Charles Platt was born in New York and studied art at the National Academy of Design. In 1880 he went to Paris to study landscape painting and, while there, travelled to Italy with his brother. This led to his book on Italian Gardens in 1894. His own garden at Cornish, New Hampshire, was made between 1892 and 1912. The plan is in the Arts and Crafts tradition, suggesting that Platt was familiar with Reginald Blomfield's The Formal Garden in England (1892). As with Blomfield, Platt's book, and his house, led to a number of country house commissions. He worked with the Olmsted brothers on large-scale projects and with Ellen Biddle Shipman on planting plans. Though influenced by Italian detailing, Platt's designs were not copies of Italian gardens. He was better known as an architect and illustrator than as a garden designer.