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Surviving the deluge in Birmingham

The plants and I arrived on site at the NEC on Saturday 8 June, a mild sunny day, and the atmosphere was happy and expectant. It was lovely to meet my fellow designers, all of whom were delightful and enthusiastic about the week to come. We had all seen the weather forecast but nothing prepared us for the worst build up conditions BBC Gardeners' World Live had apparently ever experienced!

Our waterproofs were not waterproof, the wind was tearing at my three long-suffering Eremurus robusta, the Ammi majus and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' were bedraggled, sodden and collapsing into their neighbours, and the only happy plant of the whole border was the Primula viallii which perked up brilliantly.

Judging day dawned and only a light drizzle was falling - once I'd had my three minutes to tell the judges the story of the garden we left the site and went to explore in Birmingham City centre, which was fantastic.

On Thursday we arrived to find the awards had been placed in the borders at dawn and with much trepidation I walked down to my Himalayan Border for The Gurkha Welfare Trust to find I had been awarded Gold. Suddenly all the heartache, stress and angst disappeared and I found myself thinking about creating a show garden at an RHS show in the future. We will see!