Seabrook on...a shared house and hub for horticulture

Driving into the new HTA offices at Chilton is akin to visiting a large country house, with impressive portico, reception area with sparkling, fresh-green and flower-full wonder wall of houseplants and large hall area to ground-floor meeting rooms.

Just off the A34, it is well placed for meetings.

The building just asks to be thronged with people and it is to be hoped company members of the Garden Industry Manufacturers’ Association, for example, will use these excellent facilities for sales meetings.
The more all sections of our trade can be brought together the better, and Horticulture House provides a good hub for such purposes.

After a productive trustee meeting there for the David Colegrave Foundation — where, incidentally, we had more applications for scholarships, bursaries and travel sponsorship than ever — on the journey home I could not help thinking about other ways of using these facilities. 

Would it be possible for specialist plant societies to hold meetings and shows in the building and surrounding grounds? Secretarial and treasury services could be provided for them, now it is proving so difficult to recruit officers to these posts. It would be a good place for the Horticultural Exhibitors Association annual get together and wholesale plant fairs could be held in the grounds.

These spacious commercial premises are in marked contrast to the way consumer magazines and indeed national newspapers are going. It cannot be too long before some of our weekly and monthly gardening magazines do not have offices, with staff and contributors all working from home.

Learning to handle modern methods of communication is now a growth area and a subject perhaps for courses to be held in Horticulture House.

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster


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