We recently followed up on a number of projects we worked on since acquiring the business in 2008. We are always looking to learn from our history and improve growing practices to offer a better product and service. Follow up on previous projects is a practical way of maintaining this philosophy.
Following is an update on a collection of projects that have transitioned from their establishment period. The portfolio includes SAFElink motorway, Franklin, Forde and Sanctuary Cove Golf Course.
The SAFElink motorway was a major upgrade between Darra and Wacol. Impact was awarded a forward order contract in 2008 and this was really our first large scale project. Over 700,000 Viro-Tube and 140mm grasses were supplied, spread across three planting zones broken into 53 lots. Lee Littlechild (Sales and Nursery Manager) revisited the site recently, Lee remarked "Buying a grass nursery and winning this project in practically the same breath presented us with some challenging moments but with plenty of lead time and a great customer to work with, the end result is a successful and sustainable planting scheme that demonstrates the usefulness of grasses in the landscape".
I went back to the site in November and even though the contractor was released immediately after planting was finalized, it looks fantastic. The hardiness factor is clearly evident, with Lomandra longifolia and hystrix, Pennsietum ‘Nafray' and ‘Black Lea' growing on steep batters - all tough native grass species surviving on rainfall alone. Carex appressa, Isolepsis nodosa and Juncus usitatis were used in drainange lines and retention ponds. No matter the planting situation all species have had to survive with minimal maintenance. The contractor remarked that he is especially pleased because going back he can see he has had little or no loses despite the hostile roadside environment.
Franklin and Forde
Ken Bevan (Business Development Manager) made the trip down to the ACT dropping in on Franklin and Forde, two new suburbs on the outskirts of Canberra. Both communities offer a mixture of detached dwellings, town houses and low rise units, planned to house over 3,000 residents. Ken observed, "It was exciting to see an array of grasses in a mix of cultivars and endemic natives growing so well. Varieties such as Poa labillardieri, poiformis, seiberiana and ‘Eskdale', Lomandra Tanika, Dianella Tasred, Little Rev and straight revoluta were really thriving despite the lack of water, terrible dispersive clay soil and severe frosts from May through to October".
This site visit demonstrates the importance to us of species selection appropriate for the climate. It also showed the limitations in the effectiveness of manipulating the landscape to suit the plant species. Factors such as soil, drainage and irrigation may be controlled but if the climate isn't right you're fighting an uphill battle. In this case good plant selection made for great results. This has reinforced our view that the practical advice we offer clients is important.
Sanctuary Cove is a project we have intimate knowledge and we have forged a close working relationship with the project team at Sanctuary Cove. We have been on site on a number of occasions as part of our service delivery. In consultation with the Architect, Greens Supervisor, and the Head Green Keeper we have achieved the results they were hoping for; a beautiful looking, low maintenance golf course, which was achieved with a wonderful mix of Lomandra, Pennisetum and Dianella.
We last visited the course in November and despite the heavy rains we had over the winter months that caused flooding and landslides on site, the course is starting to lose that just planted look as Pennisetum soften the edges and the Lomandra and Carex give the site texture and vibrant color.
Having the experts on hand to advise on the right species, location, spacing and water requirements for your projects can make all the difference.