17 September 2014 By Billy Hawkins
The month of September was always going to be a busy one with so much lined up here at Torberry and lots of “firsts”; all the Alitex team were invested in making the events amazing. After a successful lecture with Cleve West here on Thursday evening, we segued straight into preparations for our grand Garden and Interiors event on Saturday.
From early in the day our invited exhibitors arrived setting up their wares. We felt very lucky to have such friends that are so skilled at what they do – from the craftsmen of Edward Barnsley furniture, to the team from the National Trust’s Woolbeding doing demos there were on-going attractions around the lawns here at Torberry.
Our refreshments were complemented by Miranda Gore Browne from the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off with delicious homemade cakes made from her new recipe book (which had just that day won book of the week from The Telegraph). As lunchtime approached, a glass of wine accompanied by pulled pork from the Big Green Egg was on offer as guests toured the greenhouse structures, the atrium and new conservatory. The Alitex team were on hand to discuss projects and we were very pleased with the response from guests – I think this is now an annual event!
It was a huge weekend in our locality – not only did we have the tour of Britain whizzing through the villages but we also had the Festival of Speed at Goodwood which attracts amazing cars and supporters from around the world. All the events were lucky with the weather – not roasting, but ambient and warm.
Marina Christopher from Phoenix Perennials attracted more than wildlife to her wonderful array of plants – landscapers, gardeners and designers clamoured around as she offered advice and sold plants. From the National Trust’s Woolbeding – just down the road from here and who have recently installed an Alitex greenhouse for their orchid collection, Jo and Paul demonstrated how to propagate, then nurture your seedlings. The joy of having plant experts here on such a big day brought lots of people particular pleasure – not everyone who has a greenhouse is an expert gardener, we are all learning.
In our new conservatory we displayed beautiful pieces from the Edward Barnsley Furniture range – the American walnut table could have been part of a Tate gallery installation – a masterpiece! Demonstrating the art of a good bevel was fascinating to watch.
Our old friends David Harber and Gaze Burvill brought their stunning hand made pieces – David told me he had just made one of these magical pieces for a Chinese customer, but three times as big. Extra-ordinary. Towards mid afternoon the comfortable hand made outdoor furniture of Gaze Burvill attracted guests who all commented on the fabulous back support offered.
Wild Damson, an interiors shop in Petersfield, have been a real help in sourcing unusual and beautiful items for our new conservatory here at Torberry – we were so pleased when they decided to come along with their pop-up shop on Saturday and worked tirelessly all day to keep it looking beautiful. As the afternoon drew to a close lots of people seemed to be walking around with their distinctive damson coloured bags but if you missed out, simply visit their shop in Petersfield. Find them by clicking here.
Munton’s plant supports are the kind of supports which define the word. Made from steel in Sheffield and beautifully aged Bob and Leslie-Anne have a great product which they show-case at the RHS shows. We were very flattered that they enjoyed the day here as much as RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.
It was great to have a number of engineers visit on Saturday – they are the kind of professionals who in particular appreciate the 5S method of working in the Alitex factory, bringing efficiencies and high levels of safety, tidiness and manufacturing. The factory tours are often a highlight for people when visiting Torberry – it is reassuring to know that your glasshouse is in good hands.
The next opportunity to come and take a wander around will be Saturday 15 November 9.30 – 12.30. Do contact us if you would like to come – it will be just us this time around.