Seeking inspiration on a trip to Southampton, landscape architect Quincy Hammond found it in an unlikely source: a fire’s destruction. While planning a design, Hammond prefers to “go to the site and see what it has to offer,” she says. “I usually get a good sense of what a garden is asking for.” In this case, the garden was apparently asking for Hammond to transform a burned building’s old foundation into the perfect contrast to her polished style, producing a beautifully ruined effect.
This project is an apt representation of Hammond’s creative method. Although she’s best known for manicured, European-style gardens, she allows the land to guide her and remains adaptable. For example, though she usually works with formal greens, a beach property does not frighten her with rugged, uneven terrain. Instead, she edits herself and works with the dunes and grade. “With beach properties, it’s best to keep things less rigid, more organically sculptural,” she says.
Collaborating with names such as Bunny Williams and Daniel Romualdez, she works all over the East Coast, but the Hamptons in particular hold a special appeal because of the local preference for hedges (Hammond’s signature design element) and the gorgeous forestry. “My favorite thing is working with the big, old trees—beech, maple, oak—that I don’t think you can find anywhere else,” she says, gushing as only a landscape architect can.
Her career path seems almost destined for her because she grew up on a nursery, which was owned by her grandfather before her father. She remembers hating her job there, but when she was looking for a change from an art major, landscape architecture seemed fitting. She says, “I was working with a palette that I was already used to.”
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