Coming up Roses with Bettie Bearden Pardee

One of the best things about summer is the glorious flowers we get to enjoy, particularly the roses.  Today we are in for a very special treat, as award-winning rosarian, noted author, and lecturer Bettie Bearden Pardee of Private Newport is joining us to share a tour of her enchanted rose garden!

Bettie’s exquisite French-inspired home, Parterre, is located in Newport Rhode Island, where Bettie and her husband reside year-round. The land was formerly part of the Belmont Estate, home to the illustrious Rosecliff mansion.  When planning her garden, she meticulously ensured that it would be glorious throughout every season – including during Newport’s icy winters – and she graciously shares highlights on her popular Instagram account @privatenewport.

Flower magazine recently published a lovely article that uncovers the impeccable vision and inspiration behind Bettie’s heavenly garden. “I like to think of Parterre as a collection of smaller gardens created in the French tradition, with an American accent and a Newport sensibility,” she told the publication.

Let’s take a moment to stop and smell the roses!  For Bettie’s guided video tour, please visit here. And below is a Guest Post written by Bettie herself, originally published on her website, Private Newport, and now republished with permission at The Glam Pad. Enjoy!

Roses at Parterre

Written by Bettie Bearden Pardee

We built our home, Parterre, twenty-three years ago this month. Can’t believe it’s been that long!! When creating the gardens we kept in mind that this would be a summer garden–late June through October, not a spring garden. And what says summer better than roses?? As a novice gardener, I shied away from having a rose garden specifically and focused on the use of this jewel as a landscape feature and design punctuation. Please join me on a stroll through Parterre’s gardens.

The Orangerie (a surprise Christmas gift from my husband when we were just breaking ground) is the centerpiece of the property. Of course it had to be draped with roses, encircling the antique leaded glass windows.

Looking across the lawn from the Orangerie to the pergola, where a pair of large stone planters placed either side of the steps show off a bamboo tuteur of David Austin ‘Charles Darwin.’

David Austin’s ‘Falstaff,’ in delicious merlot red, lines the wall to the Cutting Garden and provides a breathtaking scene as you move from the back courtyard to the interior garden rooms.

Designed just for roses, the latest addition to Parterre, a tall, 20′ long lattice, is the west-facing wall of the Cutting Garden. Here, the aroma of ‘Deelish,’ ‘Sweet Mademoiselle,’ climbing ‘Peace,’ and ‘Pink Enchantment’ remind you that summer at Parterre is all about roses.

Just a peek inside the Cutting Garden, where many rose bushes have supplanted other plants (like peonies, which now have their own bed across from the rose chain). Here are David Austin’s ‘Boscobel’ and ‘Ancient Mariner’ cavorting in their cobblestone-edged bed.

When designing, I reflected back on my original wish list for our gardens. One detail was an arch (which could be covered in roses). A perfect spot presented itself, the wrought iron arch holding up the lantern that lights the entrance to the back courtyard.

But the star of the season is the 82 ft. long rose chain planted with ‘Crown Princess Margaretha’ (feature image above). It was actually David Austin, Jr., who suggested this specific rose when he visited Parterre during the Newport Flower Show many years ago. It’s such a yummy shade of warm apricot (a bit like an Aperol spritz).

I love the way it dresses up our back courtyard, which we drive in and out of many times a day.

But also the way the roses cluster, or as the Austin catalog says, “are produced with exceptional freedom and regularity” which makes each individual bush look so full.

And in the late afternoon, the setting sun filters through the trees, casting a romantic glow.

The back drop to this rose chain is a glorious weeping European beech. I always welcome any opportunity to quote a friend who once said, “if Newport were a tree, it would be a beech.”

A big surprise awaited me after the horticulture judging at the Newport Flower Show last weekend…our ‘Carding Mill’ shrub rose (David Austin) won Best Rose in the Show.

Thank you, Bettie, for this delightful tour, what a wonderful way to begin the week!

Bettie is a dear friend and a favorite here at The Glam Pad. To learn more, please visit her website and blog and follow @privatenewport on Instagram.  You might also enjoy the following articles from The Glam Pad…

And for tour of Bettie’s home that is not to be missed, please click below for a peek with Homeworthy!


  1. I’ve been reading and enjoying Bettie’s wonderful blog, Private Newport, for a few years now. Her home and garden are just stunning.

  2. Oh, how I envy your roses. Living in Central FL, roses, even those purportedly grown for the Florida climate, simply do not thrive even with the most tender loving care. As a transplant from NJ to FL, I miss my roses, my trumpet lilies, and my irises as well as my spring bulbs. But I am comforted by being able to plant calla lilies, amaryllis and agapanthus directly in the ground and being able to readily raise orchids. So there are some consolations!

  3. I have been enjoying reading Private Newport blog 2 years. The gardens is beautiful with all the greenery. The architecture of house is gorgeous. I was very delighted to see the interior. I had always wanted to see architecture and decor. Thanks for the video. I have always been passionate of beautiful homes and gardens….since teenage years and I’m 65 with ongoing passion. Just my thought…….why have beautiful architecture home if interiors and gardens are not beautiful.

  4. My thanks to Bettie!
    What a lovely view of her home and her creative process. She is brilliant, yet explains everything with a professor’s sensibility.


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