My Week: Jacquie Gordon Gold-Medal-Winning Garden Designer

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The Independent Culture
Monday

I head to the Chelsea Flower Show for 7am. I have a mad hour of preparation; the judges are so fussy. I stop for an interview with Granada Television. Most of the day is spent talking to radio and TV. My garden has a Beatrix Potter theme and I have a photo shoot with Pat Routledge and someone dressed as Peter Rabbit. I didn't expect lots of publicity. I am only a one-woman company, based in the spare bedroom of my house in Gloucestershire.

I have a difficult site riddled with manholes and the main stopcock is also in the corner. I am told that there is a leak in the marquee and I have to keep the manhole clear for access. It is a bit upsetting, as my site is not exactly how I planned it.

The showground clears around 3pm for the arrival of the Queen. I am starving and frozen; I've been living off adrenaline. The Queen comes to look at my garden - I think this is a good sign.

I have a meal in the evening with my partner Paul in La Strega in Fulham: lots of red wine and pasta.

Tuesday

Arrive at the showground to be told I have won a gold medal. I'm so excited, and try not cry. My phone starts ringing and doesn't stop until the battery dies. I start hugging and kissing people. I'm on cloud nine.

I go back to the same restaurant and order a bottle of red wine. When I explain why I am celebrating they give me the second bottle free and get me to sign the menu. I feel like a celebrity.

Wednesday

Another members' day, more talking to people. Lots of family and friends have bought tickets, which is really nice. I get the chance to escape to the visitors' restaurant. I have to call my clients and check my messages. I spend the evening in Oxford with Paul.

Thursday

I head back to Chelsea, which is open for the general public. It is a very busy day talking to people and handing out leaflets. Back to Oxford after the show for a quiet night.

Friday

A bell is rung at half past four to end the show. This a chance for people to sell off parts of their garden. Packing away is really sad, the garden has become so much a part of me. I'd hoped to be able to find somewhere to rebuild it after the show. Back home to face the slugs, and watering and weeding my neglected garden.

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