The DMZ Garden gets its finishing touches

Some adjustments to the undergrowth beside the stream
Some adjustments to the undergrowth beside the stream

With the Chelsea Flower Show having its first judging day tomorrow (Sunday), all the show gardens have to be finished today. Yesterday Hwang Jihae’s team was boosted by some additional volunteers to help finish off the last details.

Hwang Jihae supervises some last-minute planting
Hwang Jihae supervises some last-minute planting

The professionals did some final planting, filling in one or two gaps under the demanding and perfectionist eye of Ms Hwang.

Some of the volunteers helping with the memorial bench
Some of the volunteers helping with the memorial bench

And the less skilled… they were roped in to creating the memorial bench, fixing military ID tags to a sheet of steel with a honeycomb of holes. First a small chain had to be threaded through the dog tag, then poked through the hole in the metal sheet, and finally fixed in place with a plastic tag.

Mr and Mrs LKL lend a hand
Mr and Mrs LKL lend a hand

Visitors will be invited to sit on the bench and have a quiet moment of reflection. Ms Hwang’s plan is to set the bench at a slight angle, hoping the dog tags will catch the breeze and make a calming sound.

Despite the hectic activity, there's still time for a joke
Despite the hectic activity, there's still time for a joke

The garden looks like it has been there for ever, which is a real achievement. And one passer-by said: “It’s the best garden by a country mile”.

Let’s hope the judges agree.

Spent cartridges will provide some of the detail in the garden
Spent cartridges will provide some of the detail in the garden

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