Designer Crush: Molly Wood

 1. How did you get your start in design?

Looking back, I suppose I was always interested in design, but with a twist. My doll house was totally decked out, for a family of trolls. Creating environments, from forts to haunted houses, was how I would always spend my time as a kid. I got my actual start in landscape design while working at a nursery in Laguna Beach. Some shoppers hired me to do their weekly maintenance and my business organically grew from there.   

2. You’ve said that symmetry and structure play big roles in your work—how do you integrate these concepts and what about them speaks to you?

Those two elements, symmetry and structure, are about balance for me. I am always working toward balance between wild and tame, soft and hard, organic and refined.

The symmetrical structure of a row of trees creating a shaded walk or a carefully trimmed boxwood globe, are elegant expressions of human and nature coexisting in harmony. Organizing these elements intentionally is my way of honoring and celebrating the beauty of nature.

3. How did traveling throughout Europe after high school influence your approach to design?

Aside from helping me discover my love for symmetry and structure, it taught me that I can do just about anything. Travel had such a profound effect on my young brain. I felt so tiny and insignificant - while also feeling incredibly independent and powerful. It also taught me that design is subjective, whether or not it speaks to you. Personally, if the approach is an authentic expression, it is worth a closer look.

4. How did you make the decision to pursue garden design specifically over another form like interior or furniture?

I love being outdoors. I feel that helping people get outside and in touch with nature is helping build a deeper connection to what’s really important in life. I love the constant evolution involved in maintaining a garden. I also love the strategy involved in creating a garden – i.e.  how much sunlight do I have, what is the soil like, what extreme elements exist on site, etc. Then I find plants that work in that environment - while looking fabulous without tons of maintenance!

5. What are some of your favorite low-maintenance plants to recommend to people who lack a green thumb?

For a sunny spot, I suggest Guara lindheimeri because it blooms and blooms. Little butterfly flowers, when it looks scraggly, cut to the ground and wait a month or two for the butterflies to come back.

6. What’s your favorite flower or plant to integrate into a garden and why?

I love Agave attenuate for its graphic structure mixed with a flowing grass like Sesleria autumnalis or Miscanthus Adaigo.  

7. Describe your dream vacation. 

My dream vacation is spent relaxing and making memories with the people I love.

Lightning round!

8. Early to bed or early to rise?

Neither.

9. First celebrity crush?

Shaun Cassidy.

10. Favorite TV show of all time?

I don’t watch TV…JK — too many to choose from!

11. First concert?

John Denver in Aspen as an eight year old.

12. Salty or sweet?

Saaaalltaaaay!