So, 7.30 tonight and The People's Choice at Chelsea Flower Show will be announced. Who do you favour? Compared to last year, it seems less easy to pick obvious candidates. However, I'll go out on a limb here and say that I think Jo Thompson's Chelsea Barracks Garden is a good bet.
Lots of people don't like this, including garden critic Tim Richardson, who wrote in The Telegraph in his predictions for Best in Show (which he got spot on with tipping Andy Sturgeon's Telegraph Garden) that it was bewildering with a "curiously empty look", given the "bare island of lawn" in the middle.
When I bumped into him in front of this very garden, he wasn't showing any sign of changing his mind, and muttered darkly about "generic planting". But both of these are what I think might appeal. The lawn makes it feel familiar as a domestic garden and the planting was rich, frothy and full of colour.
There's also that lovely curve to the path - which I'd hazard is generally appealing. It wasn't without its build difficulties. The absolute precision of matching the curves of the specially imported basaltite paving with the steel edging was complicated by the large size of the pieces involved and dangers of flexing. But all that was overcome in a really gorgeous path, etched to represent ripples of the River Westbourne which runs beneath the original site of Chelsea Barracks.
When I passed on Monday, extra colour had been injected for a moment in front of that wall of water:
It's possible that James Basson might snaffle the award this year. I suspect he came near the top of the list last year with his evocation of Provence, and this year's is every bit as evocative.
Diarmuid Gavin's English Eccentrics Garden also has crowd-pleasing ebullient planting.
The overall impression is warmth and charm, but I think the gismos might be a step too far, and there's something a little too ersatz about the tower.
Cleve West's M&G garden has the same sort of country appeal of L'Occitane Garden, but contrasted with modern sawn paving, balancing a full, busy naturalistic half...
...with a still, minimalist area that encouraged contemplation. That certainly seemed to be the effect on Dan Pearson who looked somewhat removed from the frenzy of Press Day:
The more I looked at this, the more I enjoyed it. It was all the more fascinating for the fact that the huge beige-coloured boulders and the pale sawn paving were actually the same Forest of Dean sandstone. But from the outside it was difficult to really appreciate the water feature so I'm not sure this will win enough hearts.
Finally, I have rather a soft spot for the Support, The Husqvarna Garden.
It hasn't caused much of a stir. Tim Richardson described it as the "standard Chelsea...formula" because it's mixing a formal structure and flouncy planting, but I liked it for the feeling that it would be an enjoyable garden to own. Seating at one end...
...with a lovely view of the mixed tightly clipped and relaxed topiary (I'm a sucker for topiary), a lawn (ditto), and some unusual planting that made one stop and look closer.
This is, indeed, the one I would like to get the People's Choice award at Chelsea this year. On the whole, though, I suspect Jo Thompson has a better chance.
For a whizz round other gardens:
The Personal Connection with Nature's Rhythms about the Papworth Trust Together We Can garden (on WireonWire.com)