Construction was carried out by my friendly family team of landscapers with myself and Paula and a few friends and relatives as helpers. The first thing we realised was it wasn’t going to be easy to dig anything, as the ground was baked like concrete from all that glorious summer sun we’d had. Fortunately, the mini-digger we had made light work of a lot of it but even that struggled in some places, however, we cracked on building walls, laying paving and planting trees and soon we could see a garden taking shape out of the building site we’d got used to. The plants all arrived on their due date, but the build was a couple of days behind schedule, which gave us a bit of a problem in that it was about 30 degrees every day and we had to have somebody wandering around all day with a hosepipe in their hand trying to keep all the plants alive. The trees, in particular, were suffering a bit in the heat, but a top tip we were given was give them a sugar water drink, which all sounded a bit dodgy, but worked a treat and they perked up wonderfully.
The rest of the plants also fared much better once they were in the soil, rather than sitting on the grass in their pots baking in the heat. We’d ordered around 2000 plants, but by the time we were finishing on the Sunday before the judges were due to arrive, we realised we were still a few short and were rushing round the nursery stands buying extra plants to fill in the gaps we had. Finally everything was finished and we wandered off for a well-earned cuppa and cake whilst the judges did their thing.