07 October 2014 By Jo Phillips
Friday 3 October was the day of our Alitex Company Day. There had been a lot of speculation about the venue and activity for the day but Tom finally announced that we would spend the day at Kew Gardens, with whom we have a partnership and who endorse our greenhouses.
We would be getting our hands dirty in the morning mulching trees and would then have the afternoon to explore the gardens. Quite a few of the group had absolutely no idea what “mulching trees” meant but we now all know exactly what is involved! Armed with wheelbarrows, pitch forks and rakes and under the careful direction of the Kew team we set-to to evenly spread the sometimes warm and steaming mulch (mixture of organic material) under the trees. Our 67-strong team of volunteers worked so quickly that the Kew team had difficulty keeping up the supply of mulch and by the end of 2 hours we had run out of mulch completely!
During the afternoon we were able to wander the gardens and some chose to climb the dizzy heights (quite literally) of the Pagoda with its fantastic panoramic views of London from 10 stories up! Other sights that were enjoyed included the Palm House, the Water Lily House, the Princess of Wales conservatory, the Treetop Walkway and, of course, a rather fine greenhouse in the Director’s garden which was much admired!
Local company Richardson’s of Midhurst supplied the coach and cleverly kept us moving in rush hour traffic by taking a cunning route. Breakfast and lunch were provided by Shaun, Mick and the assembly team (thanks, guys!) giving us much needed energy before and after the hard work. It was a great day not least because of the fantastic weather.
Roll on next year’s Company Day!