Flowers & Gardening

6 Game-Changing Tips for Creating Your Dream Garden

6 Game-Changing Tips for Creating Your Dream Garden
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Gardening captured the imagination of famed interior designer Charlotte Moss at a young age. “I have vivid memories of my grandmother’s garden,” she writes in her new book, Garden Inspirations, which beautifully captures the oasis she’s created at Boxwood Terrace, her garden and home in East Hampton. Ensconced within three acres of snaking hedges, flowering trees, and garden rooms, the home blends seamlessly with the landscape. In addition to lush imagery, the book is packed with lessons for gardening pros and novices alike. We gathered a few of our favorite gems in the hope they inspire you to get outside and, as Moss was once told, “give it a go.”

Photo by Pieter Estersohn, Garden Inspirations

Photo by Pieter Estersohn, Garden Inspirations

#1: Have a Planting Strategy

Seasonal planning allows Moss to maximize the enjoyment she gets from her garden. “The flowers in the garden are those that thrive May through October because that is when my family spends the most of our time there,” Moss writes. Besides blooms, at-the-ready edibles are another element to consider when planting. Of her own edible assortment, Moss writes, “The kitchen garden—what the French call the potager—is oozing with herbs, verveine, basils, marjoram, sorrel, oregano, and rosemary… Tea, salads, pestos, soufflés, and flower arrangements are just a few of the many gifts we enjoy all summer.”

Photo courtesy of Garden Inspirations

Photo courtesy of Garden Inspirations

#2: Create Garden “Rooms”

Moss approaches her garden planning in much the same way she does her gorgeous interiors: as a series of individual spaces within a larger whole. “If you had to describe my garden, it’s not so much about parterres and sweeping vistas as it is about intimate spaces, small rooms—gardens within gardens,” she writes. Moss does this by employing similar techniques that she uses indoors, albeit with slightly different tools. “When gardeners build walls, we add hedges; when we lay floors, we create hardscape; when we add decorative objects, we add sculpture, fountains, topiary, and flowers.”

 

#3: Add Places to Perch

“Like rooms in a house, exterior rooms also want furnishings,” writes Moss. “Drawing your eye to a quiet corner, at the end of an allée, or under a tree, garden seating begs you to stay awhile, to sit and enjoy the view and the fruits of your labor.”

Photo courtesy of Garden Inspirations

Photo courtesy of Garden Inspirations

#4: Pots, Pots, and More Pots

“No matter how much space is available on a porch, terrace, or in the garden, the mobility of pots affords flexibility of location and an opportunity to alternate plantings with annuals throughout the season.” As for pot styles, Moss is a fan of mixing and matching. “Pots of all varieties are used throughout the garden. Anduze pots flank the gloriette; lead and zinc pots sit symmetrically at the fountain; and clusters of stone urns planted with succulents and agave every year frame the end of the terrace… Large terracotta pots of lemon trees alternate with the tall rose towers at the pool garden.”

Photo by Eric Striffler, Garden Inspirations

Photo by Eric Striffler, Garden Inspirations

#5: Have a Place to Plan

“Most gardeners’ blissful moments involve being knee-deep in the trenches or witnessing the fruits of their labor,” writes Moss. “Time spent away from my patch of land, in my garden room is just as important. There are the moments of solitude, of quietly trimming topiary, repotting an orchid, taking notes, or referring to books there.” According to Moss, you don’t need a whole potting shed. “A garden room is a room where the garden merely has a presence. It can be a separate building, a room in the house, a repurposed closet, a mudroom with a more elegant name, or a place with books on the subject.”

Photo by Eric Striffler, Garden Inspirations

Photo by Eric Striffler, Garden Inspirations

#6: Bring Your Garden’s Goodies Indoors

Of course, part of the joy of a garden is getting to live with the floral fruits of your labor, and Moss has a ton of advice to offer on this subject as well. “If you are reading this and thinking that you do not have a cache of vases to start experimenting with, look again,” she writes. “Silver serving pieces that are infrequently used, baskets (my personal addiction), bowls, pitchers, old perfume bottles, small tin buckets, any sort of crystal—any and all of these will do.”

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Moss

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Moss

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.

— Charlotte Moss

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Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

3 Responses to “6 Game-Changing Tips for Creating Your Dream Garden”

  1. Dana V. says:

    LOVELY, LOVELY, LOVELY!!! ALL of it. :)

  2. Guest says:

    I loved all of this. What a great site and the pictures of the front porch of home with those urns, I love.

  3. Angie Whitt Jackson says:

    Love this is just beautiful, has an amazing talent

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