one of the elements that brings me so much peace when I look out upon the garden from so many windows.Thank you for being in touch…xB

    1. It is always my pleasure to share, and the blog makes that possible for those in other parts of the country. So glad you were able to “tune in.” xB

  1. Your garden looks lovely Bettie! Wish I could be there for the Garden Show and see Sarah’s special display and to see you. Cousin Marcia

    1. WE all missed you, cous! Sarah stole the Newport Flower Show and to this day I still cannot comprehend how she makes so many pieces of true-to-life jewelry exclusively from plant material. What a talent…Worthy of a blog! xox B.

  2. Bettie
    Thank you so much for graciously opening your beautiful gardens to us. We had a lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed seeing you again. Such a small world, knowing some of your friends from college.
    See you tonight.
    Lisa and Bob Melamed

    1. This is such a small world and being reminded of it daily is a joy. So glad I had a chance to meet you and Bob!The number of “connections” was so amusing…B

    1. That beauty is a ‘cornus controversa variegata,’ or also known romantically as the “wedding cake tree,” since it grows in layers. See my reply above under “comments’ for thoughts on how to find one. B

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