Carol Hamilton’s no muckraker, but she sure does love to dig up the dirt. Hamilton, the president of L’Oréal USA’s luxury products division, is an avid gardener who has created a veritable Eden at her weekend retreat in Litchfield, Conn.

“I’m at my most content when I’m gardening,” says Hamilton, who, for the record, also likes to plant, prune and deadhead (gardening lingo for clearing away dead flowers.) She first developed her green thumb while summering on Cape Cod, but her passion bloomed after she and her husband bought the Marcel Breuer–designed Connecticut house 12 years ago. Hamilton herself drew and designed the two primary gardens—one, enclosed in the walls of a stone dairy barn, planted with perennial shrubs, the other a perennial flower garden planted against a backdrop of a stone wall. “The flower garden is an explosion of color, bright color, which makes me very happy,” she says, “while the shrub garden is much more peaceful and elegant, with white, lavender, blue and a lot of different hues of green.”

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