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Preparing for The Sandringham Flower Show

I am creating a Himalayan Garden at Sandringham to raise awareness of the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

I’m writing this two days before I start building what is actually my first show garden and alarmingly there seems very little to do now apart from constant watering. I wonder what I have forgotten….

The build-up over the last six months has been quite intense, and I have loved most of it, particularly learning about Himalayan plants. It has certainly made me want to visit an area so diverse - culturally, geographically and horticulturally.

Above: Perovskia 'Blue Spire', and Allium sphaerocephalon & Stachys officinalis 'Hummelo'

The last two weeks have been fairly stressful, trying to source extra plants which are indigenous to the Himalaya, which will be in flower in late July, and which have coped with the drought. Quite a tall order. I have had help from nurseries up and down the country – it seems everyone involved in a horticultural business is genuinely kind and they really want to help a newbie.

I have just visited the empty plot at Sandringham and it seems smaller than I remember, so after all the stress of sourcing, I might end up with too many plants!

Fingers crossed for a good reaction from some of the 20,000 visitors to the show, and the judges Chris Beardshaw and Alan Mason bright and early next Wednesday morning.