Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

Spring at Parterre

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After 10 days in England, I have a years worth of images for weekly posts — but first, a peak at Parterre. Spring, while late and coolish this year, was in full swing when I returned home. I forget how very welcome that soft shade of spring green is to the eyes…and the spirit…and which inspired the special color for my Parterre Bench, recently placed under the bower in the Fountain Garden (feature image above) in a beloved spring ritual.

That captivating green is to be seen everywhere, from the delicate leaves of the specimen Sophora japonica ‘Pendula’ (Scholar Tree) at the entrance to the front courtyard…

to the pear standards in the Versailles boxes gracing the Fountain Garden.

Our prized yellow magnolia bloomed forever, it seemed, greeting passerbys as well as guests, a striking punctuation right at the driveway’s entrance…

while presently the five crabapples prancing along the first curve of the driveway are a riot of plump, white blooms, the tops of which can also be seen from the street over the privet hedge.

Aaaah, the tulips…I always love the combination of the four ‘Hally Jolivette’ cherry standards underplanted with these elegant, long-stemmed gems that highlight spring gardens.

But I have to confess, those “wascally wabbits” gave us quite a workout this year (not to mention the deer and the voles…). That is why I’ve decided that next year I’m going to our fallback position — potted tulips. The flexibility that this provides brings these beauties inside to be enjoyed in every location, from the entry hall…

to the sun porch…

And we’re creating a specific area in the Cutting Garden (I’m going to refer to it as Fort Knox with its chicken wire, deer netting, repellent, and whatever new tricks we learn about), where I will hopefully always have spring tulips to cut for arrangements.

Here’s to spring as she sashays into summer…

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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".

5 thoughts on “Spring at Parterre

  1. AHHHHH….Springtime at Parterre…it is always a treat !! Also, Bettie, I am loving the few photos of London you have already sent and eager for more.

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