27 June 2013 By Billy Hawkins
Our first greenhouse in Australia is a bespoke Messenger structure. Our client decided on Chalkhill Blue because it is close to the colour of the shutters on the house and timber gates already in the garden.
The Alitex assembly team selected for the journey were the father and son team – Phil and Andy Shadey. With 30 years Alitex experience between them there are not many situations which faze them. They also had the added benefit of having close family to stay with in Sydney so the trip was an opportunity to match business with pleasure. The greenhouse was shipped out from our factory in Petersfield sixty days in advance of the build with all the tools needed to assemble the greenhouse in situ – power tools were hired locally. Phil Shadey told me “It’s great to be part of Alitex’s history with this first greenhouse down-under. The weather was warmer in their winter than it was in our summer, so it was nice to be warm (putting up greenhouses) for a change!”
It is always interesting to chat to Alitex customers at different stages of their relationship with their greenhouse. I’ve been fortunate to catch up with this Australian customer to peek into her plans for growing.
“This is the beginning of an interesting journey and I'm actually not sure where it will lead us. But to begin with I will be overwintering plants like special succulents, pelargoniums, auriculas and orchids and forcing Hippies. I also plan to propagate rare and unusual perennials and shrubs, especially plants that with changing fashions have disappeared from sight. There is the need too to maintain current stock so that I don't lose any of the treasures already in this garden. Finally there are things like Cleome for instance, that I can never find in the nurseries and will grow using seeds collected from friends and other gardens.” Our first Australian greenhouse owner says.
I love the idea that the horticultural road is one which constantly surprises us – maybe that’s why we all keep trying with plants that fail us, year after year; we are simply desperate to get it right and experiment until we succeed. Greenhouses are often used for overwintering of plants, I’ve also seen plants covered in fleece during the colder months inside an Alitex greenhouse – prevention better than cure. I’m intrigued by our client “forcing Hippies”. To do what I wonder?
Alitex logistics manager Glenn Cuff commented “Our experience of shipping to the States and worldwide defined our ability to handle this Australian project. We look forward to many more Australian projects – we enjoyed it!”
More of our international projects can be followed here.