The Day the Sun Appeared...
What a difference a bit of sun makes - there was a carnival feel at Hampton Court today. We had the BBC in fiming this morning for a piece that will hopefully run in tomorrows (Friday) show - providing Andy Murray's tennis match doesn't go on for ages....
In the meantime, please enjoy this short film of the rays of light from the sun streaming down through the watery roof and dancing across our reef.
We came, we saw, we built a coral reef. We finally finished the garden, which was just as well as we had the assessors round assessing - they are the ones who make the recommendations for what medal you receive. You get the opportunity to have a little chat with them beforehand, just to talk about anything that has varied from your brief, or anything unexpected that you may wish to point out. It always makes me sick with nerves beforehand, but they are such a pleasant bunch of people that they quickly put you at ease. We'll have another panel of judges around today (Day 15) and they will take a vote on what medal we should receive, and then that's it - we hear this afternoon, and once that's done we can finally relax and get on with the business of enjoying the garden and all the visitors who'll be coming to Hampton Court over the next week.
If you're coming to the Flower Show, please pop in - we're in the Conceptual Garden category, exhibit no TH69 (you can't miss us - we're the big blue box).
Well we're pretty much there. Another long day - cleaning, planting and painting. Mark's wife Anthea was on site to help out and really went beyond the call of duty - without her help and the help of our other volunteers we really couldn't get the garden done so many thanks to everyone who's been involved.
We're all exhausted and today we're mostly tidying and cleaning - first lot of judging happens this afternoon. I'd forgotten how nervous this makes me feel!
Well it was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, and work went on apace on The Coral Desert. Mark and Ricky got to cleaning the debris out of the water on the roof, Una and I planted (or nailed/ stapled, glued) and Sean's team from Natural Elements Landscape finished off the areas of water surrounding the blue box and all the paving.
Last thing we filed the moat around the box, so fingers crossed when we get in this morning the water is still there...
I'm actually starting to believe that we might finish this ridiculous undertaking.
Got a bit more sleep last night - so don't worry Mum!
There's a blackbird singing outside my bedroom window telling me dawn has come, but it's only 3.30am - he's just welcoming the urban glow. Still sounds beautiful though. My body clock is also out of sync - it's a bit like having jet lag. I don't think I've managed to sleep past 4am for the last 10 days. Mind you, I am going to bed about 9.30pm so maybe that's the problem...
Starting planting in earnest yesterday and as usual with these things it's taking far longer than expected. It feels like creating a tapestry - in fact it is like elaborate carpet bedding (beloved of the Victorians) but in multi dimensions (including time and space).
I can get up in 2 hours to start it all again, but in the meantime I might find something to distract my mind on the iPlayer...
The remaining cacti have finally left my flat so I have a clear view of the TV - which is fortunate as I like to stare at it blankly for an hour in the evening whilst I try to remember what I've forgotten to do.
Sarah and Zana were on site today and I used their considerable talents to bend bits of wire into hooks to pin the plants on with. And the planting has begun - although a little less like planting, a bit more like attaching with hope. The initial bit looks pretty good (see photo) so if it's all still there in the morning, I think we'll be ok... Big Hi to the Yorkshire readers xxx
The build continues to move along, and today our friendly landscapers, Natural Elements Landscape, turned their attention to making the frame for the coral reef. It may look a bit rough at the moment, but we plan to cover it with plants and transform it into an underwater paradise. That's the plan anyhow...
Sunday didn't look very promising at 5.30am - very gloomy and wet. But a couple of hours later the sun did eventually peek out a bit as the wind swept away the clouds, and then swept a few more in for good measure. We had another arts and crafts session finding the best solution to attach the plants to our reef base and have finally come up with a combination of roofing insulation and flexible fence wire.
When the sun does come out, we get some lovely effects happening inside the blue box (todays movie, above) - we can really start to get a feel for how it will all work together.
Now if we could only stop those few leaks...