Arch. Giorgio Ceola, Managing Director,
Azahar & Le Gardenie Landscape
Arch. Giorgio Ceola, Managing Director, Azahar & Le Gardenie Landscape spoke to CW Gulf about his firms activities. Excerpts from the interview:
Give us an understanding of Azahar & Le Gardenie's journey since its inception?
Le Gardenie is a very ancient company, it was established around 800. For over a century, the company has been active in the Italian flower market, and has been producing green plants and flowers initially from its location in Genova. To keep a strong position in the market place, the family decided to establish a satellite operation based in New Zealand to grow orchids, in order to be able to offer orchid flowers year round on the market. Le Gardenie S.A.S., based in Italy, specialises in landscape construction, and sells greenhouses and gardens to the public. The other agricultural company Le Gardenie is expert in the production of plants of any type and fresh flowers. In 2010 Le Gardenie decided to export its knowhow to the United Arab Emirates. It joined hands with Azahar MEL founding Azahar & Le Gardenie Landscape which is registered in Abu Dhabi. In 2011 Azahar & Le Gardenie Landscape signed a contract with Al Nahdha Overseas L.L.C., an agency contract as exclusive representative in Sultanate of Oman
'Gardens and much more' are key words associated with your firm. Tell us about the areas of expertise of your firm and the range of services offered in the green spaces domain?
The garden, large or small, is a valuable asset to maintain and develop frequently, depending on the needs and the seasons. The garden requires regular checks and maintenance interventions of all elements, whether they are plants, trees, bushes, or grass fields. Our company is available to offer the following line of services, depending on the client needs: project assignments related to public 'green' projects or for private clients, where 3D virtual designs are created; construction and landscaping of gardens; project assignments and development of green decorations on terraces; creation and maintenance of grass fields, public or private, or for sports fields (football, golf); creating green roofs/ roof gardens; soil bioengineering and hydroseeding; year-round or seasonal garden maintenance; flower decoration for weddings, events and conferences, and maintenance of private gardens and public spaces.
Could you please elaborate on the soil bioengineering and hydroseeding technique?
Soil bioengineering promotes technological, ecological, economic as well as design goals and seeks to achieve these primarily by making use of living materials like seeds, plants, part of plants and plant communities, and employing them in near natural constructions while exploiting the manifold abilities inherent in plants. It is an effective tool for treatment of a variety of unstable and/or eroding sites. Its techniques have been used for many centuries. Hydroseeding is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch. If planting a relatively large area hydroseeding can be completed in a very short period of time. It can be very effective for hillsides and sloping lawns to help with erosion control and quick planting. Hydroseeding will typically cost less than planting with sod, but more than broadcast seeding. Results are often quick with high germination rates producing grass growth in about a week and mowing maintenance beginning around 3-û4 weeks from the date of application. Fiber mulch accelerates the growing process by maintaining moisture around the seeds thereby increasing the rate of germination.
Who are your suppliers for flowers, plants and other green products?
We purchase our supplies from local market in Oman and UAE which offers wide range of species of plants and other green products. Fresh flowers are directly imported through our Italian and Holland cultivations.
What are the criteria for creating green turf for sports? Are these green turfs certified?
Azahar & Le Gardenie Landscape know that the experience to play on a natural field is unique. We offer first class field even in the most barren places. We choose grass where the footstep is comfortable and natural, with the right elasticity, where the ball behaves without surprise and where the earth aroma can ever be perceived while the game is enjoyed. We take care of the turf and have done work for Italian stadiums like F.C. Inter -û football club, Genoa Cricket and Football club, U.C. Sampdoria football club What is the process of creating a sports field? Creating a quality sports field requires expertise of highly qualified specialists to perform the process from delicate grass cuttings to interventions of granular and liquid fertilizer, aeration of the grass roots, treatment of soil, regeneration and re-seeding of the turf up to installation and calibration of sprinklers. Utilisation of high performance machineries such as lawn mowers, seeder, top dresser, treatment sprayer, brush cutter and other manual equipments are required.
Could you talk about some of key projects that you have done and name some of your prestigious clients?
Currently, we are working on Radisson Blu Resort in Sohar, Oman developing from sands and slopes to amazing outdoor recreational facilities with fabulous water features and fully landscaped out-doors complementing the elegance of the main structure taking a warp from nature to sophistication. Other previous works include landscaping projects for the President of Republic of Equatorial Guinea which covered the extension of an outdoor park of 50.000 sq m area and its indoor gardens with a 10, 000 sq m area. We have supplied more than 35,000 numbers of imported plants and trees and flowers from Africa, Europe and far Asia.
What are the awards won by your company?
In all these years, the company has achieved a large number of commercial and professional successes, which includes over 100 gold medals in the numerous editions of the Euroflora from 1966 until the latest exhibition in 2011. In the year 2006, the Gardenie company received the important diploma of 'the Centurion company as the only agricultural company. When we participated in the prestigious exposition for plants and flowers, Euroflora 2011, we brought home major awards namely for,Best Exotic Flowers Display,Best Mosaiculture Garden Best Foreign Country Participation with Equatorial Guinea, Best Foreign Flower Display for African Plants and Flowers Best Foreign Flower Display for New Zealand Plants and Flowers
Any plans for expansion?
At present, we are establishing our services here in UAE and over the Gulf areas, and foresee a great opportunity of being a part of the mainland development. We want the market to see how excellently we perform. We commit our expertise by doing it right, the first time and, definitely, every time!