Alan Ward arrived in Japan only a week ago. His mission is to construct an Angel, which will be the centre-piece for my garden at the “Gardening World Cup”. The original idea was that it would be carved from a single piece of white alabaster, but the stone wasn’t available in Nagasaki, so Alan has constructed a frame from raw bamboo and the outer surface will be made from powdered alabaster. He cut the bamboo himself from a dense forest close to the workmen’s cottage in which he is staying. The heat is searing and there are problems with mosquitos. And so I was utterly astonished to open an attachment from an email sent to me via his mobile phone, which contained this photo of his “work in progress”. It looks amazing. I’ll be with his in three days and can’t wait to see it.