It just shouldn’t be like this. Quite pleasant, if a little chilly first thing but a ghastly forecast. Snow in South West and torrential rain and gales in the South. Suddenly those suede loafers and summer trews seem less appealing, even if they are pink. Ian calls to tell me the photo shoot outside the Lloyds building is set or Wednesday lunchtime. Think I’ll be freezing in my Bent Banani shirt but can’t be any colder than when Lynn and i were doing those pictures for the Amateur Gardening container feature at Easter. Mind you, I do look blue in those!
Chris came down from Banbury in time for the team briefing at 9 this morning. He’s got the day to load up he minibus and get used to it before we meet to depart for London at 5.45 tomorrow morning.Nigel tweets with a pic of the Sui Generis pools in position. They look amazing! I’m a bit worried about the other end; will make decisions on this when I get there.
Around 3 a.m. the Sydney building was in a cloud of lilacs and foxgloves with silver leaves and aquilegias; all very pretty but is it risky? Maybe. That was my challenge to the team this morning at our staging meeting: risky colour combinations. Think I’ll be the one that struggles; I always want to co-ordinate.
Another load of trees arrived this morning.
By the time I arrive on site around lunchtime they’ve been unloaded and Owen and I have an energetic couple of hours getting some of them into position. I like to get a bit of a framework in place to clear the decks for three lorries of plants on Wednesday.
On site the team have got on really well. Brian and the lads from organicstone have the pathway grouted; it looks fantastic. We agree to move the bean stoneisland, it just looks a little awkward with the decking. I feel this area needs to look sociable and cosy; as it is it all looks a little estranged. Brian inspects every detail and seems happy.
The chaps from M&M Timber have done brilliantly and are just finishing off the edging. Neil follows behind and covers it with black polythene to prevent the muddy boots of the staging team damaging the paintwork. If they do then we have to repaint which we would all rather avoid.
Paul and Damien are getting on with the electrics. It's important to have all of the main cables in place before too many plants are on the exhibit.
Owen and I crack on with getting some of the acers, birches and malus into position plus a couple of mega cercidiphyllums. Neil and Nigel help us with the bigger ones, or should I say we help them a little. Amazingly some of the carpinus are really quite dry. Owen gives them a good soaking.
Tom comes over and we discuss the position of his other sculpture, it’s a really nice piece and will look stunning with the pools. We half consider relocating “Monument”, but we decide it looks great with The Monument so it stays where it is.
Owen forms a close relationship with the crocodiles; they are rather lovely but they do have lethal teeth and spines. However these are nowhere near as vicious as the spines of our Monkey Puzzle which unfortunately falls over an lacerates Maria’s cheek. She’s working as always on the Kirstenbosch exhibit. We move the monkey puzzle to be on the safe side. I certainly don’t want to put it into position anywhere here I’ve got to push past it!
Tomorrow will be a long heavy day; are you ready for it?