Bellevue House

Newport, RI

This impressive property on Newport’s historic Bellevue Ave. has been the subject of a slew of projects by Parker Construction and designer J.P. Couture since the current owner took possession of the property. In addition to renovations to the interior of the federal-style main house, the grounds of this enormous property, taking up an entire city block, have been restored and expanded upon. 

Nestled in the southeast corner of the grounds between a giant old beach tree, stately hue, and a garden tea house lies the beautiful and tranquil Japanese Water Garden. Constructed in 2008, the garden is the home of many colorful koi and beautiful aqatic and non-aquatic plants including: Hosta, Japanese Anemone, Isis, Lirope, Coral Bells, American Royal Fern Bamboo, Arrowhead, Water Lilly, Lotus, and Soft Rush. The garden also features many intertwining foot paths and is completed by a scaled, red oriental footbridge lit by a daisy chain of delicate bronze bell lights. A closed ecosystem, the pond is filtered and oxygenated naturally by means of a shallow bog and two waterfalls.  

Closer to the main house is the American Renaissance Water Garden constructed by Parker Construction around the same time as the Japanese Water Garden. The garden’s granite features are extensive and were carved by sculptor Mark Mennen. The long garden is capped by a pergola featuring a wood trellis – a recreation of one of the property’s original landscape features — and granite steps and deck detailed with a statue of Pamona. Water shoots from the deck into a trough carved into the center of the table which is designed to hold and keep wine bottles chilled. The water then spits out a bust on the front of the feature and flowing down a lighted granite rill and before it is pumped up into a fountain at the south end of the garden which features three monkeys — a motif recurring throughout the property- carved into the base. 

Additional gardens, pools, and buildings dot the grounds; each structure matches the main house in style, color, and materials while the multiple landscape features play with different palates, eras, and themes but exist together to complete an impressive whole.