A greenhouse is so much more than a place to grow tomatoes. It is a haven and retreat from our increasingly chaotic lives. It’s a place to nourish the soul and build a connection with the outdoors – essential for everyone’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Alitex is a company that brings this dream to life. A designer and manufacturer of fine aluminium greenhouses and conservatories, it was established in 1952, and has since built a strong reputation for design, detail and fine craftsmanship. It created a collection in partnership with the National Trust that celebrates a shared ethos of creating spaces for all generations to enjoy; and it has a longstanding partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – the location of some of the world’s finest glasshouses – based on a shared passion for plants and their protection.
Last year the company saw people enjoying their homes and spending more time in the garden than ever before – a situation that had a positive knock-on effect. ‘We are in the fortunate position of having received an influx of orders,’ says brand director and owner, Nelly Hall. ‘In turn, this has prompted us to invest in and transform our new manufacturing facility in Emsworth, enabling us to maximise our resources and deliver our beautiful structures.’
The traditional glasshouse design adopted by Alitex first became a feature of British gardens during the Victorian era. As the Victorians’ love of gardening grew, the need to house their fragile plants did too. The greenhouse provided a temperature-controlled home for these species, whilst also paving the way for plant experimentation and cultivation.
Alitex took this aesthetic forward and has been manufacturing in Britain for 70 years. While 2020 brought challenges, not least the cancellation of many live events where it was due to have a presence, Alitex focused on connecting with partners, customers and the wider community in the only way possible – online. ‘We took the opportunity to create new relationships by hosting online workshops and webinars that were insightful and enjoyable no matter what your horticultural experience. We hope that even during a time where individuals and businesses have felt the most disconnected, they gained some joy in being a part of the Alitex community,’ says Hall.
To fill the hole where the Chelsea Flower Show should have been, Alitex collaborated once again with interior and garden stylist Selina Lake, whose stunning floral party greenhouse helped secure a five-star gold trade stand award in 2019. Using plants that had been intended for Chelsea 2020, Nelly Hall designed a beautiful wildflower garden at Alitex’s Torberry Farm HQ, with styling finesse from Selina – open to all who visited and providing onsite teams with a welcome boost.
Alitex encourages individual thinking and is proud of bringing the same level of care to its people as it does to the plants that will ultimately propagate and grow under its greenhouses and conservatories. It seems the passion for growth is spreading.