The Art of Horticulture at Lowell Hotel's Majorelle

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When Majorelle, the Lowell Hotel’s new restaurant opened earlier this year, there were high expectations especially with Charles Masson, previously of La Grenouille, at the helm. The restaurant has exceeded clients’ expectations but who knew that the added touch of Charles’s elegantly crafted floral arrangements is the secret sauce behind the ambiance of Majorelle and the Lowell Hotel.

The concept of Majorelle was inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s infamous Majorelle Garden in Marrakech. It took famous french painter, Jaques Majorelle forty years to design this 12-acre botanical garden where travelers now flock to experience his impeccably designed oasis right in the heart of the city. Much like the garden, The Lowell‘s Majorelle restaurant plucks New Yorkers and visitors alike from the bustling city streets to a calm, serene, garden-like environment where they can enjoy Chef Richard Brower‘s French cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. However, the biggest tribute, perhaps, to the Majorelle Garden, are the decadent floral arrangements that are strategically placed in almost every corner of the restaurant’s space.

The design of Majorelle’s space comes from Michael S. Smith, who’s also known for his impeccable work on homes for names like, President Barack Obama, Harrison Ford and Cindy Crawford. As a repeat guest at The Lowell, it made sense to have Smith design their restaurant space (and their newly renovated suites). With Masson’s mission in mind, Smith fully delivered on creating a space that would reflect the same serenity of the Majorelle Garden. Details like the classic marble columns, etched glass-work, alabaster chandeliers and the Emilio Thierry marble floors and the French (hand-painted) paneling in the bar and club room, give the newly renovated a space a feel as though it’s always been this way, giving way to the subtle Art Deco concept throughout the hotel. Not to mention, the glass covered garden with walls and tables dripping in lush greenery, the garden effect is certainly not lost.

What most may not know is that while Charles Masson may be more famously known as a NYC restaurateur, behind the scenes he’s also known as an extraordinary florist. Growing up with a father who enthused in the art of horticulture, Charles has defined the term “green thumb” with his natural ability to give flowers a life expansion for as long as an entire month. And, lucky for us, we got to spend the day with him learning a few tricks of the trade for our own!

In order to reach their full potential, flowers need to be conditioned before you start working with them.  And, after spending the morning through the Chelsea flower market and at The Lowell hotel with Charles, we took away a few tips to share with you. 

10 tips on how to get the most out of your flowers at home: 

  1. Give those buds the same kind of environment that makes them feel at home. Roses grow in a hot weather, thus they love hot water.  Charles have been known to dip his roses for a few seconds in boiling water (yes, really!) to get them to open up.
  2. The same goes for floral’s in a cold environment!
  3. A few drops of white vinegar to the water while they’re conditioning for longer vase life.
  4. When cutting the stems, cut diagonally so the flowers can “slurp” the water easier.
  5. When you’re ready to put your flowers in a bouquet, you can add sugar to extend their lifeline.
  6. Refresh the water in your vase on a daily basis.
  7. No decorative leaves in the water, this actually does more harm than good.
  8. Do not take off any leaves, buds or hanging parts from the stem that are above the water because, like a straw, if there is a hole then all of the water wont make it to the top and will cause the flower to die to soon.
  9. On the same note, make sure that you take off the leaves and buds off of the part of the stems that will go under water.
  10. A happy home means happy, long-living flowers (Charles likes to sing and talk to his bouquets, just to remind them how beautiful they are!)

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