Design, Design & Décor, In the Garden, Living with Style


The Floral Charms of Easter

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Easter is a bit early this year, but the first signs of spring are pushing their way through the frozen earth. The snowdrops in the front courtyard, the volunteer crocus popping up in the woodland, the muscari bringing their blue glow to the Fountain Garden beds…each so delicate and precious in their own right. Spring brings such promise, reminding us of the blessings small and large for which to be thankful.

For this and many reasons, I always anticipate Easter as a signal to “bring on the flowers” and celebrate with floral arrangements that in the creating bring me such joy. Two years ago was the last time we gathered to celebrate this holiday; how I cherished these images (in the feature above and two closeup details below).

But, Hallelujah, we shall, indeed, have guests for this Easter lunch! Therefore, I wanted each room to convey the true sense of hospitality, which for me begins with flowers. Starting with the entry hall, to set the tone…

then to the library, for pre-lunch drinks by the fire, where an enthusiastic display of paperwhites takes center stage on the coffee table.

With a stroll out to the glassed-in solarium where all manner of plants and potted flowers await.

Leading us back to the salon, for the seated buffet luncheon. It is on the salon marble mantle that pride of place is given to the majestic quince branches that were cut and “forced” to bloom exactly at Easter time. While under their boughs, a garland of Selaginella is interspersed with ranunculus and dyed eggs.

With bunnies looking on, of course.

Even the tower guest bedroom was dressed up…with my favorite shades of hyacinths a happy contrast to the painted stone walls. They provided the perfect opportunity to use one of my classic French wire baskets, so perfect for a house named Parterre.

This year, the presence of a new resource on our small island has added another dimension to my floral efforts. Farm & Flora Collective is a female owned business of farmers and growers who specialize in those yummy and fragile flowers–ranunculus, anemones, daffodils, narcissus, muscari–that say “from the garden” at a time when none of our gardens are yet awake. Here they are interlaced among an old and treasured metal topiary growing with ivy (with speckled chocolate eggs sitting atop damp moss from the garden).

May you have a glorious and peaceful Easter weekend.

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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".

18 thoughts on “The Floral Charms of Easter

  1. Cheerful, elegant, beautiful whimsy all in one. A Happy Easter in store for your very lucky guests! Well done, Bettie. Ellen Easton

    1. Thank you, Ellen, everything that I think Easter should be…and so welcome after 2 years of being quarantined! Happy Spring, Bettie

  2. Thank you for the glorious feeling of Spring! So colorful and inviting…all of the arrangements…along with the reminder we are coming back into the light again. Happy Blessed Easter!

    1. Yes, Evelyn, you expressed it so well…coming back into the light again…and is that not what Easter stands for?
      Have a glorious and joy-filled celebration. xB

  3. The always beautiful, gracious and effervescent youngest Grand Dame of Newport! I so enjoy your weekly posts! Keith J Morgan

    1. Wow, Keith, that’s quite an image. I’m at a loss for words…other than, thank you…and “have we met?”
      If not, a warm welcome to another member of my Private Newport family. Happy Easter, Bettie

  4. Hello dear Bettie,
    The different and stunning flowers in each of your rooms is really incredible. You have made such an artwork of every room with those fresh blooms in their different containers. I cannot pick my favorite because they are each so wonderful in their own right. What a labor of love you have created throughout your garden, and then crafted inside your home. You are a flower arranging rock star! WOW. Color me blown away:)

    1. Jody, you are the BEST!! But then you must have been a fly on the wall at yesterday’s photo shoot, as we screeched up to our photo shoots.
      Color me blown away that after 2 years we can actually gather for Easter lunch again. Hallelujah!! Have a glorious weekend, xB

    1. Happy we all should be at the thought of gathering again and welcoming spring, with all its promises! xB

    1. I’ve missed hearing from you, are you having a glorious time?
      This has been on of the best winters ever, more sunny days than I can count. xxB

  5. Well, Bettie, you win again! How sumptuous and glorious your flowers are to welcome both spring and the Hallelujah Season. My quince bushes were packed with blossoms this year; alas, long gone in Atlanta, but I did enjoy them in the front hall.

    The term “force,” reminded me of a tale told to me by a friend of Jimmy’s. He remembered as a little boy, he had gone to spend the night with Jimmy and Jimmy’s parents were having an upcoming dinner party. As the family was dining in the kitchen, they all had to walk WAY around the stove as “Grand Sally” was forcing forsythia in the oven!

    1. Oh Ruthie the Raconteur! Always love what your stories/anecdotes add to any communique’.
      I was wrestling with that choice of word, but I think it’s the only correct term horticulturally…but don’t hesitate to correct me. xB

    1. This was such a joyfilled Easter and I hope what you experienced also, Barbara!
      I think we’re all ready for a “breakout” experience…xB

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