A spot of gardening. Guaranteed to lower your blood pressure.

I’m not a natural gardener. I’m more the sort of you get in to hack, sweat, swear and clear, which is its own therapy. But I’d love to be better versed in recognising plants and having the discernment to separate the invitees from the gatecrashers. I tend to take the view that I’ll just water all of it, and wait for the flowers to appear. I can recognise lavender, which is handy given my location. My bit sarf of the river was renowned for its lavender fields, easily good enough to rival your Year in Provence balls.

Some of these should be here. Some should not. I can’t tell the difference.

I’m guessing the advance of Metroland started to nibble away at the acres of blue before dropping the politesse and swallowing them whole.

Pottering around plants is marvellously relaxing, which is know is bleeding obvious but go easy, I’m a neophyte. The time spent scrabbling, repotting, sweeping and watering is an opportunity to centre, restore some equilibrium and breathe easy.

Better still, it can be a magnet for the tinies. I can heartily recommend the range of plant incubators on offer at IKEA.

Ikea Krydda plant incubator
The elusive triple-decker. Not yet spotted in the wild. This very swish website is keen on them

It’s called Krydda, in typical IKEA style (their product naming meetings must be a hoot). What draws daughter one to it is the permanent sunshine. Plants love the perennial summertime and results are quick to appear. Like most parents I’m unnerved by the time my children spend exercising their thumbs, stabbing at screens. Smartphones and tablets are the crystal meth of gadgets. Time spent away from the flood of digital tat is time well spent.

Daughter one has taken to our incubator, and especially the carnivorous plants that thrive under the fake sun. She has an Audrey II that is rapidly monopolising half the shelf. She hasn’t started feeding it people yet.