The Health and Safety wallahs at the Chelsea Flower Show would have a fit if they visited the build up at the Gardening World Cup. At Chelsea, even casual visitors have to wear steel-capped boots and high-viz jackets. Here at Huis Ten Bosch, where the frenzy of construction is just as fierce as at Chelsea, there are no rules at all. No-one wears high-viz jackets. Some of the construction workers wear hard hats, but many prefer bandanas. And as for footwear, most of the workers wear Jika-tabis, which are light-weight split-toed shoes. They are made of cloth with very thin, but ultra-tough, rubber soles and are preferred by workers because they can feel exactly what’s under their feet. They can also, because of the split toes, pick up objects with their feet as well as their hands. It’s a marvel to see them bound across the roof of Mr McGregor’s Cottage in what appear to be little more than bedroom slippers. It’s clear that the Japanese worker feels safer in this footwear- the trade-off for greater vulnerability to falling objects is their greater sure-footedness. If I were on a roof, I know which I’d choose. Come to think of it, I’ve heard they’re very popular with gardeners, so I must buy a pair, even though its unlikely that I’ll ever need to pick anything up with my toes.