Frederico Azevedo is the man behind some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Hamptons. Now, he’s revealing his secrets in the new book, Bloom: The Luminous Gardens of Frederico Azevedo, which comes out June 22. The Brazilian-born founder of Unlimited Earth Care discusses it all with The Daily Summer!
What’s the premise of the book?
I didn’t want to do a typical design book that showed one project after another. I wanted to make a book about the way that I see a project. I go to a job site, look at the vistas, and think about how we can contour the eye as it’s looking to the landscaping. Then I return to my office with the concept design. I wanted the reader to have an idea of the steps that I have in my vision to implement a landscaping project.
How is the book broken down into different chapters?
We broke down the book by what I see and envision in each project. In the introduction, we explain where I’m from and go over ideas on design. My house shows how personal my design is, and then we go on to show everything from vistas to blooms to borders to stone to water. The landscapes in the book span throughout the 26 years I’ve been in the Hamptons doing landscaping, and I took most of the photographs.
With whom did you collaborate on the book?
Camille Coy wrote the book with me, and it was great because I’ve known her forever. She’s a good friend of my son. She grew up in my house and my garden, so she knows my career. It was so easy to write with her, because she would remember things that I didn’t. I would start to say something and she would remember what I was talking about. She’s an impeccable writer.
I published the book with Pointed Leaf Press’ Suzanne Slesin, whom I met at a designer dinner in Paris, in 2014. She said she had a publishing house, and we should do a book together. I knew her work because she was a writer for The New York Times, and I would always read her stories in the Style section. It had to be with her, because she was the first one to propose the idea to me and I really admire her work.
The book is really inspiring…
The whole idea is to make people excited about landscaping, color, and sustainability. We want people who already love gardens to imagine more color, more textures, and more variety.
You mention in the book that Mad Magazine and the movie Chicken Run are two of your creative influences.
It’s more the spirit of the magazine — it’s about making things simple. In landscaping, we can encounter challenging situations, because the spaces are multiple levels or not that big. The illustrations in Mad Magazine make all the facts of life look so simple.
You write about the benefits of the color green.
We can see something like 33 different shades of green — you can see each tone differently. Even in a vast area of grass, you can see different little patches with different colors.
What’s your favorite color?
I had a feeling you were going to say that! How do you feel about flowers?
They are the light of the landscaping. Flowers bring luminosity to the landscaping. They smile at you! Color in the landscape is the most beautiful thing.
What’s your own backyard like?
My property was carved through the years, and it has changed. I designed the pool to be offset to all the rooms in the house, so when you look out, you see the vista of landscape and the pool doesn’t interrupt the view. In the winter months, when the pool is covered, you see the vista without seeing the pool. The front has many different tones of green, and in back, we have a rose garden all in pink, and a perennial garden with multiple colors. I have a lot of evergreens to keep the house warm, too.
I love it. We even had a tour group from England come to visit my garden. It was great.
What’s hot this summer in the world of landscaping?
Technology is really helping. We even have irrigation systems that you can control by your phone, which prevents wastage.
What’s new at Unlimited Earth Care?
Every year, we work with new and upcoming designers from South America and Europe. We bring their designs for the outdoors, such as sculptures and birdhouses. We’re always searching for upcoming artists.
What do you think makes a good garden?
Love. You’ve got to love it to make it good. I try to do that with my design. I like to inspire people!
Read the complete new issue of The Daily Summer below.