It's a case of look but don't touch. (Unless she absolutely has to)
And gardening isn't for everyone. For some it's a real chore. A duty not a pleasure. Get it done and move on. Or just avoid having a garden at all.
But for others like me it's a complete joy. Not just a rewarding hobby but some welcome homegrown therapy.
I haven't always felt like that about it. When we first got here I hadn't a clue! We moved from a flat with a few pots on a balcony to an out of control jungle.
The previous owner had green fingers and a serious plant addiction - there were flowerbeds and shrubs everywhere. It was overwhelming. The only weeds I could spot with any confidence were nettles and brambles; the rest was a bit of a lottery - they all looked the blinking same!
Our first foray into the undergrowth was like a journey of discovery. We found lovely stone walls under some ivy and a cherry tree completely hidden from view by a forest of brambles.
This was the good bit - what to do with the plants and flower beds we uncovered was more testing.
Is there a right and wrong time to prune? When should you put mulch down? WHAT IS MULCH? I had so many questions, but gardening started getting under my skin.
When the children were tiny and he was away, I found getting out and digging or chopping made me feel better. It was an escape from the monotonous routine and something I could do as I was tied to the house. In a weird kind of way this solitary pastime helped me deal with the loneliness of those baby years. It helped a lot more than going to a toddler group and talking about kids for two hours! That just did my head in.
I became a more easy-going gardener when it clicked that you never stop learning. So I still plant things in the wrong place and get a bit over enthusiastic with the shears, but that's all right. Things can be moved and even the shrubs pruned to within an inch of their lives seem to keep on growing....
I find this cycle of life comforting, but for my gardening-phobic friend it's proof that it's a thankless task: hard graft, a bit of a break, then back to the start again!
She thinks I'm mad and I think she's missing out.
Gardening has almost made me patient. Having to wait for the garden to burst back into life makes me appreciate it more when it does. Also after a year, I've usually forgotten where I planted new bulbs and plants so I'm like an excited child when they start appearing.
Early spring is such a hopeful time. Going round today and seeing little green shoots pushing up through the soil lifts my spirits, and makes me think how lovely the garden will look when he gets back for his first break next month.