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An Insider’s View of Past Newport Flower Show Highlights

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“Thank Goodness It’s Friday”…and this time next week (June 23rd, to be exact) the Newport Flower Show will start. If you haven’t already made plans to attend, let me tempt you with some unforgettable images and sizzly factoids from past shows.

The setting is equal to none for a flower show in this country — ocean views, a famous Newport mansion (“The Great Gatsby” was filmed here) and 80 high end boutiques.

Not to mention elegant gardens and statuary…

Newport Flower Show

You probably didn’t know that:

fancy-bulletBeginner’s luck? A hurricane swept through the grounds on the Saturday of the first Newport Flower Show, in 1996, but hardy staff and volunteers pulled everything together to re-open, on time, on Sunday.

fancy-bulletFloral exhibitors have to be in Rosecliff and constructing their designs at 5:00AM; judging starts at 8:00AM. Many intrepid exhibitors drive in from Connecticut and Boston, a few hours away.

fancy-bulletIt took approximately 70 pineapples to create the dragon (seen here on Rosecliff’s dining room table) that Barbara King designed way back when…and which stole the Show!

fancy-bulletSome of the notable speakers for the lecture/luncheon on Saturday have been Sylvia Weinstock, the queen of wedding cakes (the dessert that day was a mini, white nougatine cake of her design); David Howard, Prince Charles’s former head gardener at Highgrove; Ron Morgan, San Francisco’s floral arranger extraordinaire and author of four books; Tony Avent, famed plantsman and owner of Plant Delights nursery in North Carolina and Hitomi Gilliam, an innovative floral artist who enjoys an international status (image below).

Newport Flower Show

fancy-bulletThere are more than 350 cut specimen entries judged and exhibited on the expansive terrace off Rosecliff’s ballroom.

fancy-bulletThe scrumptious sherbet Mary McFadden silk-pleated dresses that were backdrops and inspirations for the ballroom class are from the costume collection of the Preservation Society of Newport County (presenters of the Newport Flower Show).

What to Wear: The Newport Flower Show Weekend

Hope to see you at the Newport Flower Show!

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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".

6 thoughts on “An Insider’s View of Past Newport Flower Show Highlights

  1. I am so excited to be heading to Newport for the GCA Visiting Gardens tour and am looking forward to attending the Newport Flower Show. I’ve been poring over your first book on private gardens and just can’t wait to see all of the sites lined up for us on the tour. See you there!

  2. Thanks Bettie! My good friend, Clare Stewart (from Baltimore) will be coming for the first time this year to judge in Horticulture, so I hope you will keep an eye out for her, as I know you’ll enjoy meeting her.

  3. Did you get any shots of the peacocks at this years show? They were at the photo booth gazebo.

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