Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

Summer Details in the Parterre Garden

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Here at Parterre, ours is a green scheme that so suits a formal French stroll garden. The peace and cool that shades of green provide have proven, as always, a wonderful panacea for late summer’s heat. We even have a name for this shade we’ve chosen for the garden accessories – “Parterre Green.”

In the Fountain Garden, immaculately pruned plants frame the antique garden gates in the yew hedge, while the setting sun filters through the majestically tall little-leafed linden and beech trees.

Variegated plants, pruned trees and shaped shrubs all cohabitate happily in the Green and White Garden. And from silver to celadon blue to chartreuse to plum the case is made that there is a lot more to the color green than meets the eye (as seen in the feature image above). A late afternoon view across this garden includes a white, variegated dogwood and antique metal bench.

The Green and White Garden gives us the opportunity to play with shapes while also appreciating the variety of leaves — from the variegated euonymus obelisk to the boxwood globe to the “chocolate kiss” pyramid in chartreuse berberis.

Other details abound…while others choose to treat silvery Dichondra as a draping plant for pots, we love it as a punctuation between cobblestone steps (especially when juxtaposed with furry lamb’s ear).

Again, playing up the creative juxtaposition of leaf colors and texture, to include the tints, shades, and tones of green.

Such an intriguing floral statement at this time of the summer — the 6′ tall Angelica plant is best seen along the walk to the entrance of the Woodland Garden, a plant that also attracts a very unusual large black and white striped bee.

I’m not particularly partial to Hosta blooms, but I find this such a happy, bounteous scene.

Roses are taking the month off, but their gracefully trailing canes provide such welcome visuals to the Orangerie.

Pelargonium ‘Rozanne’ cavorts among the variegated euonymus “grasshopper” diagonal strips under the ‘Hally Jolivette’ cherries.

A stand-alone, dramatic green statement (variegated shell ginger) in hefty stone urns on plinths.

And finally, a detail that we are introducing in the Woodland Garden…a Persian paisley motif employed to punctuate the large beds, with each “design” interpreted in a different plant selection. Here, chartreuse Hosta ‘Stained Glass’.

Stay cool, and enjoy these last 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".

5 thoughts on “Summer Details in the Parterre Garden


  2. Formal gardens with shades of green is so beautiful. I also like some whites and lavender. Love the hosta variety in urn beside antique metal bench. I have that same variety in garden and urns. I also like lirope in urns. Is the white flower phylox? Oh, love the orb in urn. I have large iron orbs in garden and small iron orbs hanging from tree limbs. And…can’t forget to mention love iron walk and driveway gates. Thanks for posting Parterre Gardens!

  3. These images soothe the spirit because of the order that has been introduced. The order that arises from the execution of an overall concept which allows for individuality in its components. Brava, Bettie!!!

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