Ode to Leigh ‘Lovely Legs’ and the rest of my build team

Finally I have a moment to sit down and write something about what has being going on in the first 4 days of the build.

It is SO MUCH FUN!  I wish I could do this all the time.  Have to say the show manager Mandy and her whole team have been so supportive to everyone – its made it all so much easier.  In fact it makes for a lovely atmosphere.  None of the usual ‘event problems’ so far!  The only downside is the fact the only usable toilets are a good 500m away from our site.  So I’m averaging 10miles of walking to and from loos a day.  On my many frequent trips, I am attracting a few odd looks.  Females are definitely in the minority here this week and heavily pregnant ones even less so.

So on this first week of the build, the emphasis is on the hard landscaping and next week is all about the planting.  So far, despite the odd very prolonged and heavy rain ‘shower’ and gusty winds, massive progress has been made.  We’ve marked out the site, dug it out, put up the mirrored boundary and put in the floor sub base.  The next couple of days are all about the floor and then we’re onto the aerial structure as of tomorrow.

I love the way I am saying ‘we’.  What I should say is ‘the guys’ – this week that’s David, Leigh (Lovely Legs) and Nick from Neale Richards Ltd (our landscape contractor), Lysanne and Vicky who are the amazingly ‘hard working, perfectionist,  couldn’t live without’ volunteer helpers and last but by no means least my ‘always there for me’ brother James and parents, Pat and Peter.   And what a wonderful team they are!

I am sitting under a very anchored down gazebo on tea duty (my role is a sad state of affairs but at least I am cupboard loved for bringing cake everyday).

Yesterday I took the plunge and invested in a massive 6m x 12m marquee to cover the entire garden interior.  With typical Wimbledon rain showers upon us I can’t risk the floor not being done to schedule.  Gus from Concreations has just turned up and so its all go, go, go, on the innovative ‘micro’ concrete flooring.

So what’s it like being on the build site?  Well as I look around now I see a hive of activity.  Generators mask any bird song, the wind is whipping the multiple gazebos dotted around the site and all I can see are breeze blocks, mounds of soil, spades, wheel barrows and trees lying on their sides.   And of course, I should mention, there are lots of ‘strapping young lads’ fetching, carrying, building as well as quite a few on permanent builders tea breaks.

All the concept gardens are coming along nicely.  There are some great concepts this year – makes me feel quite inadequate and nervous.  But everyone really is very friendly.  There’s lots of water sharing, lending a helping hand and appreciation of other’s talents, going on.  We’re becoming quite a community.

Right I better go and photograph the cover going on the marquee.  It should be interesting in the wind.  More to come soon xxx

PS.  I would say that I’m very happy with progress, but I’m still having those nagging Agapanthus flowering worries… please let it be okay…will find out tomorrow morning when I visit Hardys.

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