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25/11/2022 - 09:24
A beautiful garden makes your life richer.
Peter Saeys of Gardenstate builds and maintains gardens in the regions of Flemish Brabant, Brussels and Temse in Belgium. Peter himself lives in Tremelo.
He has been in the business for a while and works together with garden architect Sofie Hoste of Tuinen in Beweging.
He focuses on everything that grows and blooms. Peter also does prairie garden concepts. The combination of ornamental grasses with flowering perennials boosts diversity and offers a good resistance to our increasingly hot summers.
We asked Peter a few questions.
Where does the passion come from?
My parents spent a lot of their free time gardening. When I was 8-9 years old, they gave me a couple of square meters in the garden, seeds, and plants to experiment with. I found it fascinating that you could propagate a plant.
I still try things out in my own garden which I designed with my wife.
Every two years, I change certain plants in my garden. I try a combination of ornamental grasses, flowers, and perennials, where before I often limited myself to lawn, shrubs and hedge plants.
What is your favourite tree? Plant?
Hmm difficult. This year, my preference lies with the Monarda also known as Bee balm. This perennial has a beautiful flower.
Where do you buy TerraCottem and how did you learn about our products?
At wholesale supplier Frans Agro.
I started at a landscaping company before becoming self-employed. They always had a pallet of TerraCottem in stock, ready to go.
With affluent customers, they consistently used the best materials and quality products like TerraCottem. The owner’s motto was:
"Earthworks are crucial. You should not skimp on earthworks. Customers who are not cheated become regular customers. We think long term."
So, when I became self-employed, I also included TerraCottem in my toolbox: after all, there are things you can't save on.
As for the other softscaping materials, I buy my turf from Deckers – which recently was acquired by DMT service. My trees come from tree nursery Debruyn in Begijnendijk, as well as perennials, shrubs and so on. They always set everything up. I am very satisfied with the service and our cooperation.
How do you stay up to date?
Mainly through trade shows, that's where you discover the new trends. I do try to push my own signature by designing timeless gardens.
|I have been using TerraCottem for a few years now, especially when building new lawns. Both for turf and sowing. I can clearly see the difference when a competitor has not used a soil amendment, especially the first few years and certainly after last summer's soaring temperatures. Of course, you still need water. It is not the intention not to irrigate for months.|
It's mainly later on that the clients notice that this soil conditioner is worth the investment. I direct customers to the TerraCottem website. It explains the benefits in plain language. TerraCottem is more than just a water-retaining product.
Which TerraCottem soil conditioner do you mainly use?
For lawn, I always use TerraCottem turf. An anecdote, when I re-did my lawn a few years ago, quite by chance, so did my neighbour. The difference was immense.
The neighbour incorporated just compost into the top layer. I did the same but added TerraCottem. Grass germination was much faster, and my grass is healthier. Two years ago, it wasn't a big issue because it had been a wet summer. But last summer there was a huge difference. My lawn coped better with drought stress.
Another similar example: a client of mine, an estate agent, had two gardens laid out a few years ago and the garden with TerraCottem matured much more beautifully.
Project in the spotlight?
I had this project where everything went wrong. Land was completely flooded, heavy frost, machinery broken ... Despite all the problems, it turned out to be a beautiful project.
The garden was laid out on several hills. Compost and Terracottem were added to the soil. I designed and built this project all the way from A to Z. The result? A beautiful Japanese garden. I am quite proud of that.
Is there an evolution in the choice of your plants?
Nowadays in gardens, I mainly use ornamental grasses in combination with trees.
People want low-maintenance gardens. I try to bring prairie gardens and eco-gardens to the fore with more vegetation. This is good for biodiversity and if there are weeds once in a while it’s not an issue anymore. It used to be more millimetre work, now gardens are allowed to be a bit wilder.
How do you find new clients?
I don't really have to look for new clients. It is mainly thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. In the beginning, you sometimes appear in a magazine but that’s just publicity. My customers are all linked to each other.
More information about Peter?