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Parterre 2008-2009

Former owner:
Belmont, August 1813-1890
McLean, Evalyn Walsh 1886-1947
Van Clief, Ray d. 1945
Monroe, J. Edgar 1897-1991
Gobb, Ray
Preservation Society of Newport County
Architect:
Bissinger, Frederick L. Jr
Landscape designer:
Purviance, Virginia Pepper
Toland, Julia Rush
Provenance:
Newport Garden Club
Physical description:
1 folder + 16 35 mm. reference slides and 22 digital images
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Rhode Island, Newport County, Newport
Rhode Island
Newport
Parterre (Newport, Rhode Island)
Date:
2008
2008-2009
Notes:
Parterre comprises three acres of the former Belmont estate in Newport, Rhode Island, which had been maintained as parkland since the demolition of By-the-Sea in 1944. Mature trees were left in place, fronting the Normandy manor house designed by architect Frederick L Bissinger, and distinct formal garden rooms were installed by horticulturalist Virginia P. Purviance and landscape architect Julia R. Toland. The garden rooms are described as winter, black and white, potager, woodland and cutting, which provides material for the owner's award-winning floral designs. Specimen trees were planted as understory to the mature trees, and to soften the transitions between the different areas of the estate. The owner took inspiration from the elegant and understated garden designs of Russell Page (1906-1985) and the innovative and rule breaking style of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932).
The black and white garden was originally conceived as a green and white garden, to be planted in shades of white, green and copper. Darker plant materials were introduced later. An orangerie is used for entertaining small parties, while large parties are held under a tent on the back lawn. The cutting garden beds are situated near the service area on the estate for convenience. The winter garden next to the house has a reflecting pool as well as hedges and Versailles containers and a dovecote in one corner. The shady woodland garden has a fall flame border planted with Japanese maple and a developing moss garden.
Persons associated with the garden include August Belmont (former owner, 1860-1924); Evalyn Walsh McLean (former owner, 1924-1944); Ray Van Clief (former owner, 1944-1947); J. Edgar Monroe (former owner, 1947-1971); Preservation Society of Newport County (former owner, 1971-1986); Ray Gobb (former owner, 1986-1994); George Champlin Mason (architect of "By-the Sea", previous residence on property which was demolished in 1944); Frederick L. Bissinger, Jr. (architect, F. L. Bissinger, Inc., dates unknown); Virginia Pepper Purviance (landscape designer and certified horticulturist, 1999) and Julia Rush Toland of Toland Landscape Design (landscape designer and certified horticulturist, 1998?).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, write-ups of the property's history, a write-up of plans and inspiration for the garden, and an invoice for the original installation of the garden.
Publications:
This property is featured in Private Newport at Home and in the Garden by Bettie Bearden Pardee published in 2004; "A Rare Look" by Marion Laffey Fox published in "Newport Life Magazine" Spring 2004; "Garden Design Awards" published in "Rhode Island Monthly" February 2000; "The Newport Daily News" published June 8, 2001 and June 17, 2009
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
RI166000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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  • Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Purviance, Virginia Pepper
  • Toland, Julia Rush
  • Van Clief, Ray
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  • Bissinger, Frederick L
  • Gobb, Ray
  • McLean, Evalyn Walsh
  • Monroe, J. Edgar
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  • Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Purviance, Virginia Pepper
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