Today I was picked up at 8 to go plant hunting. As this painting by Tina Bone shows the flowers in my garden are predominantly white and so we were out hunting for any white flowers in bloom at this time of year-not an easy task as the season is so late. This arrangement seems a little bizarre after doing the RHS shows at Hampton Court and Chelsea where the plants are carefully chosen months in advance and are clearly monitored as they grow to maturity. Here in Japan, 8,000 miles from home, we don’t have that luxury. We have spent the day first of all visiting wholesale agents and then going round nurseries. When we got back to Huis Ten Bosch in the early evening there was a print out of all the plants we had looked at, together with a colour photo and the Latin name of the plants. I was in awe of Japanese effeciency and it turned out that the contractor had taken a photo of each plant on his mobile phone which had an application which automatically identified the plant , and another application which emailed the result to his office. It was apparently an easy matter for the office to put this information onto a single sheet of paper from which we were able to finalise our selections. There may be very little time left before judging day, but it looks as though I’m in safe hands.