View Gallery 2 Photos

The Best of The Best

LaGuardia Design Group leads the field of landscape innovation, with a new book to back it up.

As the season of garden tours ramps up, LaGuardia Design Group’s indelible contribution to the world of magical outdoor settings comes to mind. The Water Mill, N.Y.-based landscape architecture firm rose from namesake founder Christopher LaGuardia’s one-man band days in the early Nineties to a talented team including partners Ian Hanbach and Daniel Thorp for myriad services and projects spanning luxury residential and commercial properties.

Its footprint has expanded from the Hamptons to several pockets of the U.S., as well as Latin America and Asia. Decades of work culminated with the industry’s highest honor, the American Society of Landscape Architects’ national award of excellence. Most recently, the firm picked up the ASLA-New York chapter’s 2020 NY Merit Award for “East Lake Residence,” while Elle Decor featured its landscape design for a Bridgehampton home on 10 acres between Sagaponack Pond and farmland in its Summer 2021 issue. The home’s thoughtful landscape incorporates a bioswale, Pennsylvania sedge, specimen bayberries and native bluestem grass, a design that also won big at HGTV’s 2021 Ultimate Outdoor Awards. (LDG took home Editors’ Pick for Overall and Waterside Paradise categories.)

If hearing about all these accolades has you hungry for more, snag a copy of Monacelli Press’s recently released “Contemporary Gardens of the Hamptons: LaGuardia Design Group 1990-2020.” The illustrated monograph takes readers on a tour of 21 residential projects in the East End that are united by their sustainable practices that seamlessly blend architecture, landscaping and natural context. (Christopher LaGuardia is a recognized voice in his industry’s environmental impact, especially related to climate change, who lectures on the subject near and far.) A couple of the book’s remarkable projects involved creating an outdoor gallery fit for a contemporary sculpture collection and replenishing the dunescape of a Norman Jaffe-designed landmark.

Incredibly, it’s the first monograph dedicated to LDG’s work. As they say, better late than never.