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

The Colors of Summer: The Parterre Bench

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This post is a tribute to my mother, whose birthday was June 25th. A beautiful, kind, gracious, Southern belle, she just happened to adore Shirley poppies…which just happen to bloom in June. Their soft pastel shades, lyrical twisting stems and crepe paper-like petals are unlike any other flower in the summer.

And, since the Parterre Bench was conceived in a celebratory spirit — to honor the publication of Private Newport — I thought it was only fitting to pair the two (thank you, Kristina Richards, for this goes-with-everything vase).

Another reason to celebrate? The Parterre Bench is available in all of these poppy shades as well as any custom color you might desire!

A third element at play here is the “Garden to Table” trend where delicious beauties, like the Shirley poppies, are grown and sourced locally. These come from Phoebe Poole at Weatherlow Farm, just across the water in Westport, Massachusetts. What a thrill to learn that these fragile specimens were even available in our parts — and in large quantities. All these efforts have fostered another first in Rhode Island to celebrate — the new “Floral Reserve” in Providence where growers have an outlet for their flower produce.

I love this image as it so represents what we celebrate about Newport in the summer…happy colors, festive trappings and a spirit of bon vivant. For me, the finest expression of celebratory nature can be found in my garden, with the Parterre Bench.

Happy summer to you and yours!!

Styled by Jenna — thank you!

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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".

9 thoughts on “The Colors of Summer: The Parterre Bench

  1. This is just lovely. Not familiar with these gorgeous blooms. And, of course, I love that bench.

    1. Few people are familiar with the Shirley poppies, so that’s why I wanted to spotlight them. So glad to hear you love the Parterre Bench. Have you visited the Bench page on our website? Lots more images and the fun history behind the bench. xB

  2. The colorful poppies, whimsical umbrellas, and the lovely Parterre bench make a magical summertime vignette. Thank you, Bettie, for sharing.

  3. Beautiful! Love all the colors! May I please ask where you purchases the fun umbrellas??

    1. Online…try small decorated Indian umbrellas. There are many sites out there!

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