Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden


Designing with Roses

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Surprisingly, a rose garden was not in the plans for landscaping our 3 acres at Parterre twenty-two years ago. My dear friend, and “garden whisperer,” announced that they were too much maintenance; best to spend time on the perennial beds, etc. (and she was correct!). But it wasn’t too many years before I began missing the presence of roses as I walked around the property. It occurred to me that they didn’t have to be in a “formal bed;” their beauty and essence could be appreciated in many other ways. Then, the fun began for me (one who always loves a challenge) as well as inspiration for this post. And yes, they provided additional cutting opportunities galore!

This awakening unfolded organically. I needed look no further than the areas of Parterre that I used so after during the day, coming and going…the back courtyard, with its 4 garages, and the side door that opens into the mudroom and on into the kitchen. Driving under the wonderfully designed metal arch (with its scroll detail at each end) I fantasized about viewing that arch draped in roses someday. “Someday” is now!

Newport’s morning mist always adds a romantic note to roses (these are ‘Eden’, also seen in the feature image at the top of this post).

But before that, I had identified 2 styles of elegant metal trellises as a starting point, dressing up the side of the fourth free-standing garage. I bemoan the fact that they are no longer available and thus cannot pass along this source.

The enhancement of this back courtyard area really took a big step forward when we continued the black metal theme with an 80′ rose chain (last week’s post). The bittersweet note here is the confetti of petals as the first (and most exuberant) blush of roses passes.

The eastern wall of the garage faced the cutting garden and was crying out for a statement. Voila! David Austin’s ‘Falstaff’ couldn’t be happier here, even though it only receives a morning’s worth of sun. Aside from their delicious color, I adore their high petal count as shown off so well in the second image.

Across from this rose espalier, wood lattice creates a see-through fence for a cutting garden that now includes formal rose beds (22 years later).

Along the deep, green lattice at the Cutting Garden, ‘Deelish’ is surrounded by Clematis ‘Princess Diana,’ one of my favorite examples of how well roses share their space.

Moving around the corner to the formal areas of Parterre, we’ve had many plants and trained vines in this pair of striking stone planters. But David Austin’s soft buttercream yellow ‘Charles Darwin’ are by far the most satisfying selection. Here, I prefer bamboo tuteurs to metal.

Lastly, looking across the green lawn at the Orangerie, I couldn’t resist draping the 2 antique leaded glass windows with again, ‘Eden’ (or ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ if you want the old-fashioned name).

So there we are — designing with roses. If you have any creative ideas you’d like to pass along, please do! Temptations are something I can’t resist…like sharing an arrangement of roses for my first house guest in months (below).

Have a glorious Fourth of July…and God Bless America.

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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".

29 thoughts on “Designing with Roses

  1. Another beautiful garden post showcasing your magic touch. Thank you for not only sharing your roses but educating all on each variety. You have created a paradise. Ellen Easton

    1. Thank you, Ellen, for your kind words; I was determined this year to be able to identify every rose on the property just for situations like blog time. Happy 4th, B

  2. Your roses are just fabulous! I struggle with the very few that I have . Oh to be able to bring a bouquet in the house! Thank you for sharing these glorious pictures!

    1. Oh Jeannine, I’ve had my share of struggles, too; it’s part and parcel of being a gardener (very humbling…)
      And I felt just as you do about having the ability to create bouquets for the house…I consider that a major achievement and occasion for joy.
      Have a wonderful 4th of July! xB

    1. Nancy, what a clever way to put…”Thursdays are blooming” for you. So happy to have you part of my Private Newport family!!
      Have a glorious 4th…and God Bless America. xB

  3. I love all of your posts but this one is so special. Your choices are so beautiful & the rose chain is such a favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing so much beauty. Kindest regards, Sherrill Kearney

    1. Oh, you are most gracious, Sherrill. It warms my heart when my little Thursday blog can share some of the beauty in our world.
      Be well and stay safe down there, xB

  4. At our last house, on a Very busy street!, I used a short variety of ever-blooming roses to form a “Rose Hedge” as a boundary across our front and side yards. They grew together nicely! Metal arches with Trumpet vines spanned the sidewalks. It lent an air of privacy to an over exposed house.

    1. Wonderful ideas, Sheila, so glad you chose to share with us. Spanning a sidewalk with trumpet vine is inspired (and a bit of work to maintain, I bet…).
      Those ever blooming roses were a gift to gardeners when they were introduced. Happy 4th of July, xB

  5. Dear Bettie:
    I find so much joy within your post, which are greatly needed during these difficult times. Your marvelous garden cultivation and keen insights on all the benefits that horticulture gives to our daily lives, is a cultural journey of beauty and grace one that I greatly appreciate.

    Sending you every good wish.

    Gurdie Corell of Washington DC

    1. Hello Gurdie,so appreciate your kind words and sending you all best wishes for a wonderful, safe July 4th weekend! xB

  6. This is one of my favorite posts! I absolutely love the arched lantern over the posts in your first picture. Did you have that created or were you able to find it somewhere? I have seen just a couple in Charleston and have been looking for something similar and was not even sure what to call it on an internet search. Thank you for any details and Happy 4th!

    1. Dear Elizabeth, our architect designed the arch and lantern when he was planning our home. I love it, too!
      Feel free to show it to your local blacksmith, he should be able to help you with creating your own. Happy 4th, xB

    2. I’m new to your posts, but ever so delighted!! What you have created here with roses is pure genius and I’m so happy that you listened to your gut and went for it! Absolutely stunning and dripping with romance!!!

      1. Welcome to Private Newport, Susan! Listening to our gut is the best advice my mother gave me way back when.
        But when it comes to roses, it wasn’t too difficult to make that decision. Hayy 4th to you! xB

  7. Bettie – you’re killing me! Now I’m suffering from a serious case of garden envy. Your garden and your roses are just glorious. Please tell me, is the picture with the white iron chair a courtyard space? It’s just charming.

    1. Hello Lisa, you are speaking about my cutting garden, with my favorite little French wire chair, found in a local antique shop. I’m so thrilled to have it everytine I step into that garden. Happy 4th to you and yours, xB

  8. Hi Bettie,
    Your garden is always beautiful, in every season, but the roses are the piece de resistance!! Just gorgeous! The Eden ( Pierre de Ronsard) are my favorites!! I’m going to send you some pics of them, that I took in Carmel by the Sea. The climate is very much like Newport’s in the summer.
    Happy 4th of July!🇺🇸
    Best as always, Gigi 🌹

    1. Oh, I’d love to see your images of one of my fave roses! Happy, happy 4th… and God Bless our wonderful country. xB

  9. Oh, Bettie, each of your blogs is a five course dinner with fine wines, but this posting today is truly DESSERT!!!!

  10. The roses are absolutely magnificent, but please tell me what the wallpaper is in the last picture? Thank you for your beautiful posts.. Margaret from South Africa

  11. Can never resist exploring a rose garden, especially one so beautiful! I am planning on using Edens on the pergola of my new house. May I ask, how long ago did you plant yours?

    1. Oh Chris, you’re in for a treat using Eden on your pergola!
      I’ve found her to be a fast grower; about 2 years to get up to 5′-6′. Of course we lost one one winter, so I’m planning on covering with burlap this winter.
      WE are hort zone 6B

  12. STUNNING!I TOO HAVE THIS ROSE BUT IT HAS NEVER PRODUCED LIKE YOURS!
    IT IS JUST NOT HAPPY AND I HAVE MOVED IT TWICE NOW…………..
    I WILL ENJOY YOUR PHOTOS!

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