5 Things We Love about Charlotte Moss’s Garden Inspirations
Wisdom the interior design doyenne has cultivated from her blooming estate
By Jeanne Lyons Davis; excerpts from Garden Inspirations
In her new book, Garden Inspirations, revered designer Charlotte Moss takes readers on a tour of her palatial East Hampton garden, Boxwood Terrace, and unearths ideas she’s reaped over two decades. From maintaining to entertaining, Charlotte leaves no stone unturned when it comes to designing and enjoying her outdoor haven. Excerpted from her new book, the decorating visionary shares some homegrown wisdom she cultivated from her blooming estate.
1. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A GREEN THUMB.
Really, the ability to garden is not something you are born with. I recall my mother saying that my grandmother had a green thumb with a slight tinge of envy, but I thought my mom had one, too. People would probably have described her green thumb by saying, “Marty had a knack for it.” Whatever it is or is not, it is a skill acquired with patience, a stiff back, and often an exhausted wallet. Mix all of this with some good soil and a little compost and one day you too just might acquire one of those totally enviable and nonexistent green thumbs.
2. INCORPORATE THE OUTDOORS INTO YOUR HOME.
The garden, like certain plants, has a way of creeping into other aspects of your life: collecting, dining and setting the table, and decorating—how small welcoming gestures in a guest room, flowers at the bedside, and a single stem on the bathroom vanity are opportunities to express yourself and share your garden with people you care about.
3. THINK ABOUT A FLOWER ARRANGEMENT THE SAME WAY YOU CONSIDER A ROOM.
Create a composition that will equal the sum of its parts. Color, texture, scale, and location of an arrangement are as important as doing a floor plan in decoration.
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH SINGLE BUDS.
Not every arrangement you make has to look like a painting by van Huysum, Fantin-Latour or Prévost. Simply surrounding yourself with flower arrangements—a blossom here, a blossom there—suggests you care about surrounding yourself with beauty. Just a single blossom can speak volumes.
5. BRAG WITH BOUQUETS—THEY REPRESENT WHAT YOU DID RIGHT ALL YEAR!
The little nosegays, the large voluptuous bouquets, they all signify that moment when whatever is at its peak gets plucked and somehow all comes together to tell a story. All gardeners look forward to these moments, and at the same time they ask, “Why are the sweet peas leggy, the delphinium anemic, and the clematis not as profuse, and why…?” Well, that’s what makes them gardeners. And then, they stop, fuss with a bouquet, and smile in private.
For find more advice from Charlotte Moss, read our interview with the designer in our May issue here.
Photos © Charlotte Moss: Garden Inspirations by Charlotte Moss, Rizzoli New York, 2015.