It has been fascinating talking to the other designers as we all strive to finish our gardens in time for judging day. They seem to inhabit a different world from me with their talk of ‘harmony’, ‘balance’ and ‘an appreciation of spatial awareness’. I’m just looking to create something which the visitors think is beautiful and which tells a story to which they can relate.
The beauty will come from the plants and in that respect I’ve been very lucky. Last year I happened to meet a lady who is President of the Soroptimists in the nearby port of Sasebo and she has introduced me to Eiko Nishimura, a leading light in the local Rose Society, and also, as it happens, a hotelier like myself. Eiko has grown some amazing roses for me. They are in perfect condition and as soon as I saw them I decided to give them pride of place in Mr McGregor’s flower garden, alongside the sunflowers.
Meanwhile my contractor has grown all the vegetables for the kitchen garden from seed. They are easily the equal of those grown by Mammoth Onion (Robinson and Co) for Chelsea. I got a lot of satisfaction from overhearing one of the other designers showing my plants to her contractor and saying: “Now this is the quality of the plants you should have given me”. For the last few days we have been working after dark under floodlights to get the garden ready. It’s been harder work than I’d bargained for, but I think the garden looks lovely and, you never know, it might even have the right qualities of harmony, balance and spatial awareness.