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For Azevedo, the designer of the some of the Hamptons’ most stunning gardens, natural beauty is never boring. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

For Hamptons landscape designer Frederico Azevedo, creating a beautiful garden requires more than just plants. For him, it’s about creativity, color, kindness — and a pinch of animation inspiration.

Azevedo, owner of and creative visionary behind Unlimited Earth Care in Bridgehampton, knew his garden path in life from the get-go. As a small boy, he found himself drawn to the outdoors, creating gardens of vegetables and flowers at his parents’ city and beach homes in his native Brazil. “I always had that natural thing flowing in my life,” he says. “I didn’t really even have to think about it.”

His influences are equally vast and vital: the technical form and function of Japanese-influenced landscape design in Brazil; the creativity he found and flourished under working in North America; and the wild color, texture and pattern influences of his time spent in England.

“When I first came here to work in 1990, everything was white, in both home and garden,” he says. “All that Philippe Starck and earlier Martha Stewart influence. If you have too much of a color in a dining room and or a kitchen, there’s something wrong — it’s the same in nature. When color is balanced all around, then you have the right environment.”

That balance plays into his clients, too. In the Americas, landscape design can seem like a bit of a luxury; in England, it’s an every-man norm for all walks of society. “A post office worker in England will hire a landscape designer if they want home garden. It’s part of the culture there for generations,” Azevedo says. Although certainly his works can be seen adorning the grounds of some of the Hamptons’ tonier homes, his aim is to create that kind of peaceful beauty wherever he can and to apply that kind of balance to his work, too. 

(Photo credit: David Benthal)

“I knew a mother from the [Shinnecock] reservation in Southampton, and her daughter was getting married. She came to me with all these magazine clips — her dream was to have a garden designed by me for the wedding,” he says. The woman’s budget was very limited, but Azevedo saw and related to her passion to create something beautiful. “I designed it and I didn’t charge her,” he says. “Sometimes,  you do it for love and not the money. It’s about understanding the needs of people and sharing something. That’s what makes your career all worth it. That’s the whole meaning!” 

Here are a few of Frederico Azevedo’s favorite South Fork things:

Favorite beach

I have to be up very early. By 5:30 a.m., I’m in my office, so I usually leave home in the dark and come home in the dark! I think because of that, my favorite place is Long Beach in Sag Harbor because you can see both east and west from there. I can see the moon coming up in the east and the sun setting in the west, so it’s all the light crashing around you, with one coming one up and one going down. 

Favorite perennial and favorite native plants

I love calla lily. And I also love echinacea — the thing is, it attracts a lot of wildlife and pollinators because it has a big pollen center. When the petals are gone, the center of the plant becomes the fruit and it’s just beautiful. 

Favorite cocktail 

A Hendricks gin martini with a cucumber slice from [Le] Bilboquet in Sag Harbor.

Favorite garden that you didn’t design

The city, Central Park. On the South Fork, Madoo [Conservancy].

Favorite art gallery or museum on the South Fork

The Parrish [Art Museum]. There’s  wonderful variety between sculpture, photos and paintings, and I think they are very well curated and they have a good flow on them, too. 

Favorite place to bring out-of-town guests

Shelter Island. I live in North Haven, close to the ferry, and I like to get everybody on the bikes and have day biking all around the island. We go to the farm stands and stores and trails and see the different beaches, and then we end up at Sunset Beach. I’ve been going there for the food and atmosphere since it opened in 1997, when they used to have Brazilian bands on Sundays.