Alitex, a family-run greenhouse company based in Petersfield, has been awarded the coveted ‘Best Trade Stand Award’ at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Alitex’s stand harnessed innovative solar technology and water harvesting systems to demonstrate just how much can be done in an entirely off-grid greenhouse, without the need for mains power.

Its aim was to demonstrate best practices for reducing our impact on the environment.

Many of the plants, fruit and veg on the stand were grown from seed in the greenhouses at Alitex’s HQ, showcasing what’s possible as a greenhouse owner.

Two glasshouses were on display on its stand, a bespoke structure and The Hidcote from Alitex’s exclusive collection with The National Trust.

The Hidcote is powered by solar panels on the potting shed to the rear, making it an entirely self-sufficient growing environment to sow and grow produce.

The energy generated by the solar panels powers the lights and the propagator.

The bespoke greenhouse featured a partitioned section, allowing gardeners to focus heat on a limited area to increase its effectiveness.

New prototype thermal retention screens can further increase efficiency.

Reducing the need to be close to mains water and ensuring no natural resources are wasted, both greenhouses maximise rainwater harvesting.

Freestanding cold frames were also on show to demonstrate how to maximise the available growing space throughout the year.

To further minimise the stand’s environmental impact, Julia Parker of Parker’s Patch demonstrated sustainable growing practices such as how to make newspaper pots for seedlings to ensure no plastic was used within the greenhouse.

Petersfield resident Nelly Hall, Alitex’s brand director, said: “Last year we celebrated our 60th Chelsea, so pulled out all the stops to celebrate the milestone.

“This year we went back to our roots – pun intended – and tried to capture the feeling of nostalgia that can be enjoyed when you have a well-ordered vegetable garden, with fruit trees and flowers to help attract pollinators and wildlife.

“Over the years, the judges at Chelsea have always set the bar very high for trade stands and they’ve always been very complimentary about Alitex.

“This year, they loved the story of growing our own and the sustainable themes running through our stand.

“They were blown away by our attention to detail, and I’m so delighted the team’s hard work has been officially recognised.”