Frederico Azevedo On How 2020 Brought Sustainability And Landscaping Trends To The Fore
Spending time in a beautiful garden is both therapeutic and transformative. Just ask Frederico Azevedo of Unlimited Earth Care. The award-winning landscape artist who created some of the most fascinating spaces in the Hamptons and beyond, constantly inspires people to be proud of their outdoor surroundings. Next up on his ever-growing to-do list: a stunning new store opening at its Bridgehampton headquarters next spring. The Daily met with the sustainability-oriented expert to get some tips for green fingers.
What was your proudest achievement in 2020?
Unlimited Earth Care has laid the foundation stone for the construction of our new modern extension, a flower market opening in Spring / Summer 2021. Sustainability is everything at Unlimited Earth Care, and I hope the flower market will encourage people to buy local and healthy products . adapted plants and flowers. It will give me the opportunity to teach people about the benefits of sustainable gardening. Also, my daughter had a new puppy named Gus this spring and it has brought us so much happiness and excitement. Even our 12 year old golden retriever Lapo became a puppy again!
How else did you and your family stay creative?
In summer we always “move” outside – only come in to sleep! There is always a way to enjoy the great outdoors. We spent time together, cooked, swam and played with the dogs. It was a wonderful way to keep fears at bay and stay creative. We must all move forward together. The passing of the seasons was calming and a great motivator – watching the leaves brown and float down to cover the last of the autumn blooms, unaware of the turbulence in the world.
Have you discovered hidden gems in the Hamptons?
Our Sunday ritual was dinner on Sunset Beach in Shelter Island, but it was closed this year. We missed our friends there as well as the cooking so we went to see Eddy [the chef] at Chateau Marmont where we had a special dinner. We discovered the new Duryea’s Orient Point, a wonderful place accessible by boat or a ride along the water and past the picturesque lavender fields and vineyards of the North Fork. The restaurant serves delicious seafood and is beautifully designed. It even has a private beach with an extensive lounge. It feels like you’ve arrived in Mykonos!
Do you think more people will be interested in your gardens this year?
Yes no question. There is a lot of research on the therapeutic benefits of viewing and experiencing nature, and gardens in particular. I always design to take my clients’ lives outside to help them relax and relieve stress. Everyone works too hard. Customers from years ago call me to talk about how they have never seen their trees in full bloom and how the opportunity to spend time in their gardens has brought them the comforts they needed.
What other trends did you see?
Vegetable gardens were very popular this year, but the biggest change I’ve seen is the time and effort people are now putting into their outdoor spaces – both commercial and personal. This new reality has pushed us all outside and encouraged us to redefine the spaces in which we live, work and relax. As a garden and landscape architect, this is my specialty. Both new and old customers have made an effort to discuss what they can do to optimize the therapeutic and practical aspects of their outdoor spaces.
Do you think that sustainability will become more and more important for people?
I don’t see how it could be otherwise; In recent years, the effects of climate change have become increasingly urgent and undeniable. Sustainability starts at home – by choosing native and well-adapted plants that will attract and support helpful visitors like bees, birds and butterflies. They are the tireless workforce of our ecosystems. Every year I discover new sustainable materials for garden accessories and furniture and try to keep the environmentally friendly offers in my garden concept store up to date.
Her book Bloom: The Luminous Gardens by Frederico Azevedo was a great success. Do you have plans to write another one?
I always think about what could be released next. I have often thought that some of the chapters in the book could become books in their own right. I have so much more to say, and many gardens in which to say it. Did you find the writing therapeutic? Maybe thinking is the right word. I have explored the more technical conditions of gardening and landscaping that are at the center of design with living things. The process of contemplating my work has become a productive practice for me.
Where will you spend the winter months?
This year I won’t be spending time shopping in Europe due to the circumstances. However, I will be spending some time at St. Barth’s before moving to my South Beach condo for a while. In February I will meet my daughter in Los Angeles.
What do you like about spending time in Florida?
We love Miami – its culture and its sunshine. I’ve had an apartment in South Beach since 1998; My children Livia and Lorenzo grew up there on vacation. The Art Deco architecture really gives Miami that classic feel – light up in neon at night and softer in pastel colors during the day! We have fond memories of swimming in the ocean, rolling down promenades with swaying palm trees, and pedaling across Miami Beach. We love eating at Cecconi’s, especially for Sunday brunch, which is usually followed by shopping at the antique market on Lincoln Road. We also like to have breakfast in the Rosetta Bakery and visit exhibitions in the Bass and Pérez art museums.
And of course the gardens?
Visiting the gardens is popular in Miami. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has an incredible collection of rare and endangered orchids and carries out incredible horticultural research and conservation. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – the former estate of James Deering – has a special meaning for me. Vizcaya has incredible villas and gardens full of native and subtropical compatible leaves. Visiting there meant a change in the way I pursued the things I wanted in my life and career. As I saw Deering’s life and what he himself had accomplished, I understood how we must learn to rely on ourselves and never give up what we want. My kids loved it there when they were young, lifting lizards from heavy leaves and watching dragonflies buzzing through the mangroves. It will always be a special place for us.
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