Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden, The Parterre Bench

The Orangerie at Parterre

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For both sentimental reasons (it was a surprise Christmas gift from my husband) and aesthetic reasons (it is in the middle of the garden), the Orangerie plays an outsize role in our life at Parterre. So I cannot let summer finish without affording her the respect she deserves.

Truly a centerpiece of the garden, one set of doors opens onto the north, facing the pergola.

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

A treasured 2 pairs of ‘Hally Jolivette’ cherries, which provide the first blooms of early spring, are right outside these doors.

The other set of doors let onto the Green and White Garden’s herbaceous borders to the south.

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

Throughout the year, the Orangerie plays many roles — in the winter, she shows off the first reason she was gifted to me, as a green house. Her glass roof opens and closes, providing the perfect layover spot for plants…and a sanctuary for the Parterre Bench. In the spring, seeds are started and plants repotted within her sheltering walls, as we enjoy that Newport ritual of “opening the garden for the season.”

But it is in the summer when she is at her “party best.” Pink clematis in containers grace the front entry.

Roses twine around the antique leaded glass windows.

Hydrangeas are massed in the metal urns in the 4 niches.

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

And purple clematis on the Fountain Garden wall provide a picture-perfect frame for another view of the Orangerie.

Summer is also the time when many entertaining opportunities present themselves…

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport
Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

Is it any wonder that the Orangerie brings out my romantic side? I’m always looking for occasions to wear floaty, feminine pieces…like my Newport/New York friend, Ala von Auersperg, designs…chic and comfortable at the same time.

Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography

Enjoy these final days of summer…

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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".

23 thoughts on “The Orangerie at Parterre

  1. I just love this post. The orangerie is so beautiful and versatile. It’s so handy to have it centrally located instead of out of sight and far away. The hydrangeas in the niches knock me out!

    1. You are so right, Kenneth, the central location has made all the difference in the world…as you can see from the images, especially the one from my office/studio on the second floor.
      Thank you for taking the time to add such a lovely comment! xB

  2. Overwhelmingly beautiful! So romantic! Love love love this greenhouse and that spectacular bench. I would love to have one of those. My son was married in Newport and we fell in love with Newport!

  3. Oh my goodness. What an absolutely beautiful garden. Those windows are so wonderful. I don’t think I’ve seen anything more beautiful than your garden.

    1. I’m smiling, both with thanks and for the memory of my architect not wanting me to change what he had specified; luckily I prevailed and found these at my first stop when antiquing in Boston. xB

    1. You are the dearest!! I remember some pretty magical evenings at your house, too. xB

    1. It is a pleasure to share this surprise wedding gift so many years ago! xB

  4. Truly beautiful, quite the backdrop for entertaining. Is there a post where we might see your views of the water? And if I have not missed it would there be one in the future?

    1. Thank you, Nancy…and given our tall and many trees, the ocean view is only possible in the winter months.xB

  5. I would love to know the sources for the iron / metal pieces in your pots. I cannot find them any where and would love to order some.
    I always enjoy your travels, posts ,and learning new plant varieties . Your climate is so different than ours but regardless appreciate the fabulous designs! thank you! Beth

    1. Hello Beth, just coincidentally I came across metal topiaries like the ones I believe you are referencing in the blog.
      Go online to the Monticello website. Metal pieces are not easy to find, but if you use the search words “metal plant supports” or “metal tuteurs” you should come up with some. I’ve also found Home Depot (on line) to have some interesting options in garden containers and plant supports. Happy hunting! xB

      1. I would love your advice is finding pots like the beautiful ones I see throughout your photos. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        Kind regards,


        1. Oh Jill, with me it’s catch as catch can re. pots…everything from Home Depot (online) to local garden centers in your area or when you’re traveling. That’s why I usually drive/ferry to Nantucket as they have a small wonderful garden shop right in town (but I can’t remember it’s name). xB

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