So many ickle bits to sort out…

Things have been progressing fast as the build for Hampton Court fast approaches.

I went down to Hampton Court to meet Mandy the show manager. They had marked out where the site is going to be and how big – and big it is!!! So exciting!!!

The garden flooring has been a bit of a journey too. I want it to represent a ‘thoughtful’ sky – and for that I really wanted it to be seamless so not slabs or tiles. My first thought for a potential material was resin with sparkly aggregate set within it to be suggestive of a starry sky, but exterior applications are difficult when wet. Then I thought perhaps concrete flooring would work but I felt uncomfortable with its eco credentials, especially when it will be only used for one week.

After a bit of searching I came across and interesting product called ‘micro concrete’. It is applied like paint in layers of colour. It has the same aesthetic appeal as concrete but without it being a massive slab of material. It can be applied to all kinds of surfaces – walls, floors, showers etc – both inside and out. It is pretty flexible too and very strong. So a lovely guy called Gus at Concreations is creating our floor for Hampton Court. We’ve had a few attempts at getting the colours right.

Blue I have learnt is a difficult colour to work with and even the trial samples may be difficult to replicate at scale especially if it’s hot. Gus has had plenty of practice and I think for him it’s more of an art than a trade so I’m confident it will be fine when we come to create the floor in reality. So am I using this blog as a form of therapy to air all my worries. If so, here’s my worry with the floor. It has to be applied to a sub base so I worry that if its not completely rigid that the floor may crack – oh my goodness that’s a middle of the night worry.

And I guess you might be wondering how my ol’ dad is faring. After finishing cutting all the bits for boundary fence and stacking them ready for pick up with the aid of my mum. ‘We’ (I) thought that it would make sense to i) paint the undercoat layers and first colour coat of the back panels ii) glue the mirrors onto the interior faces – that way we could control the humidity issue when applying.

These boards are huge and heavy and paint only dries so quick, so he’s had to do them in batches of 4 at a time with the aid of my mum to help him carry them outside and then back in when they’re done. It’s another massive task but it will be a real time saver when it comes to the build weeks on site.

A big motivational plus was the timely call from the BBC to say that they would like to film him making the boundary for a piece on the garden. He’s stoked (and so am I)! So’s my mum. She’s already planning the lunch she’s going to make for the film crew who are going to be there all day.

The mirrors have been supplied by Aaron at Sheet Plastics. They are 3mm acrylic panels, almost 2.5m by 1.5m. We have 23 of them. They have been cut exactly to size with laser cutters. We were so relieved when my Dad told me that they fitted perfectly. We’re going to help my Dad fix them all to the boards in a couple of weekends time so fingers crossed the weather is good.

And finally this week I’ve been sorting out voluntary workers to help with the construction, planting and hosting of the garden during show week. It really is a family and friend affair this whole project. I am so grateful to all my family and friends for their willingness to help and the way they’ve got so behind the project. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn’t do it without you and I hope the garden does all your efforts and support proud.

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