Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden


Parterre’s Rose Chain

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Patience is a virtue that every gardener has learned to accept. Those dreams and visions we have that inspire design decisions, plant selections, and tree placements may take years to realize. Well, it’s been 21 years this month since the gardens and landscapes were installed around the house we built in 1999. Patience has been rewarded…especially as regards the chain of roses.

One detail that always stayed with me in the many rose gardens I’ve visited–whether it was Westbury in Long Island or Parc de Bagatelle outside Paris–is a rose chain. Luckily, early after moving in, I realized that not only did I have the perfect spot for one but that it would also enhance a service side of the property, the back courtyard where the 4 garages are located.

Understandably, this is an area that I use many times a day, making it all the more important for floral visuals. Of course, the Parterre Bench is very happy here, nestled against the grand weeping beech, another Newport signature. That summer white really pops against the deep, beech green.

Given all the rain, and number of years, this may finally be the moment when the David Austin ‘Crown Princess Margaretha’ roses will finally meet along each 15’chain. They have a bit of sentimental value to me for it was David Austin, Jr. who actually suggested this variety when he visited Parterre during a Newport Flower Show many years ago. It’s difficult to imagine not falling in love with this lush, apricot beauty with so many, many petals.

What pleasure they have brought while they were (slowly) progressing to this point! I never truly realized until now what a special addition their cheerful color is to Parterre. Given that there are nine full bushes of them in an 80′ elongated half circle it is a spectacle to enjoy…and they tend to bloom on and off all summer!

I’ve photographed them at all times of the day, even rising at 6:15am last weekend to the sound of fog horns to capture them. Seeing them shrouded in mist is such a Newport moment.

This past weekend would have been the 25th anniversary of the Newport Flower Show; sadly, it did not take place. But nevertheless, the roses of Newport always seem to bloom obligingly just about this time. It would have been a whopper of a horticultural display. Maybe a prelude to next year…

Happy roses to you. And if it has dawned on you that the Parterre Bench pairs very well with roses, scoot over to the website to learn more about making this bespoke Bench a part of your treasured garden.

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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".

10 thoughts on “Parterre’s Rose Chain

  1. Your blog is a feast for the eyes and a joy to read every week! The rose chain is just spectacular!
    We’ve lived in a wonderful old home (built in 1895) in Franklin, Tennessee for the last 32 years. I am a huge gardener as well and have loved planting all around the house during those years. Finally- I am turning my attention to a new blank canvas in our yard; an acre where my boys played football and baseball, to have my own “Parterre”. Everything is in planning stages now- but I’m paying very close attention to the details of your gardens- Provence Planters and hopefully a Parterre bench are definitely on my bucket list for mine!
    Again, thank you for sharing your beautiful home each week; It is beyond lovely.
    Love, love, love Newport- so sick Tennessee doesn’t grow your spectacular beech trees!

    1. Hello Carol, how exciting for you… a new garden! Be still my beating heart.
      I have been in communication with so many ladies recently who are re-working or beginning a new garden…such a panacea for these difficult times.
      Certainly it has been for me. I’m happy to hear that your bucket list includes the Parterre Bench! Let me know if there is any information, pictures, suggestions, etc. that I might help you with in your planning process. Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping a kindred spirit with her (his) garden.
      Love knowing that you are part of my Private Newport family! Be safe and happy gardening, xB

  2. Bette, I enjoyed your posting of the Nantucket flower boxes. I had the pleasure of visiting Nantucket four years ago, and was Enamored by the beauty of the island and all the flowers in Nantucket and Sconset where I loved the roses on the roofs of the homes. A memorable weekend and can’t wait to return.

    1. There is no place like Nantucket (it’s just different enough from Newport that I can say that and not look disloyal).You must be counting the days until you can return!
      Happy summer, xB

    1. Thank you, Dede, I love sharing my garden…and learn so much form other gardeners. Happy to meet another member of my Private Newport family! xB

  3. Bettie, Your apricot roses are one of the prettiest sights ever. They are truly scrumptious. I personally went bonkers for David Austin’s apricot roses a few years ago, and you are right — patience is required and it’s well rewarded! Your climate is friendlier to them than mine in Texas; I have to be content to see them look good only in early spring and in the fall. Down time in the summer is acceptable to me— I know just how they feel! I meant to comment after your peony post too. I have many of the same ones you do. Love love love them. I added some Intersectional peonies this spring. Mostly the variety, Cora Louise. It’s an interesting color. Very soft and pretty. They must have had really good roots in the pots I bought (they were expensive enough!!) because they bloomed like crazy this first year. My fingers are crossed that they will continue to be as good in the coming years. The flowers were huge and gorgeous. All peonies are gorgeous. They are the best.

    1. Hi Nancy, I certainly agree with you about both peonies and roses; isn’t it lovely that their bloom times follow each other so quickly.
      And thank you for the suggestion about a new ITOH peony (‘Cora Louise’). They are top of my order list for next year. Having moved my beds, I have to let them adjust before putting in any new additions. xB

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