Renowned landscape designer Frederico Azevedo plants his acclaimed craft and commitment to sustainability.
Frederico Azevedo is an award-winning landscape designer and sustainability virtuoso with a design process in a class of its own. Born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Azevedo has studied landscape design in Brazil, England and the U.S. His considerable experience, ingenuity and dedication to sustainability are apparent in the enchanting landscapes of Europe, South America and the U.S., including the Hamptons, where most of his commercial and residential projects are composed.
“This wall is undulating to keep the natural contours of the garden uninterrupted by jarring straight lines,” says Azevedo.
He is the owner of Unlimited Earth Care, based in Bridgehampton, where he works with ecologists and specialists to craft harmonious, elegant landscape designs through holistic approaches. His literary venture, Bloom: The Luminous Gardens of Frederico Azevedo (Pointed Leaf Press), explores his signature styles like curving, floral borders and the use of native plants. In June, Azevedo plans to unveil a new facet to Unlimited Earth Care: the Garden Market, a space in which he will directly share his landscape philosophy by showcasing fresh plants from local growers.
“I created the illusion of depth by gradually building up layers in varying textures and colors,” says Azevedo.
What trends are you currently seeing in landscape and garden design? Sustainability, though I hesitate to call it a trend. I’ve been a sustainable designer from the start, and recently, more than any other time in my career, my clients want to engage with me about this part of my work, and there’s always something new to discuss. The Hamptons are a beautiful but sensitive environment that I care for very much.
“These neat masonry stairs are very grand, so I softened them with terraced landings and overflowing blooms with soft silhouettes like hydrangeas.”
How do you think the pandemic has influenced landscape and garden design? I was always passionate about expanding life into the open air, and now that has become a necessity. In the summer my own family practically only goes inside to sleep, and now living, working, cooking, dancing outside has become the safest way to live. The focus has shifted toward creating comfortable, elegant spaces that support everyday life outdoors.
What are some of the exciting new features people should consider adding now that we are spending more time than ever at home? Vegetable gardens—I’ve had so many requests for vegetable and herb gardens. I think it’s wonderful; there’s nothing like reaching for your own herbs when you’re cooking outside. It’s an introduction to the lifestyle of gardening, and studies (and a great deal of personal experience) show that caring for plants is so beneficial to our mental health. For accessories, I’d recommend solar lanterns. They come in beautiful colors, and you can move them around and let them charge all day in the sun; it’s just more sustainable and easier than plugging something in. I sell spheres and some with handles, which I always imagine being carried out at sunset with a bottle of Champagne.
What do you think is the most important thing to consider when designing a garden or outdoor space? My approach to garden and landscape design is formed on a foundation of sustainability and beauty. My aesthetic is where the composed meets the natural—I’m guided by the forms and compositions of nature, but I heighten those expressions to create a new experience. I recently took the time to really consider my design process in my book, Bloom: The Luminous Gardens of Frederico Azevedo, which is divided into chapters that each focus on one essential concept, such as vista or border. I’d say one of the most important things is color—I don’t make any decisions without seriously considering the palette I’m creating.
What new things do you suggest clients and Hamptonites consider trying in their garden this spring? I’d say go green, and I mean that literally. Some of my gardens are only in greens, and the effect is really striking. Green actually enhances our ability to perceive other colors and makes us feel relaxed because our eyes don’t have to strain as much to see it at the center of the visible light spectrum. A careful balance of green hues really adds a richness and an almost magical feeling to any garden.
What plans do you have for the summer in the Hamptons? Well, I’m hoping for things to keep improving, so I’ll be continuing to visit all of my favorite local spots and supporting all of the amazing stores and restaurants out here that make each town so unique. Summer is also a very busy season for me, so I’ll also be spending time running the new Garden Market and helping people conceptualize their dream lives outdoors.
Any other business news or updates? This June I’m opening the Garden Market, a new structure at my 2249 Scuttle Hole Road headquarters. I’ve always encouraged the use of native and well-adapted plants, and this new facet to the Unlimited Earth Care experience will allow me to directly share my bloom philosophy (and the freshest plants from local growers). My book, Bloom: The Luminous Gardens of Frederico Azevedo, is available on Amazon and on the Pointed Leaf Press website.
Photography by: Frederico Azevedo