Amid the pandemic, many residents have been spending more time in their homes, as well as observing and enjoying the outdoors from gardens to lawns. So it’s no surprise that Frederico Azevedo, an award-winning landscape designer based in the Hamptons, is finding growing interest from Montauk to Palm Beach, spanning resorts and other regions.
“I’d say that the past few years have encouraged more people to consider their outdoor spaces and seek pleasure and fun in nature,” said Azevedo, owner of Bridgehampton-based Unlimited Earth Care. “I try never to design gardens meant only to be looked at. I’m always tempting people towards the colors, the aromas, the birds.”
While there has been a renovation renaissance, residents also are rediscovering the great, or potentially great, outdoors of their home. As summer homes become homes all year long from the Hamptons to Florida, residents are finding landscape design can literally be a breath of fresh air and an often-overlooked outdoor amenity.
“Many clients of mine have moved into their summer homes over the past few years and were delighted to experience blossoming cherry trees in March and fiery reds in the fall,” Azevedo said. “You just never know, so I design gardens that are beautiful year-round.”
Interior design is fixed and static, but landscape design creates a living, breathing, changing outdoors that can be enjoyed through a window, on a walk or seated outdoors.
“I plan vistas to be viewed from the windows of the home, while also designing spaces to enjoy the aromas and colors of the flowers up close,” Azevedo added. “The same garden should be for the person reading in the living room and the person reading by the pool.”
In the world of landscape design, Azevedo has kudos and accreditations, with work showcased in magazines, galleries and books. He is a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, the American Horticultural Society and the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons. His work has been showcased from Architectural Digest to an exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.
“I always use native or well-adapted plants. So many of the plants and flowers that I choose are different for a project in Florida than for one in the Hamptons,” he said. “I work in a site-specific way, so every project is different. A plant that thrives in the sandy soil of one property could suffer on a landscape only a few miles away.”
While general principles exist, he said designs for each garden must meet the homeowner’s goals and tastes.
“The goal of landscape design is different every time,” Azevedo said. “It’s something that’s specific to each site and client, but I think there are certain intentions that I have going into all of my projects: sustainability, interaction, and beauty.”
Landscape design is about creating beauty that renews itself, a painting that shifts with seasons.
“I always want to consider the most sustainable way to design. That could mean choosing native or well-adapted plants and flowers, creating pollinator-friendly gardens, or designing meadows,” he said. “A landscape should also invite people into nature and bring their lives outdoors.”
Plants with beautiful colors provide brushstrokes for the outdoors. Think of a garden as a painting that is constantly being painted.
“Color has sort of become my signature and I compose palettes that respond to the client and their lifestyle as well as the conditions of the environment,” he said.
Azevedo uses “homogeneous yellow blooms to introduce a waterfront, rich green moss gardens for meditating and reading” and “oranges and pinks to support the energy of cocktail parties and poolside gatherings.”
“I try to design gardens that are exciting, but still feel a little carefree, like nature,” he said. “The atmosphere of the garden is built on color.”
Azevedo lives and works in various regions, tailoring each garden to the region and the residents.
“My design goes where I go, and I live between Florida, LA, New York City and the Hamptons and travel often,” he said. “Designing in Palm Beach is about sustainability and life often lived outdoors, which is the best way to be. I bring the living room, library, and kitchen outdoors among plants and flowers in a natural-feeling way.”
He sees designs as “natural compositions of texture and softer colors for strolls and entertaining. It’s about balance.” he said.
In addition to doing landscape design, Azevedo owns the Garden Market and Concept Store in the Hamptons, mixing flora and furniture to create beautiful, outdoor living spaces.
“Clients would spend a little time with their new landscapes and show up at my store to buy furniture for their new favorite spots where they’ve discovered butterflies or bunnies like to visit,” he said. “It’s an ongoing relationship when you design with living things.”
This article appeared in the January 2022 issue of Behind The Hedges. Read the digital version here.