Zoe Ball channelled her grief into gardening following her partner Billy Yates' suicide three years ago.
Zoe Ball channelled her grief into gardening following her partner's suicide.
The 49-year-old presenter was left devastated when Billy Yates took his own life in 2017 but took comfort from the roses people bought her to grow in his memory and she now regards the walled outdoor space at her Sussex home as her own ''little paradise''.
She said: ''When I lost my partner, lots of my loved-ones bought me roses to grow in his memory. He loved roses and I found the hours tending to these new plants so therapeutic.''
And Zoe - who has children Woody, 19, and Nelly, 10, with ex-husband Norman Cook - has also found doing her gardening keeps her feelings of anxiety at bay.
She told Gardeners' World magazine: ''I'm now a strong believer in the pleasures of gardening, the benefits for head and heart.
''When I get home from my radio show, it's the perfect time to potter outside. It's so peaceful.
''The minute I step into my garden I properly take a deep breath and relax.
''I find the garden so calming. Perfect for my over-busy brain and especially good for my menopause anxiety.
''I love learning about the plants in my garden, where they bloom and what works where, tending to them and making mistakes.''
The BBC Radio 2 presenter thinks her newfound passion was ''inevitable'' as all her family have enjoyed gardening through the years.
She said: ''My grandad Ball had topiary bushes in his yard in Blackpool, they were shaped like different-sized chairs. I was fascinated by them, they had a magical 'Alice in Wonderland' quality.
''My grandad Fred grew cucumbers and tomatoes - I loved the smell of the greenhouse and always helped him water.
''My parents have always been keen gardeners, so it was inevitable.''
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