BBC Gardeners World Live opened its doors on Thursday after one of the most challenging build-ups to the event. Lashings of rain and wind made impossible conditions for designers, landscapers, plants people, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
Luckily, the rain held off at the Press preview on Wednesday, enough for me to spend a wonderful afternoon admiring what is on offer.
Let's start with my favourite show garden this year - the Watchmaker's Garden, designed by Alexandra Froggatt.
Steeped in history and reflecting Birmingham's Jewelry Quarter in Victorian times, this is a practical yet beautiful design with authenticity and attention to detail.
I really enjoy the faithful recreation of a canal in the garden "Making life better by water from the Canal and River Trust which is designed by Chris Myers.
It may be at the NEC but this gzrden takes you to anywhere in our country's network of canals, embodying a sense of peace, tranquillity and timelessness. I also like the small vegetable and flower garden alongside, which would help sustain the lock keepers family in years past.
Talking to Alistair Barnsley, one of the charity's volunteers, I find out the boat was on a canal but needed some renovation. The volunteers borrowed it from the owner, painted it up and hey ho, it's having its moment in the limelight.
As you walk along APL Avenue, where members of the Association of Professional Landscapers showcase their designs, there's a wealth of accessible designs for small gardens. My favourite is "Home Solutions "by John Lewis garden, designed by Shaun Beale, landscape manager at the company's Leckford Estate.
There's a nod to the sparkling wine produced there, with vines grown as a screen, a cleverly designed water feature and the small space is packed with plants, including the topically named "Corydalis Tory MP and Lychnis coronaria 'Gardeners World'.
Shaun Beale says that this is the very first show garden he's designed. I tell him he should get a gold, and when I see him at the Awards Ceremony later, he is awarded a gold, and there's a tear or two of happiness in his eyes.
Mind you, if he saw the current state of my garden (overgrown, borders need replanting, redesigning etc) he'd probably cry too but for a very different reason.
Beautiful borders are always a popular category at BBC Gardeners World Live, and this year's theme is My Space. There are twenty-eight different designs here, all very different, but the stand out showstopper is designed by Jonathan Ensell from Roots to Fruits.
It's witty, full of ideas representing different facets of the National Curriculum. I adore the plant abacus (maths tick), the Roman pottery to discover under the pebbles (history tick) and you even play a tune of the hanging terracotta plant pots (music tick)
A well-deserved platinum award sent this to the top of its class.
I'm always beguiled by the delicious scents which greet you as you wander into the Floral Marquee and there's plenty of plants to tempt.
There are four satellite plant pyramids this year around the huge structure which dominate the whole area. I'm amazed at how they erect them all, and at the wonderful range of new plants.
On closer examination, my top five are Agapanthus "Fireworks" and Clematis "Little Lemons" from Thompson and Morgan, "Blueberry Pink Flamingo" from Suttons, Pinks "Pink Ruffles" from Whetman Pinks and Pelargonium Calliope Hot Pink from Syngenta.
So, just some of my personal highlights from this year's BBC Gardener's World Live, but there's something for every gardener to take away from the show - an idea, a plant, a contact, some inspiration, and even a lesson learned from one of the experts at the many talks on offer...
BBC Gardener's World is on until tomorrow.