When it comes to making the most of natural beauty, Unlimited Earth Care’s founder Frederico Azevedo is in a league of his own. He gives us his story in The Daily Summer.
How do you work with clients to come up with a landscape?
They basically give me a chance to improve the land, but to do it appropriately with the environment, without creating a clash between the structure of the house and its surroundings. The whole point is to approach the house and have the feeling that everything was created many, many years ago.
What’s the story behind this particular property?
It was originally a chicken farm—it had no evergreen trees, just flat land and then some overgrown oaks in the back. We cleared and pruned the trees in a way that would give the inside of the house as much light as possible, and created a vast lawn that went throughout the whole property. We developed shade areas, and created boundaries of evergreen trees for screening, centered with perennial flower gardens. We also used ferns, beach grasses,
and native plants, like black pines.
When you’re given a project like this, what is the first thing you do?
Walk to the land and observe everything that already exists there. Then, I try to situate the requirements, like swimming pools, patios, pool houses, flower beds, and screening. I want to get an understanding of how the garden will be seen from inside the house.
Do you find that trees make a bigger difference than most people would imagine?
Trees are one of the most important things in landscaping, because they frame the entire project.
How did you develop your sense of color?
I like a lot of color, and colorful patterns. My sense of colors is to mix them as much as possible because that attracts more wildlife, which I think is what makes the landscaping more attractive and happy. Things like butterflies, hummingbirds, and dragonflies. So you have all this movement in the garden, and with that the mix of bright colors and light colors.
You’re known for having a unique sense of color. Where does that come from?
Art, and my understanding of how certain pieces of art can turn into much more attractive ones than other ones by the use of color. That’s what brought me to my career in landscaping.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I refer to a lot art as well as fashion—both have a particular movement of colors and patterns.
Who is your favorite artist?
And what about fashion?
I love Karl Lagerfeld. I like the way that his patterns are so subtle, even though they are filled with ideas.
Who are some of the designers you like to wear?
Dior—the designs fit me perfectly.
Which landscaping trends are you seeing a lot of these days?
Vertical gardens that grow up walls and all the way to the roof. Mixtures of hard and soft landscaping are popular, too—such as stone patios mixed with patterns of succulents or low plants. I use very hardy plants for that, but you do need a special irrigation system for the vertical plantings.
Are you doing tons of vegetable gardens?
Yes, more and more. We’re doing more organic gardens as well, and I’ve taken that approach since I started my company 22 years ago. I keep improving it in many ways. The essential thing is to take care of the soil—treating the plants is not always essential—and going organic is always the best way to do that.
What are the trendiest plants these days?
Succulents and ferns. They don’t need much water, and they grow in the shade. There are many different kinds, and they unify color, too.
Summer is a busy time for you. How do you relax?
By being with my family and paddle-boarding. I love to go to Sunset Beach!
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