Biggs also encouraged listeners to get outside as much as possible because “sitting in doors on a screen or a tablet” is not “connecting with nature”. 

“I would really encourage everyone to get outside every day, even if it’s only you manage five minutes, take your socks and shoes off, go and walk on the grass and just reconnect with nature because it doesn’t half make you feel better.” 

Biggs said that her garden also got her through her fifties, a time in which she lost her mother, went through two rounds of chemotherapy treatment and her husband “decided after 30 years that he’d rather be somewhere else”. 

She said: “My fifties were my not happy decade. It was a tough time and really those friends and family really got me through all of that but so too did my garden. 

“I think they’re tremendously healing, gardens.” 

Biggs also recollected the discrimination she endured during her early career, when she was the youngest and first female appointed to the board of Kuoni Travel. 

“I remember going over for my first meeting there and they’d very nicely got me a present and a card so I opened the card first. 

“I looked at it and thought oh this is a bit strange, so opened it and inside was the ‘congratulations at last we’ve got somebody to iron our shirts’.” 

She said today such a card “wouldn’t be acceptable” but that “if you laugh about them it’s really the best way to handle it.” 

Desert Island Discs is on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11.15am

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