The gardening minister has spoken of how talking to her plants has helped to ease her grief over the loss of her husband three years ago.
Rebecca Pow, a junior minister in the Environment Department, admitted that she greeted her plants when she got home after a few days away.
She said she would like to take her "hat off to Prince Charles", who has been mocked in the past for giving his plants verbal encouragement.
The Prince of Wales famously said 1986: "I just come and talk to the plants, really – very important to talk to them. They respond."
In an interview with this week's Chopper's Politics podcast, Ms Pow said: "I take my hat off to Prince Charles. My husband, very sadly, died very recently.
"And I do find myself at home a bit by myself. And I do actually talk to my plants because when I get home, no one's watered them.
"So the first thing I usually do when I get in is water my plants, check how they are.
"They were probably absolutely fine because they have been there with my two cats. But I do. I give them a stroke.
"The other day I put my anthuriums outside because there was a nice storm of rain coming, so I gave them a little outside experience."
She added: "I genuinely, honestly think there is a massively therapeutic angle to plants in just communing with nature as a whole. We've got lots of data now that actually proves that.
"Lockdown did really prove that to a lot of people. An awful lot of people notice the nature around them, some for the first time."
Ms Pow, 62, the minister for nature recovery and the domestic environment, was married to Charles Clark, the chairman of Somerset County Cricket Club, for 27 years until his death in 2019. The couple had three children.
Speaking ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week, she said she found it therapeutic to go into her garden when she felt like sitting "about moping or even crying".
She said: "I just go outside and I might do some work in my vegetable garden, weeding. I might feel low and I could just sit about moping or even crying, and I might do that a bit.
"But I just think 'get outside, Rebecca'. And as soon as I do that and I'm immersed in what I'm doing, it's just so helpful and beneficial. It's calming and it gives you a greater perspective on life.
"My husband's up there in the graveyard, and I actually went up the other day... He's there with nature and our garden. You can literally see it from the graveyard."
'Part of something greater'
She added: "I go out there and I just feel part of something greater when I'm in my garden and in nature."
Ms Pow urged Telegraph readers to do more to save insects and bees in gardens because of their vital role in the food chain.
Next week Ms Pow will be unveiling a Pollinator Action Plan to conserve important habitats and improve the data that we use to understand pollinators’ status.
A new Public Engagement in Plant Health Accord, to be signed at the show, is intended to encourage organisations from across the country to work together to promote public awareness and positive behaviour change to protect plant health.
Ms Pow urged people to do more to protect the insect population which has seen a collapse in recent years, alarming naturalists.
She said: "Please love an insect! What is quite strange is over the last decade, people sort of came to hate insects. They wanted to kill them, spray them and swat them.
"Even flies do a good service. All of these insects help to break down material. They help with that cycle of life in the soil, or in your compost heap, we actually genuinely do need them.
"And we do know that we've got a big crash in species. It's very stark. And it's particularly stark in this country."
'Mow your lawn less'
She urged gardeners to allow their lawns to grow longer to create habitats for insects and to allow wild flowers to grow.
"Mow your lawn less. People used to be obsessed with their lawns, in making them look like bowling greens. You don't need to do that.
"You could have one patch like that, another patch where the grass is longer, it really sets it off really nicely.
"Even in the seeds that were already in my lawn, I'm seeing some really nice plants coming up in the grass – even plantains, which people used to hate and spray, I like.
"Achillea and bugle. Bugle is brilliant for insects, even buttercups."
Listen to the full interview with Rebecca Pow and English Football League chairman Rick Parry on Chopper’s Politics, The Telegraph’s weekly political podcast, using the audio player at the top of this article or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast app.