18 April 2012 By Billy Hawkins
We were so lucky with such fine and sunny weather for our Spring Open Day that my memories of it are all bathed in a perfect sunny halo. Fingers crossed that we can enjoy the weather on the 14th July when we host our Summer Open Day and invite you to join us for what is shaping up to be a great day.
Joining us will be an assorted bunch of friends, many of whom will be recognisable from RHS Chelsea; Gaze Burvill, Italian Terrace and David Harber. In common with Alitex, they all produce craftsmanship at its’ very finest, creating sculptural and functional pieces. We will also have some great plant supports brought along by Bob Munton and refreshments to keep you going.
Gaze Burvill create the finest outdoor furniture through a commitment to design integrity, craftsmanship and comfort. We have a beautiful bench here at Torberry, overlooking our show greenhouses which some of you may already have had a satisfyingly comfortable sit on. Gaze Burvill are regular award winners at RHS Chelsea and our summer open day provides you with the perfect opportunity to experience the quality for yourselves and have a chat with the creators.
David Harber custom-builds sundials, garden sculptures and water features which have appeared in homes and gardens around the world. Inspiration comes from the interaction of light, landscape and water, using contemporary three-dimensional design to celebrate unpredictability, illusion and the passing time.
Italian Terrace, based in Suffolk, create stunning pots, plaques and statuary from the best Italian clay. Made by hand, using traditional press moulded techniques, they blend the clay to achieve a pale colour and a special finish is added to create the weathered texture.
Gentle air drying and firing at high temperatures in modern gas kilns ensures strength and durability in the winter months. The pots take four weeks to make. Designs and shapes are created which suit classical and contemporary architecture, never forgetting the needs of the plants which will grow within.
One of the highlights of the day will be the opportunity to see an Alitex wow-project, a hugely detailed and complex greenhouse which we are assembling on the lawns at Torberry as a trial before shipping it off to its’ home in upstate New York. It is a fabulous opportunity to see this specialised structure before it leaves the UK.
Our talk this season will be given by Ken Thompson, an academic with an interest in the science of gardening. He considers himself privileged to have been allowed to become an associate member of the Professional Gardener's Guild.