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Using Natural Elements to Bolster Landscaping

Trends come and go. 'The only thing that will stand the test of time that doesn't constantly get diluted is natural elements: Natural stone, natural plant material, natural styles," said Randy Tumber, president of Tumber International Landscape Training.

Randy Tumber's design philosophy leans towards naturalistic design.

When he first got into landscaping, he quickly realized that "it was a very transient way of doing things.

"The trends kept on coming and going," the president of Tumber International Landscape Training (T.I.L.T.) told Pool & Spa Professional, "and I always wanted to be some of these leading-edge architects until after a while it started to occur to me that, wait a minute—these are cutting edge ideas. These are ideas that are driven by the manufacturers who are going to the architects and saying, 'Here, use our stuff.' And I thought, 'I'm starting to get clients pointing and saying, 'Can you come and rip out all this stuff that's passé now, and put in something that isn't gonna keep changing?'"

The realization: "The only thing that will stand the test of time that doesn't constantly get diluted is natural elements: Natural stone, natural plant material, natural styles," he said. 

Another part of the eco-friendliness in his work includes stormwater management. 

"The first thing you do in landscaping is you have to address stormwater management," Tumber noted. "Well, instead of trying to express the water off the property as quickly as possible—down the gutter into the storm drain, into our creek and into our lakes and our oceans in sending all the pollutants. . . We try to deal with the water on-site on each individual property."

Tumber used permeable pavers as an example. "Let it percolate down, but yet it's filtered through natural processes and goes back into the aquifers," he said. T.I.L.T. also uses ground covers and natural mulches and sources materials from local mills.

"In Canada," Tumber said, "we use try to use the 100 mile rule," and not trust material from halfway across the country.

In this exclusive interview, Tumber also discussed how other designers can implement water features in a natural way where it really blends into the backyard living environments.

 

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