27 September 2012 By Andy Lewis
For the last two years we've been very fortunate to be able to use glasshouse space at Alitex for our plant propagation.
The site, located just outside of South Harting is ideal for us. They’re such a friendly company to work with so it’s always a pleasure to see what they’re up to and catch up on their news. Alitex are extremely generous to the National Trust and contributed £40,000 to the charity last year through their National Trust range of glasshouses with 5% being donated for every National Trust glasshouse sold. So I have no problem supporting their work, I have worked in an Alitex glasshouse in the past, and they were happy times.
Their generosity does not finish there, they’ve spent many hours in the past helping the garden team with our garden and woodland work. A change in working arrangements for us this year has meant we've not seen much of them lately, we’ve been too busy catching up with other jobs, but hopefully that will change over the winter. That reminds me we have a lovely project lined up, so be warned Alitex, we will be in touch!
If you visit Uppark House and Garden and we sincerely hope you do, you'll be able see what progress we've made over the last couple of years in our garden. We’ve carried out significant renovation pruning to our shrubs and this has created gaps to fill as the plants recover. This is where Alitex have been so helpful; we’ve been able to propagate from existing stock and where plants have been donated (thank you Paul, Head Gardener at Woolbeding) we’ve used the glasshouse space at Torberry to bring the plants on.
Taking cuttings and sowing from seed is an activity enjoyed by many gardeners and the team at Uppark are no different. Alitex are always open to new ideas and different ways of working, their generous offer clearly demonstrates this. We’re treated incredibly well, with the utmost respect and to me that says a lot about a business, they really care about the people they deal with.
What strikes me about Alitex is that they’re a constantly developing and innovative company, always trying different things and the site at Torberry frequently changes with new structures being erected or tested. If you fancy being nosey (who doesn’t?) get yourself along to one of their open days, they have several during the year, check their website for details. I’m particularly looking forward to a brew in their new reception area due to be operational in mid-October, as will the kettle I’m sure.
The opportunity to raise plants that are difficult to source or potentially costly to buy in has been marvellous and we quite like the people at Alitex too!
Uppark House and Garden is open Sunday-Thursday until 1st November 2012, click here.
All images are taken from Uppark House and illustrate the kinds of flowers we have been able to cultivate in the Alitex show greenhouses.
From the top: Monarda didyma "Cambridge Scarlet", Giant single sunflower, Verbena bonariensis.