Rosecliff, one of the most elegant mansions in Newport, R.I., and the backdrop for much of the movie "The Great Gatsby," will be the setting for the Preservation Society of Newport County's first annual flower show on July 13 and 14.
Originally the summer home of George Bancroft, a horticulturist remembered for his hybrid American Beauty rose, Rosecliff was acquired in 1888 by Theresa Fair Oelrichs, one of the grandes dames of Gilded Age society. She commissioned Stanford White to design a new Rosecliff, modeling it after Louis XIV's Grand Trianon at Versailles."Rosecliff Revisited," the name given to the flower show, will feature arrangements by eight designers who will attempt to evoke the grandeur of the turn of the century. Among those participating are Reinaldo Maia of New York City and Mark Larson of M&K Design Group of Washington.
The entrants will also recreate some of Rosecliff's celebrations. These will include the 1904 Bal Blanc, held for some 400 guests under arbors of silver birch and white hydrangea - and a costume ball, the Fairy Tales Dinner of 1913.
Lectures will cover themes ranging from decorating with flowers to historic gardens. Admission to the lectures is included in the show's entry fee of $12 for adults and $6 for children. Information: (401) 847-1000.