Living with Style, People, Places & Spaces, Travel Notes


“Meet Me in St. Louis”

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St. Louis is a town I’ve longed to return to since my last visit, forty plus years ago. With a “thank you” to the Garden Club of St. Louis, for inviting me to lecture, I recently had the opportunity.

What always lingered in my mind about St. Louis was the charming small town feel of a major regional city that also truly captured the gaiety of the old Broadway musical (“Meet Me in St. Louis”). And the gracious, happy residents with an easy-peasy approach to everything. These wonderful thoughts of this special town with its mid-western sensibilities were reaffirmed when I was a houseguest in the Ross family home.

All comfy and cozy with such a lovely view from my window of this white-washed brick home (and its back courtyard). A welcome retreat anytime of the day…

Spring was in full swing in another courtyard, reminding me that  a view always seems more appealing through wooden gates.

And blue hydrangeas were a welcome sight to this Newporter!

Opening onto the courtyard scene is a dining room  whose walls are lacquered just that delicious hydrangea color, perfect at any time of the year but especially in the spring.

I also had another very compelling reason to visit St. Louis…the Parterre Bench had just taken up residence at Michelle Trulaske’s home (replacing, I am honored to say, the Chatsworth bench designed years ago from one at that English stately home by Oscar de  la Renta). Doesn’t it look as though it had been created specifically for this spot? Framing the width between the raised brick border, the two back curves of the Parterre Bench repeat the half circle at the top of this handsome crescent-shaped wall.

A true centerpiece of Michelle’s elegant  garden, The “Parterre green” shade complements the blue iris blooming around her pond.

Walking around Michelle’s parklike property…

…included a peek into one of the prettiest  formal vegetable gardens I’ve ever enjoyed (notice that the spindles on the surrounding wooden fence are narrow enough to keep out bunnies and squirrels). Centered by a greenhouse (just the right size!) and sturdy (the operative word) wooden tuteurs, there are many take-aways from this creation.

There’s even a chicken house.

In addition to garden visits, my time included lunch at the impressive St. Louis Art Museum,  a divine  dinner following my talk at the St. Louis Country Club, a stop by the needlepoint shop, Sign of the Arrow and  on the way to the airport a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden (the oldest in our country) with its fourteen acre Japanese Garden. I’m already looking forward to my next trip!

Mark your calendars…next week, on June 7th, I will be featuring 12 insights on garden design gleaned from St. Louis gardens. See you then.

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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".

3 thoughts on ““Meet Me in St. Louis”

  1. Lovely tour, Bettie! Just know you had a wonderful time. You are so very fortunate to be invited to such beautiful places, as well as meeting interesting people. I so enjoy being able to share your tours. Hope your weekend is a pleasant one.

  2. Your blog is beyond delightful! You are always, charming, engaging, enthusiastic and enlightening! Just like you were in 4th grade when I first met you in Mrs. Plaisted’s class at Westlake! We were 9 years old!
    Never will I forget you, and your wonderfully kind and gracious Mommy!

    Lucky me to have known you all these years; and still be learning from you!

    1. Oh Penny, what a compliment…and it touches me so that you still remember that long ago year. But I learn as much from you! Just wish we didn’t live on opposite coasts.
      When are you coming back this way…or do I need to Netjet?? xxB

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