and Randy Tumber
Tumber & Associates
by Linda G. Green
**The big picture**
The team at Tumber & Associates knew it would be a huge undertaking. The new, 6,000-square-foot European-style home sat high on an open corner lot, with no obstructions on any side. Yet the family craved privacy — and they got it.
Through creative use of plantings, elevations and strategically placed waterfeatures, as well as other elements such as a gazebo, fire pit, barbecue island and cabana with kitchen, the Canadian property was transformed into a secluded retreat.
The waterfeatures alone are impressive: a natural-looking waterway sporting 14 waterfalls and three koi ponds, running from one end of the property to the other; a reflecting pool; a small fiberglass pool; and a spa. And all on just a half-acre.
When the waterway reaches the eight-person spa, it splits and glides around the vessel on either side, then merges and continues on its way. The spa can be accessed via a bridge made of recycled barn timbers.
As for the rocks in the various waterfeatures, Jason Jayne, business manager of the Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, firm, says, “We like to harvest local rocks ourselves … to keep the moss and patina on them.”
The entire project, including waterfeatures, is remote-controlled from either an iPhone app, touch-screens throughout the home, or the Internet. All told, it took eight to 10 full-time workers approximately six months to complete, for a total price tag of around $1.6 million.
Ariel, a lifelike bronze statue, appears to be gazing at the family residence as she cools off in the waterfall that spills over an underground grotto. Below the statue is an imported Italian wood-fired pizza oven.
To camouflage the fact that the neighbor’s house is just 20 feet away, the Tumber team “played with grades, creating six levels for entertaining, and planting up the lot with trees,” Jayne says.
The crew used a blend of deciduous, coniferous, spruce and birch trees, and shrubs of various colors — plus more exotic flora such as two Japanese maples valued at $4,000 each imported from Oregon, and pagoda dogwood shrubs. “The challenge was to squeeze all those elements into a small space,” Jayne says.