The day after the month before

Well I started writing this ten days ago: ‘I’m home and the sun is shining. Thank goodness. A grey day wouldn’t have helped that sudden lack of adrenalin that kept us going for a month, with 5.30am starts and 8pm finishes, seven days a week’.

…. ‘I’m not complaining. I’ve just had the greatest month, having the luxury to follow minute-by-minute one of my projects being built. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show gets under your skin and takes over your life, I guess partly because it really is the greatest flower show on Earth and I had to keep pinching myself to realise that we were there on Main Avenue, seeing some very good designers at work.’


Sun SHINING?????  We’ve got 80mph winds and I’m looking out of the window wondering why I didn’t stake the Cenolophium denudatum and Verbascum Violetta which were just starting to look gorgeous together. They still look good but not as good from their now horizontal position. The roses, in their first real year, were  just starting to show off too. Looking good are Eglantyne, Cecile Brunner, Snow Goose, Blush Noisette and my favourite, not least because of its name: Venusta pendula. About to explode: Adelaide d’Orleans, Felicite perpetue, The Generous Gardener and St Swithin clg.

Back to Chelsea. As well as a nice long chat with Alan Titchmarsh, Ah…..(why isn’t he Sir? He feels like a Sir), what made me really happy this month was the lovely comments by another of my heroes, Robin Lane Fox.

The children were happy: after seeing the first day’s TV coverage they emailed that they needed to speak to me URGENTLY. A frantic phone call  to them revealed that they’d seen the Australian garden and  wanted to make sure that  I would ask its designer if they might be able to visit ‘the ‘definitely-coolest’ garden in the show’. Which they did.

Mark Diacono (the list gets longer) made cocktails at 9am. Double heaven. Georgie Newbery demonstrated that I never again will be able to do an Opening  Day without her. The dog got on the telly! And… John Hurt sat in my caravan. I need say no more.