Just as the Wimbledon fortnight inspires lapsed tennis players to pick up their rackets, the Chelsea Flower Show unearths the nation’s inner gardeners.

I had two in my house this week, three if you count my husband, and as I, a non-gardener, listened and observed, I was struck by the difference between an arriviste horticulturist and the real thing.

On one couch sat my sister-in-law who knows her hostas from her helianthuses and is green-fingered to the tips of her (often chipped) nails. On the other, sat a dear friend who joined the Royal Horticultural Society so he could gain entry to the Chelsea Flower Show, the most high-profile social event in the gardening calendar.