Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Charlotte Moss: A Conversation and her new book GARDEN INSPIRATIONS


"Setting the table each meal with a tablecloth, flowers from the garden, and a mix of china makes every meal beautiful and enjoyable."  "Summertime is picnic time; and the table on my terrace in the country has replaced the picnic tables of my childhood but not the memories."


"This is Charlotte Moss"...  

I took a breath, sat up straighter and said,

"Good Morning."

Her voice was rich, generous, of a life well lived, full of grace, full of class as only a Southern woman could possess.  You knew from the onset the conversation would be her pouring out of her knowledge, sharing.  I was an observer at the hand of a master, lector, gardener, preservationist, designer, friend.

Her book Garden Inspirations is gorgeous and personal.  There is no pretense, it's a master artist giving it all away, encouraging you to "erase the fear", breathe, live, enjoy, see, do.  To observe the world with an eye of a collector ... bringing beauty into the everyday.

My son asked me one day, "If you could meet anyone who would it be?" A tall order and I had a short list, and honestly Ms. Moss was on the top of it.  Not as a groupie, but as one who could just follow her around throughout a day, Observe  Learn  Absorb.  At the end of our conversation I thanked her for the privilege, for I feel I did just that, and it was no less affecting or inspirational because it was over the phone.

Come, spend a day following her around: her garden, her home, and meet the ladies and the gardens around the world that inspire her.  With 250 stunning photos, Garden Inspirations is a gorgeous table top book that should be read and then read again.  Pour over it, observe it, and apply it.  Follow in the hands of a master designer and live beautifully.


"At the end of a design project I always tell my clients 
to throw a big party...   
enjoy every room with your family and friends."



"Southern hospitality is everything you have heard, read about, 
 and experienced...  but the Key is YOU.  
 Put every bit of yourself in the details and it will be noticed 
 and appreciated..."



"Good housekeeping is the foundation to everything."



Terracotta towers are filled with herbs in the kitchen garden or potager.  While roses trail across the top of the fence with honeysuckle intertwined.  Don't you love the gorgeous crushed shelled path!  Sigh.  My family would know where to find me, I would never want to leave this gorgeous garden.



"As I walk from room to room in East Hampton, I see that the garden, in its very subtle way, 
has made a path that leads to every room.  
I think gardens just have a way of doing that while you are not looking."



"I think I came by gardening naturally.  The visuals of my grandmother's house are still so clear: flowers and plants in the house, a sun porch full of plants, and many of them 
grown from cuttings.  This is what surrounded me and 
sparked my curiosity as a child."



Gilles Guillot, the head gardener of the Prieure Notre-Dame d'Orsan, France was commissioned to weave willow benches, and frames for the espalier.  Isn't it stunning!



"Creating a garden means giving consideration to the house, it's aspect, the views from the windows, the places you will sit outside, the paths leading from one place to the next, and what will greet you at the front door."



"I have been traveling to and visiting gardens for many years.  I have photographed every detail so I can carry them back home to revisit time and time again.  Every garden has a story.  
Some have a way of getting under my skin."



"We MUST have roses"



"Decorating is a foot note to real life for me, 
a means to an end: living well."



"The best decorating advice I received came from my father, 
who wasn't a designer but a colonel, he told me to observe. Observing never cost a dime and it really opens up your eyes allowing you to 'see'."



Create alternate locations in your garden for En Plein Air dining at it's best



"...There is no single formula for successful entertaining.  
I believe that the intangible, or in other words, the ambiance, 
is just as important in entertaining as it is in the grand scheme of decorating or gardening..."



"...and, lastly PRACTICE...  
 Setting the table is everyday decorating.  How do you except to have a successful dinner parties, luncheons, or tailgate picnics if you are not doing it every day for yourself and family?  You must first be hospitable to yourself" 



Ms. Moss desk in her garden room where she relaxes by arranging flowers, potting, or trimming her topriaries.



"Some people play golf; I prefer gardening and flower arranging... My husband, the golfer, and I joke that my garden room is my ninth green..."




Amazon


charlottemoss.com - A Flair for Living





To Ms. Moss,  A Thank You


For a conversation ...

For inspiration ...

For seeing ...

For sharing ...

For an invitation (wow) ...


My prayer for you: everything Beautiful.

Rié Moratto




*All photos and quotes courtesy of Ms. Charlotte Moss
*A special thank you to C. Cloutier and K. Power at Charlotte Moss, LLC for their kind assistance.


26 comments:

  1. Dear Rie, Thank you for such an inspiring post on Charlotte's new book on gardens. The images and designs are so artfully gorgeous!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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    1. Thank you Karena, it is truly a gorgeous must buy book! If you don't own it, order it today! All the best, Rié

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  2. We pored over every page. Each garden is amazing…loved the climbing roses on the arbor. Happy Tuesday, Rie!

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    1. I did as well, and I should say am still pouring over each page! Thank you for coming by while on your book tour! (Aren't you amazed to hear those words... book tour!) Congratulations! Rié

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  3. Stunning post, amazingly beautiful book, and a wonderful interview! Many design books have great photos, and Garden Inspirations is no exception. I think Charlotte Moss goes beyond what we have come to expect by including sections on influential garden designers, international gardens she has visited, and historic gardens like Monticello. The result is an exquisite book that has great depth, and is truly a resource for living beautifully.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Ms. Moss made it easy with her beautiful photos! I agree, her book is exquisite! All the best to you, Rié

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  4. What a wonderful experience! She sounds like a very quality individual, designer, and friend! Her book is lovely, and so is your blog.

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    1. Hi G, Thank you for coming by, and for the kind words about my blog! She and her book are lovely! Have a wonderful day! Rié

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  5. Lovely feature, Rie. What a gracious way of living! Like her interiors, Charlotte Moss' gardens are just as beautiful. Cheers, L

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    1. Thank you Loi, it's always so wonderful to have you stop by. I am with you, I love her interiors - they are beautiful!

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  6. Beautiful post, really enjoyed it!

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    1. Mr. Ryan, Thank you for the retweet and for coming by the post and then leaving a kind comment! I just followed you on twitter and will look forward to hearing what is happening in your world. All the best, Rié

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  7. How lucky you are to have had that experience! To me, Charlotte Moss is the epitome of southern grace. I have always loved her interiors, and her gardens are equally stunning. I really enjoyed reading this post!

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    1. Michelle, I know! I feel so blessed to have this lovely and famed designer call me for a book review. I am not sure how it happened, other than that is really how nice she is. Thank you for the kind words! I am so glad you did. If you get a chance pick up a copy of her book, it really is that beautiful. Have a lovely day! Rié

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  8. Love this book sooo much! She spoke at VMFA before a book-signing and I was amazed at her grace and relaxed style. I had her sign my book to my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Scarlett O'Hara.

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    1. I am sure she didn't mind, she has her adorable Buddy and Daisy! I am so glad you were able to see her in person. She is in L.A. this Friday, but I have a conference so I will not be able to make it. Thank you for coming by. All the best, Rié

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  9. Also, after seeing her round "windows" in the hedges I have laid awake at night trying to figure out how to "install" my own... I think a fancy combo of hula hoops and chicken wire might do the trick. Can't believe I don't have a coffee table book?!? ;)

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    1. I think that is great design inspiration, when you want to run home and install it in your own home or garden. Actually, the hula hoops could be a great guide to have your gardener cut the first holes in the shrubs. I am not really a DIY-er but, Michaels does sell large grapevine wreaths that might look great as "windows". Let me know how it goes, and when the coffee table book comes out. :) All the best to you always Natalie, Rié

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  10. oh rie, what a privilege! i once spoke to my garden idol, rosemary verey, all composure went out the window!
    ms. moss' level of design is remarkable. it is the rare person that understands both interiors and exteriors and oh so well
    debra

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    1. Wow Debra, Rosemary Verey! She was the first garden book I ever bought. Your absolutely right, Ms. Moss's level of interior and garden design really is unparalleled... and might I add she is also the definition of a Lady (noun). And yes, I was nervous, but she makes you feel at ease. Heading over to 5th to see what you have been up to. Have a lovely day! Rié

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  11. Absolutely GORGEOUS, Rié! There is nothing more energizing after a long winter, than a garden so lush with green AND friendship and food, beautifully presented! Thank you for coming to visit me! Anita

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    1. Thank you Anita! Your right we all need beauty, friendship and great food lovingly presented and shared with one another. I am so looking forward to your book, do you have a time frame as of yet for it's release? I am re-adding you to my signature blogs and sites incase you decide to post again and give us up dates! Have a lovely weekend! Rié

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  12. What a treat to have a conversation with Charlotte Moss. She sure does have a flair for living. Beautiful images! xo Leslie

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    1. She absolutely does! And I am very glad she has taken the time to write it down and share it with us. xx Rié

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  13. How exciting! I would have been flustered. 30 years ago I called Mario Buatta's office thinking I would get an assistant, instead he answered and was as gracious as imagined. I can't wait to get Charlotte's new book. She is a great inspiration to living beautifully.

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    1. I love that someone of Mario Buatta's stature was willing to just pick up the phone, and then lived up to what we would hope he would be! Very exciting! Simone, you will love her new book, it's beautiful! She is absolutely a great inspiration to live beautifully. Thank you for coming by! Hope you do so again! Rié

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