Lindsey Taylor

Landscape designer, floral stylist, and writer Lindsey Taylor creates narratives from nature — with an expertise rooted in deep knowledge of horticulture and the history of garden and floral design, she works with anyone from her neighbors to T magazine to see botanicals through a painterly, textured palette. We spent a morning with Lindsey at the Chelsea Flower Market discussing rulebreaking, “wispy plants,” and her essential oil lineup.

On daily life, New York, routines:
+ Mary Oliver wrote that habits shape us: can you share a few moments from your daily routine?
I’m nuts for ceramics of all kinds. I'm hooked and particular about what my coffee goes in the mornings: in the city it’s a handle-less one by Jane Herold, in the country its a small black one by Joan Platt. If I’m feeling blue I like whiskey and pickles.

Start the day with 1010am radio —I’m obsessed with weather and traffic reports
End the day with a bath.
What are your favorite neighborhood haunts? 
Il buco for dinner, Maialino for breakfast, and Union Square Market for grazing.
Where do you go to be quiet in New York? 
Seriously? My car, I guess, to get the hell out.
Be honest: do you eat lunch at your desk? 
Yes. But I don’t work in an office. I work from home mostly so it’s pleasant. I rarely make lunch dates… maybe I should try that more often? 
What are five things you are currently really interested in?
Stone of all types, fennel pollen, landscape paintings, Pablo Casals, and Newburgh, NY.

On women who work for themselves:
How do you want to be seen by others? 
What is something you are good at? 
What is something you are bad at? 
What is your personal mantra? 
Don’t get stuck, move forward; find a solution.
"Don’t get stuck, move forward; find a solution."
What are you serious about? 
What things will you never take seriously? 
Rules, after you’ve learnt them…and complainers.
What flowers, herbs, or plants are you feeling drawn to lately? 
Any from the Umbelliferae family of plants and all types of Sanguisorba. I like wispy plants.
When you are bringing flowers to a friend, what is your go-to assortment?
Something cut from my garden, even if it’s winter. 
Can you share a story about a memorable experience with the natural world — a time that stands out as being remarkably in awe of your surroundings?
The time my Mom and I were driving down a long back road to our cottage in Canada, we turned a bend and in front of us was the largest owl I have ever seen. It was a Barred Owl I believe, maybe 2.5 feet tall. We stopped the car, it stared at us for awhile, and then took off with its massive majestic wingspan into the woods. Stunning!

On beauty, style, self-image:
When someone asks you to define your wardrobe, what do you say? 
It’s a bit of a mash-up, but clean simple lines, good fabrics, and minimal pattern is usually what makes me feel most comfortable. 
Do you keep up with fashion, style, and trends? To what extent?  
I pay attention, but try not to fall prey to any of its silly ways. 
+ What are some of your most treasured possessions? 
My engagement ring and my toy poodle, Lucy (I think you can call a dog a possession?) 
Do you have any role models? What about muses? Is there a difference?
A role model…maybe my great Uncle Russ who at 97 still teaches a class for college students, has a better memory then anyone I know, and can still dazzle the ladies. For a muse I’ll go with Vita Sackville West: Her personal and garden style still rules.
What are your signature clothing pieces? 
My glasses and men’s white linen shirts.
When do you feel beautiful? 
After a bath.
What color/brand of lipstick do you wear, if any? 
I don’t. If anything, Burt’s Bees.
Do you wear a fragrance?
My go-to essential oils are geranium rose to feel fresh, vetiver to feel warm, gardenia or ylang ylang to be transported

Photography by TIM HOUT | Interview by LEIGH PATTERSON