Gabriel Ash and the RHS have a long standing relationship. Gabriel Ash were one of the first RHS Licensed Partners and they are proud to have had a continuing relationship with the RHS since gaining the first Licence agreement back in 2005. Gabriel Ash are proud to be the only Timber Greenhouse manufacturer to be endorsed by the RHS, but this has always been more than simply a logo to display on our web site and literature, we have always tried to see it as a partnership and try to get involved in any way we can to help the RHS encourage growth and development in horticulture.
The RHS Garden Wisley’s new allotment site hosts a number of projects that use edible growing to build skills of professional and amateur gardeners as well as providing a showcase for visitors to the gardens to enjoy. Gabriel Ash are proud to be involved in this project and to have helped make the project a reality.
Di Limam (managing Director, Gabriel Ash) said: “Last year at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, Sheila Das (Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley) had her vision sketched out on a piece of paper when she came to visit us on our stand. From those first discussions the formulation of the design was born”
Sheila Das, explains: “There are 24 evenly sized rectangular beds. These are allocated to our students on the first year of their Diploma in Horticultural Practice course and this forms an assessed project as part of their programme. The students are put through their paces on plot planning, soil management, pest and disease control, general maintenance and of course harvesting. Also maintaining plots on this site are participants in our community allotment adult learning course. These are beginner growers who keep a plot at Wisley for a year and benefit from masterclasses from our team of professional experts. We hope that they will learn skills to take out into their local communities. Some of them have the opportunity to come back to grow at Wisley again in the following year as ‘returners’ and also help to support each year’s intake of beginner growers. We also use this site to welcome visiting groups to engage in growing activities from all sorts of wider communities as part of our outreach work from the garden.”
Gabriel Ash designed, produced and supplied a Grand Grow and Store greenhouse to the bespoke requirements from Sheila’s initial concept specification. Tom Healy our Senior CAD engineer worked on the designs to ensure the finished structure exactly met the initial brief. This Grand Grow and Store, which is a shed/greenhouse combined building, is the biggest building of its type we have ever supplied. This bespoke Grow and Store will be used by the students and beginner growers. Tom said: “ The finished product looks simply stunning and shows the flexibility of our products to suit all shapes and sizes of garden.”
Gabriel Ash also supplied the site with a large Classic Greenhouse. This building is one of our 10ft wide models that has been extended to approximately 36ft in length with double doors at both ends. This greenhouse will be the community outreach glasshouse which is to be used to teach and educate schools, local refugee groups and others about gardening and growing vegetables and to use this knowledge in community projects, schools or their own gardens/balconies.
In addition to these two huge greenhouse structures Gabriel Ash also donated approximately £30,000 worth of additional greenhouse staging, waterbutts, coldframes and shading equipment.
The new allotment site is situated within the historic orchards at RHS Garden Wisley. The late-April opening event could not have been more perfect with the apple trees in full blossom promising a plentiful harvest of fruit in the seasons to come, so to was the garden ready to burst into life developing the minds of new eager gardeners.
The new vegetable plot has been built by RHS staff under the supervision of Sheila Das. Sheila wanted to mark the opening with a special celebration event to thank everyone who helped to get the plot ready in time for the new season in what has been very difficult and long winter conditions.
In her speech at the opening event Sheila paid special thanks to her dedicated team at RHS Wisley thanking them for their dedication and commitment to getting the project finished in time. Gabriel Ash and our installation team also got a special thank you for battling all the elements including, wind, rain, snow and bitterly cold weather conditions to ensure the greenhouses were finished on time.
Sheila said: “For all of these grower groups, this site represents their chance to have their own little piece of Wisley. It will also be a great destination for our visitors, who can watch the plots evolve throughout the year. The RHS has been delighted to work with Gabriel Ash on this project which will help us to support our talented pool of new professional horticulturists and, in a very tangible way, inspire everyone to enjoy the benefits of growing.“
The event was attended by RHS Garden Wisley and RHS licensing staff, representatives of all the licensing partners, RHS students and local winners of the community ballot to maintain a plot for one year.
Di Limam, Managing Director of Gabriel Ash said: “When Sheila suggested this project – and especially our part in it – we saw it as both a wonderful opportunity to highlight our partnership with the RHS and an inspired way to promote gardening in general. The result has been a triumph. We believe this project will benefit students and would-be gardeners for many years to come.”
If you would like to see the project in person the RHS Gardens, Wisley are open to both RHS members and general public alike. The scale and majesty of the gardens are simply beautiful. We might be slightly bias but we do think the Edibles Gardens are well worth the visit alone.