Mark Crosswell, president of Tygar Manufacturing in Atlanta, Georgia, says there’s a huge demand from homeowners and landscapers to install attractive edging for landscapes. The strong interest in concrete decorative curbing has fueled Tygar’s growth as a leading manufacturer and supplier of turnkey curbing equipment, services and related accessories. Crosswell says the curbing industry’s explosive growth is a bright spot in the landscaping industry and he predicts the strong demand to continue.
TLC: Why has the demand for decorative curbing been so strong?
MC: Homeowners and businesses are turning away from traditional plastic, metal and other temporary borders that are costly, unattractive and don’t perform for very long. Decorative curbing has filled this void – it’s very efficient and clean to install and offers an attractive, permanent border that’s a cost-effective way to enhance a landscape.
TLC: Are customers becoming more environmentally conscious in their decision making?
MC: Curbing contractors and landscapers reflect customers’ concern about their landscapes’ environmental impact. Some of this is regulatory, but a great deal is driven by practicality. Products like curbing help conserve resources. Curbing prevents soil erosion and conserves water by keeping the bedding materials enclosed and moist. Even the aggregates and color used in concrete curbing are natural and benign to the environment.
TLC: What colors are the most popular?
MC: It varies by location and surroundings. Brick patterns are reddish or earth tones; slates tend toward grays and charcoals; stones are tan, brown or a combination of colors. In coastal regions, pastels and brighter hues are more popular. In traditional neighborhoods, terra cottas and browns are common. With integral colors and antique releases agents, there are not only different colors, but an infinite number of shades and accents are available.
TLC: What are the most popular stamp patterns and styles?
MC: Contractors and property owners are really stepping out. Our best-selling patterns are various brick stamps – like the mower’s edge grout and the running bond, as well as the bolder stone and rock patterns – like Pebblestone, Random Rock and Old Stone. There has also been a surge in alternative patterns, like Belgium Block, driveway liners, diamond stamps and horseshoes shapes. Flower beds aren’t the only style of curbing and landscapers are using newer-style curbing along driveways, patios, pools, playgrounds, mailboxes or any other hardscape. The angled, mower’s edge and taller curbs are the most popular.
TLC: Discuss some of the installation challenges.
MC: Most installation issues are minor and have to do with the site prep. Obstacles such as irrigation lines, tree roots and foliage are easy to work around. Some topographies can be more difficult than others, but even steep grades and rocky terrain are not typically a problem. Once the site prep is complete, the actual running of the curb goes smoothly.
TLC: Can you predict future trends in curbing?
MC: Landscapers all over the country are facing the same challenges – too much competition and stagnant growth. That’s why landscapers continue to move into new areas of hardscaping, lighting and landscape accenting. Curbing fits with all these trends, plus it’s the most efficient to install and it’s among the most profitable.
TLC: What about maintenance?
MC: Curbing is the only permanent form of landscape edging – it won’t rust, rot, or crumble like traditional edging products and it reduces the bedding maintenance, and costs because it prevents erosion and keeps expensive plants and materials in place; in addition, it provides a lasting border, a very clean look, and it compliments any setting or architecture.