"We were responsible for creating a vibrant, robust landscape at the new Sportlink Facility in Vermont South (Victoria), an eight million dollar indoor and outdoor sport centre which had both local and State Government funding."
As is usually the case, an official and immovable opening, involving the appropriate political dignitaries had been booked in, so not only was the project a challenge (as they usually are for all the predictable reasons) but this fixed deadline helped to ramp up the stress around the landscaping as conditions progressively worsened.
"We had all plans drawn and ready to go in the six months before we gained access to the site. On January 4 we started work, putting in the hard landscaping and ripping and amending the construction-site-compacted, hydrophobic soil," said Steve.
Looking at the Bureau statistics for that month, the average temperature was 29 degrees - not ideal conditions to be putting together a high profile landscape project - and while no-one could have anticipated the 2009 heatwave, Steve and his team had taken deliberate steps to buffer the likely effects of planting at this time of year.
"My concern was clearly to help the plants survive. Over the past few years we'd routinely been testing various different soil additives and were still looking for something that was simpler to handle and more effective. Then I happened to see TerraCottem used at a community planting day, which is a true test given most volunteers aren't horticulturalists. As I watched that particular planting grow on, it became obvious that it had been given a good kick-off and that the product worked." Which is why TerraCottem was specified for the Vermont project. And as the temperatures increased, everyone crossed their fingers, hoping TerraCottem would also help in the heat.
To find out what happened next, click here for the full version, with its 115km per hour winds and temperatures over 46.
But if you want to jump straight to the happy ending –
Overall it was clearly a wonderful outcome from a really tough scenario. Steve's take on it: "We expected the TerraCottem to act in the longer-term, to help things get established and grow well. It may be that together with the on-site water trucks it helped the plantings get through. The TerraCottem-planted turf certainly bounded along from the word go, and one of the mature trees - a pyrus - which had defoliated, came back into leaf four weeks later. We've been using TerraCottem ever since."
Image: Watering the landscape into place felt almost pointless given the extraordinary temperatures. With some help from TerraCottem, the only shock that followed was from the tiny fail rate of only two per cent.
TerrraCottem & The TC AdvantageTC Advantage is a package deal. It's about supplying TerraCottem, along with all the training, technical specification and compliance needed to turn a tricky project into a genuine long-term success. So when anyone has a turf, street tree, revegetation or whatever project to tackle, bringing in the TC Advantage expertise means you get: advice on which TerraCottem product to specify; training so that it's applied for maximum benefit; and monitoring to ensure compliance within the project's specs.