Informed by the good fortune of having lived in three very different parts of our country – first, Beverly Hills, then Atlanta, followed by New York/Boston (her “golden triangle”, as she describes it ), Bettie Bearden Pardee is now living full time in Newport, Rhode Island, her husband’s original home.
Building a house, and installing gardens, has set her on a path that has inspired three books on this fabled town. Living Newport: Style, Traditions, Pastimes (Glitterati) to be published in 2014, will focus on the lifestyles of the residents of this “City by the Sea”; Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden ( Hachette 2004), prompted an award for Bettie from The New York Horticultural Society for a “commitment to excellence.” Her most recent literary project was the re-issuance of Newport in Flower, an iconic garden book first published in 1979. For this, she has just received an award from the Garden Club of America, “in recognition of exceptional efforts to make available the history of the gardens of Newport.” Bettie’s Newport home, “Parterre,” showcases an often-toured garden that is featured prominently in the Garden Club of America coffee table book, Gardens, Private and Personal (Abrams); the frontispiece of the book highlights an elaborate garden bench designed by her.
“Lifestyle” is not a new term to Bettie. She has been catering to the living interests and needs of the upscale consumer for the past forty years. As a young woman, she opened a needlepoint shop in Atlanta, “Papillon,” that went on to become a major mail order catalog of fashion and home furnishings. Bettie’s two earlier books addressed the young married’s lifestyles with Pardee Guide to Great Entertaining and Pardee Guide to Great Weekend Entertaining, which prompted a spokesperson position with Macy’s for the Southeast. At the same time, she began her association with Bon Appetit magazine, serving for 11 years as a contributing editor, producing the on-location feature “Entertaining With Style”. Well versed in television work, she was the creative producer and host of the fifteen part series “The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House” on the Public Broadcasting System. In addition, Bettie has produced segments for, and appeared on, many TV spots including “Good Morning America” and “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.”
A seasoned lecturer, Bettie has presented at “Bouquets to Art” at the De Young Museum (San Francisco,) the Kappa Kappa Gamma “Tablescapes”( Dallas,) the Frelinghuysen Arboretum (Morristown, NJ) and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. As well, she is an active speaker within the garden club world. Bettie is a chair of many Newport galas that are staples of the social season, including the Newport Flower Show (for 8 years.) For this she was recognized with the Laurel Award, a prestigious designation for volunteerism, given by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
Bettie received a Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.
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