Design, In the Garden, Living with Style, The Newport Diary


An Homage to Rhododendrons

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While we may have had many reasons the past few months to curse the weather, it has proven a boon to some plant groups. This year in Newport, rhododendrons are enjoying a starring role in the landscapes. Breathtakingly so! Even surpassing those I saw in the Cotswolds.

“Rhodies” are as iconic a feature in late spring as hydrangeas are in the summer. The colors were so boldly beautiful and seemingly varied that I was taken aback — block after block, along Bellevue Avenue and the side streets. If there is an underlying theme here it is the juxtaposition of this substantial shrub and residential architectural details…another way to appreciate Newport’s design excellence.

Paired with a generous length of singular iron fencing…

Clustered around an entrance pillar…

Providing a welcome greeting at the driveway…

Putting on a “full court press” in one continuous sweep…

Dressing up an inner courtyard…

And lastly, what would Rosecliff be without their hot pink rhododendrons?

Here’s to color in your landscape.

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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".

One thought on “An Homage to Rhododendrons

  1. So glad you did this story! Peter and I just arrived in Newport two days ago and I don’t remember ever seeing the Rhodies being so brilliant and abundant here! It’s as if they timed themselves to all come to bloom at once! Loved the way you contrasted them next to stone walls, wrought iron gates and entrance gates! Gorgeous! xx

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