Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

A Newport Autumn at Parterre

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With our wonky weather this past month–snow on October 30th, an earthquake 8 days later–fall as we knew it last year has almost been nonexistent. So I was thrilled to be able to capture these rare days when my fondness for this season could be assuaged.

Happily, one of those days permitted enough time to create a front door tableau that I’d been hoping to work into my plans. Inspiration came when I chanced upon some unusual shades of mums–russety red and apricot yellow–that assured me that I must proceed.

Fortunately, the gold leaves were still on the beech trees (though winds would blow them all off within a week). The statuesque beauty in our front courtyard is glorious, filling every window pane with its glow, while blanketing the pebbled ground.

Even the specimen Sophora japonica ‘Pendula’ lends its grace to the fall scene.

Within the gardens, the standard cherries and the tall, yellow (not gold) gingko act as a counterpoint to the evergreen hedges and pruned ornamentals.

At the side door entrance to the mudroom, another gingko (the miniature ‘Madenhair’) is a new favorite this year.

Of course, the Parterre Bench needed to get dressed up with ornamental cabbages. Her last hoorah, before she heads to the Orangerie for winter.

In the same Fountain Garden, some of the cabbages have pink-ish purple tones which complement the roseate shades of the ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas and coleus.

And, along the front hedge, a flaming Japanese maple can always be counted on to add its accent to the streetscape.

I’m concluding with a fall scene that came indoors, to the kitchen table specifically…pairing a marigold yellow velvet pumpkin atop a chocolate brown squash, with golden oak leaves encircling it. Fall lives on at Parterre!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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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".

22 thoughts on “A Newport Autumn at Parterre

    1. Autumn provides such pleasures in so many colorful forms! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours….xB

  1. Once again, Bettie, you have managed to take remarkable pictures and produce a beautiful blog.
    with love,

    1. Hugs back to you, Paul…miss you! Have a special Thanksgiving in your new home. xB

  2. Exactly what autumn is supposed to look like. Lucky you, Bettie, to live in heaven on earth. Thank you for sharing your private sanctuary with all of us who live elsewhere.
    Stay safe and be well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Ellen E.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Bettie!
    I love your beautiful decorations and gardens. Florida is green and hot! I wish we had fall colors here.
    Warm regards to you and Jonathan.
    Dee Cushing

    1. WE miss you up here in Autumn land! Thanks for your notes and have a glorious Thanksgiving, counting your blessings. Hugs to you and Tommie, xB

  4. Gosh, this is dreamy, Bettie! Isn’t autumn wonderful? Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us. You are always an inspiration! Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and all your many readers ~

    1. Yes, Autumn is the yummiest of the seasons!! Enjoy and especially Thanksgiving. Hope you and yours have much to be thankful for. xB

  5. Such a beautiful, creative garden! The epitome of everything fall. Our northern California town is showing its colors, but you have us beat!! Thanks for sharing as we live your town.

    1. Growing up in Southern California, there was one thing I missed…a New England fall. How very thrilled I am that life (and my husband) brought me to Newport!
      Happy Thanksgiving, xB

  6. Absolutely beautiful. Autumn is my favorite season and I can’t imagine a nicer place to appreciate it!

    1. Autumn is my favorite season, too…and especially in New England. Happy T Day, xB

  7. Now that’s autumn leaving in style…just beautiful! I love the russet and apricot mums and the cabbages work perfectly w/ your gorgeous bench. Bettie, I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hugs!

    1. You are too kind, Bobbi! It’s a special time of the year…count your blessings! xB

      1. I do, I do, I do. We still have so many things to be grateful for during this uncertain time. Keeping positive has helped me through many difficult situations during my 70 years of living, that’s for sure. Hugs!

        1. A friend sent me these beautiful words today from “”…xxB
          Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.

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