Lisa Loy Laughlin, WCDABG President;  Marilyn Weber, Honorary Chair; Sandy Ammons, Event Chair
Lisa Loy Laughlin, WCDABG President; Marilyn Weber, Honorary Chair; Sandy Ammons, Event Chair
Meet Our Authors


Bettie Bearden Pardee is an author, editor of the luxury lifestyle website,, designer of the Parterre Bench, and a national lecturer. Her home in Newport, Rhode Island is the inspiration for her most recent coffee table books on lifestyle and design, Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden and Living Newport: Houses, People, Style. Additionally, her social media (100K Instagram Followers and 2.4 million monthly views on Pinterest) and website presence are an important part of her Private Newport brand.
With a background that has focused on the essence of style in the richly diverse lives of tastemakers, Bettie is perfectly poised to illuminate the private side of her fabled town. As a Bon Appetite editor for eleven years, she featured everyday sophisticates in “Entertaining with Style”, and gave us a rare glimpse of U.S. Presidents at home as host and creative producer of the PBS series, “The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House.”
These experiences provide fascinating material for her popular lectures on lifestyle topics including garden design…”Parterre: A Garden for Strolling” and entertaining. For the fourth year in a row, Bettie is listed on “The Salonniere 100: America’s Best Party Hosts.” She is also featured in Entertaining At Home: Personal Reflections from Seasoned Hosts” by Rhonda Carman (Rizzoli 2019).
Bettie’s design talents and love of landscape informed the creation of her Newport retreat on Bellevue Avenue, as well as, her Parterre Bench. Her often-toured gardens are documented in the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Institution, and are featured in the Garden Club of America’s Gardens, Private and Personal.


Susan Sully has authored, photographed, and co-authored 18 books 
about architecture and designed published by Rizzoli International Publications and The Monacelli Press. Solo books include her newest offering, Southern Hospitality at Home, as well as, Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques, Houses with Charm, and The Southern Cosmopolitan. She has also created books with leading architects and designers including Bobby McAlpine, Phoebe Howard, Norman Askins, Ken Tate, and Jim Strickland of Historical Concepts.
Susan is particularly passionate about the distinct regional culture and architecture of the South. Her fascinations range from historic recipes for bedtime bonbons to 21st-century houses designed in the modern vernacular and neo-classical styles. Her best-selling books interweave humanism with scholarship, providing a unique perspective on the way we live and the surroundings that enhance it.   A graduate of Yale University with a degree in Art History, Susan has contributed articles to The New York Times, Town & Country Travel, Veranda, Southern Accents, Southern Living and other publications. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bill Welch, Professor Emeritus and AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist in the Texas A & M System, provides educational information and programs for county extension agents, nursery professionals, civic groups, and the  general public.
A dedicated and passionate gardener, gardening books have been an importantpart of his educational program. Beginning with Perennial Garden Color, he has authored or co-authored numerous books about gardens and horticulture. In 1990, he wrote Antique Roses for the South, that pioneered a resurgence of interest in old garden roses and documented their histories and value. For many years, he wrote a monthly column for Southern Living magazine and contributes regularly  to Neil Sperry’s Gardens Magazine.
He has served for over 30 years as Landscape Design Chairman for the Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. and co-ordinates their nationally accredited two day courses every six months in College Station. Bill was made an honorary member of the Garden Club of America in recognition of his programs and writings on exploring and interpreting our garden heritage. He also received The American Horticulture Society’s Great American Gardeners Award for his accomplishments in gardening communications. Bill lives College Station, Texas.


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