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  • Writer's pictureTom Cavan


Biomicry: designs that mimic, replicate, mirror imagine nature with outdoor design principles and sustainable landscapes.

Biophilic: apply the unique designs of nature and its attributes to interior design.

Photo taken at the Internation interior design show.

Can there be any better teacher/designer than nature itself? Not in my mind, I get all of my inspiration from traveling around and interacting with nature and the timeless landscapes evolving without human interference. Inclusive with the inspiration of nature is architecture, and so on goes the evolution of design in my mind. Over time I have become a Holmesian horticulturalist, my mind cannot stop evaluating every particle of the landscape when I step outside and everyday the CD ROM between my ears keeps evolving with every step I take. One must never stop learning, observing change, the current changes of our environment is unparalleled.

Speaking of evolution it is impairative that we look at our landscapes as living, breathing entities that evolve with time. Landscapes are not static, they are not finite the day you finish laying the sod and top up the mulches around your plants. This is just the begining of the process of how it will evolve, now time will reveal its adaptability to the conditions moving forward.

What does the existing surrounding evironment reveal, in otherwords what was there before human intervention. The natural surrounds speak volumes as to what works naturally, so if you take that knowledge and transcribe it into the elements of your landscape you will create something that mimics what will work without assistance / maintenance in future years.

Utilizing natural resources whenever possible is something I strive for when I enter into a landscape installation. Soils , rocks, plants, water (or lack of) are the starting point. Living and landscaping on the escarpment has a bounty of these resources on most of our sites and the gifts that nature has provided are true inspiration in my designs and methodology. Something I find myself saying to many clients is try to imagine a landscape that says " what a setting! what a great place to build our house" and yes the house is already there.

All the rockery was collected on site and utilized to retain the slope. The existing mixed conifer and Sumac backdrop provided perfect setting for this landscape. A diversified blend of native species with some contrasting hardy specimens weave together for a breath-taking view from both the living room window and driving up the driveway. After two growing seasons of topping up mulches and watering through the July-August months this landscape now co-exists in nature without any maintenance save the odd rouge wind-blown weed that shows up for a short visit.

Another escaprment slope where we collecting rockery off the fencelines and selected the flatest pieces to impact into the ground to create a natural staircase surrounded with Mother of Thyme, groundcover Sedums, native perennials and specimen trees. The larger specimen rocks where placed in a manner that both retained slope and appeared as a natural exposure from the elements over time.

QUOTE: In the world of biomimicry finding closer alignment between human endeavours and those time-tested rersilient stratagies of nature should remain our highest pursuit. Dr. Dayna Baumeister

Society needs to be a less competitive and a more co-operative future in all our human ventures.

Check out the following: and join the future of natural knowledge.

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