Total landscape care doesn’t stop at the end of the garden bed. This includes mulch applications, especially as the use of rubber mulch from recycled tires becomes more popular in public spaces. Rubber mulch has been shown to produce highly negative effects including toxic leachate, dangerous surface heat levels and high cost.
I prefer natural, shredded hardwood or bark mulch over rubber mulch. As such, Borst is concerned about the negative impact rubber mulch has on the health of the environment, people and animal life.
Besides being an organic substance that is readily available and does not require heavy processing (as rubber does), the Borst professionals recommend hardwood and bark mulch because it:
o Controls weeds naturally by preventing their germination
o Improves the quality of the soil by decomposing and adding beneficial nutrients
o Retains soil moisture
o Keeps the roots of plants (trees, shrubs and perennials) cool in the summer and warm in the winter—the way nature intended
o Enhances the appearance of the landscape by creating a finished, neat and attractive appearance with natural tones found in nature
o Protects the soil by preventing crusting—allows the air and water to penetrate
About the Author: Gail Tunis
When Gail Tunis’s young children went off to school full time, it was the perfect time to use her BS in Business Administration from Boston University to help her turn her passion for gardening into a blooming career.
Gail mastered many of her horticultural skills via hands-on experience in her friends’ and family’s gardens, but she received her formal training from a prestigious Saddle River landscape and design firm. For three years, she served as a Garden Maintenance and Designsupervisor with a specialty in the care and design of creative perennial and annual gardens. The firm’s client base consisted predominantly of residences and businesses in upscale towns throughout New Jersey, including many in Bergen, Morris, Essex and Somerset counties.
Ten years ago, Gail was invited to create a Garden Maintenance and Design division for Borst Landscape and Design in Allendale. At the beginning, her new department serviced approximately 25 clients but, thanks to Gail’s solid business background and superior gardening talents, her team now maintains more than 120 gardens on a regular basis and manages at least 50 design projects each season.
And Gail’s training never ends! She has completed certificate programs at Rutgers in Landscape Design and Tree and Shrub Identification, takes courses at New York botanical gardens, voraciously reads online gardening articles, and subscribes to at least six industry magazines in order to remain knowledgeable on new plant materials and new garden maintenance practices.
Her diligence has reaped Gail many accolades: her gardens have received the Ridgewood Project Pride Sunflower award several times; many are destination spots on various garden tours; she has been published and her gardens photographed for numerous magazines such as Container Gardening, Design NJ, (201) Best of Bergen, Bergen Health & Life, and many landscape trade publications. Gail also has been invited to speak at garden clubs, libraries and schools.
Gail’s imaginative approach to projects and excellent color and creative design senses bring landscapes to life. This—along with her sharp business acumen, personal attention and ability to assess her clients’ needs and wants—is why the majority of her clients regularly enlist her Garden Maintenance and Design team to create fresh gardening schemes and consistently refer their friends and associates to Borst Landscape and Design.