Charlotte Moss Garden Inspirations
May 4, 2015
She’s an interior decorator, author, public speaker, but most significantly, Charlotte Moss is a tastemaker. Thirty years designing residences and interiors across the U.S . and the Caribbean have also expanded her role into fabric, furniture and decorative arts design—blending American, European and classical styles in the most sophisticated way. After authoring eight books on stunning interiors, Moss ventures outdoors with her new book, Garden Inspirations, published this month by Rizzoli. The coffee-table stunner is a wonderful compilation of dreamlike gardens across the world, touching on subjects like indoor and outdoor vases and vessels (Moss has collected them for years) and celebrating “verdant voices” from past tastemakers such as Empress Josephine of France and novelist Edith Wharton. Moss is currently on tour promoting her new book and will be stopping by the Neiman Marcus flagship in downtown Dallas on Monday, May 4, to celebrate the spring windows inspired by her work. Join us from 6 to 8 p.m. and have Charlotte sign your book!
NM: How long ago did you begin designing interiors and gardens?
CM: 2015 brings Charlotte Moss LLC into its thirtieth year of designing houses. I am not a garden designer, but someone who loves them and will take a detour anytime to go visit one.
NM: How did you fall in love with gardening? And what inspired you to create this book?
CM: As a child, I liked poking around my grandmother’s garden and hunting for wildflowers. Gardening became a serious interest when I bought my house in East Hampton and started working with Lisa Stamm Landscape design. Lisa encouraged me, inspired me, kept me from making mistakes (although inevitably you make them), and pushed me to consider things that I had not even thought about. It was our collaboration that was the ‘seed’ (no pun intended!) of this book.
NM: What are your favorite containers for flowers, indoors and outdoors?
CM: There are no favorites, really. Depending on what I have cut or bought, the flowers sort of tell you. I might put wildflowers in a silver piece, roses in a basket, dahlias in a delft vase and a few clematis in a small English porcelain. I keep an open mind and let the flowers dictate, unless it is a dinner party, and then I have a plan.
NM: What’s your favorite spring-summer flower?
CM: I don’t have a favorite spring and summer flower, but I am always drawn to fragrance—big branches of Philadelphus (mock-orange) to perfume my entry, a whiff of a daffodil always says spring and a full-blown garden rose says summer is here.
NM: In your book, you show various famous gardening women around the world—what are your favorite places to look for inspiration?
CM: I have included a number of gardening women in the book because each one has had an influence in one way or another, their indomitable spirits channeling the creation of beautiful gardens is what I admire AND find inspiring. Edith Wharton for the gardens she created at all of her houses. Sackville-West for being a determined romantic, Iris Origo for her optimism in creating verdant beauty in the heart of Tuscany and Nancy Lancaster as a true exemplar of the art of living personified. Their gardens and the gardens of many others are like siren calls for me.
NM: What are you most looking forward to during your trip to Dallas?
CM: As my trip to Dallas will be a brief one, I look forward to seeing Dallas friends at the party Monday evening, some shopping time at Neiman Marcus, of course, and any antique store that comes across my path. The next morning I leave to give a lecture in D.C., then back to NY for the ballet gala and back on a plane Friday morning to L.A. for a book signing at Mecox Gardens.
NM: What can we expect to see in the windows that you are designing for the Neiman Marcus flagship next month?
CM: Well, I wouldn’t want to give anything away! Let’s just say, it is Garden Inspirations by way of a Neiman Marcus point of view, and life-sized— the book come to life! And now you will just have to come see.
Images courtesy of Charlotte Moss