Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

Garden Dreaming with the Parterre Bench

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As I’m finalizing plant orders for the garden and booking restaurants for my April visit to England, it suddenly dawned on me that spring is just around the corner…2-3 months, to be exact, and the garden at Parterre will be coming alive! And what do I celebrate most? Bringing my Parterre Bench out of her winter home in the Orangerie and placing her in her special bower in the Fountain Garden.

Do you know the story behind this well known Newport garden accessory? It began with our decision to stay in Newport (rather than returning to the South) and build a home, with gardens, of course. This provided me the opportunity to realize a vision that I had embraced for years…a fanciful garden bench that I had chanced upon in an Irish garden 35 years ago. My interpretation would ultimately become the centerpiece of our Newport green paradise.

And one driving proposition was at the core of my decision…any project or undertaking, be it a new home, a garden, or a piece of furniture, deserves and requires a commitment to quality. That is not negotiable in my mind! The meticulous details of designing the Parterre Bench were given the same level of workmanship as my husband and I expected in our new home.

This bespoke piece of furniture is crafted by hand to exacting design standards and specifications. The material…mahogany; the size…a generous 62″w. x 63″ h.; the stability…2 1/2″ thick and 110 lbs; the intricacy…”capturing the grace of a flower and the flourish of a leaf.” The Parterre Bench is substantial (as the price implies) and, I’m proud to say, made in the USA, in Newport, Rhode Island (not “offshore”).

Enjoy this collection of images (courtesy of a bit of trompe l’oeil, or photoshopping, by another name) that demonstrate the complementary design aspect of the Parterre Bench within different garden styles…from Florida to the Cotswolds, from the North Carolina mountains to Bath.

As you’re planning the opening of your garden for the season, do consider the Parterre Bench. I can promise from first-hand experience, she can bear the demands of even the liveliest garden party!

Curious? Intrigued? Join us by clicking here to learn more about, and how to purchase, the Parterre Bench.

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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".

3 thoughts on “Garden Dreaming with the Parterre Bench

  1. She is a “thing of beauty!!” Really no pillows or beads needed…some only stand alone. franki

  2. Hope we find one in every garden we visit. What an elegant place to have a little rest.

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