The three winners of our 'Best Kept Secret 2022' competition

05/09/2022 - 14:49

Our "Best Kept Secret" competition was a success for the second year in a row.  We would like to thank the more than 1000 participants from all over Belgium who took part in our action.

The three lucky winners received their prizes last week.

Who are they?

The main prize, a Stihl BR 600 leaf blower, was won by Esteban Dormael from Courcelles, a customer of TerraCottem distributor La Pleine Chassart.
He participated after an announcement on their Facebook page.

Esteban studied technical horticulture and works around La Louvière and Charleroi. He is very happy with this professionally equipped leaf blower.

We meet him in one of his landscaped gardens with, despite the warm and dry summer, a green lawn, thanks to TerraCottem turf and some irrigation.

"When you use good products, customers are satisfied, including my demanding customers."

For some years now, the demand for landscaping has exploded in Wallonia, south of Belgium. Due to climate change, he is increasingly using drought-tolerant grass seeds and Mediterranean plants that resist drought better.

The professional BAHCO 14.4V pruning shears were won by Stephan Boute.

Stephan is a professional landscaper from West-Flanders. He has a team of eight loyal people.

Quality and a professional finish are close to his heart.

"For every project we take on, we do our utmost. I always tell my people: people can fiddle on their own, they don't have to pay us for that".

He welcomes us in Zedelgem in his beautiful garden. He has known TerraCottem since the early years. During his studies, he learned about soil improvers and then discovered the product at trade shows.

Stephan is fascinated by good soil structure. That is the basis, the foundation, with which everything starts.

Stephan has a very close working relationship with landscape architect Olivier Standaert of “Buro voor Buitenruimten”. Together they have been realising garden projects for almost 15 years now.

He mainly uses TerraCottem in roof gardens because the soil is limited there.

"TerraCottem is a good water buffer, but of course it has to rain as well. We install a lot of irrigation systems, but you have to teach the clients how to use them and how to handle water responsibly. Some want to see it running every day, but that's not the right way, of course. The lawn or plants won’t grow deep roots that way. On the contrary they’ll get lazy roots. You can do as much good as harm with a sprinkler system. The design has to be right and the system used correctly."

He is a customer of TerraCottem distributor Intergrow and gets advice from Bart Ganne.

"Climate change is not making our craft any easier. We are heading for very wet periods and long droughts. This requires a different approach, and getting the information upfront is becoming increasingly important. Often, people only start to investigate when the problems are already there. Yet a lot of issues can be prevented. It is paramount to analyse your soil properly and to anticipate the situation. Too many mistakes are still being made.”

According to Stephan, these are good times for landscape contractors. Hopefully it will stay that way.

"You enjoy your garden all year round. An investment in a beautiful garden is in many ways more sustainable than an expensive trip. "

Joren Lathouwers won the Sony headphones.

Joren is a landscape architect for Gruun, a garden centre in Herenthout. He first graduated from the horticultural school in Herenthals, after which he trained as a landscape architect in Ghent.

Gruun sells quality plants, but also designs and creates gardens from start to finish. Joren and his colleague draw the designs in 3D.

"At Gruun, we install a lot of irrigation systems. When no irrigation system is installed, the sandy soil in the “Kempen” region need TerraCottem, especially after such a dry summer like this year."

There are many distributors of TerraCottem in the Kempen. Gruun buys from Frans Agro and FITO. They receive very specific technical advice. If, for example, a plant is sick, they get feedback based on photos on how to combat the disease effectively. The suppliers are specialists in their field and it is useful to keep up with all the latest developments.

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