Spring is the season for fresh beginnings, and there’s no better time to enjoy your garden and start planting.
Whilst using herbs in the kitchen can create many culinary delights, cultivating and caring for herbs brings great pleasure too. For many people, having the time to enjoy gardening wasn’t always easy during their working life, making retirement the perfect time to explore a new hobby, and growing your own is one of the most rewarding pastimes to discover.
The best thing about growing your own is it makes you think about the future and not the past. Jekka thinks that if you can keep looking forward you have a much healthier balance to your life. The great thing about growing plants is you don’t feel lonely because you’ve got them to talk to, which Jekka is forever doing, as well as the magic of getting your hands dirty and feeling the soil.
This is why our collaboration with Riverstone and the landscape designer, Andy Sturgeon, to plan and plant ‘Jekka’s Culinary Kitchen Herb Gardens’ at each of Riverstone’s residences in Kensington and Fulham was an absolute pleasure. The end results are simply phenomenal with both herb gardens bursting with colour and aroma.
Riverstone is on a remarkable journey to offer the very best in London living to people over 65 and their residences include a collection of beautiful homes for sale with extraordinary amenities and services specially designed for those aged 65+, so you can relax, make friends, and encounter new experiences.
The Riverstone lifestyle is for the less retiring. At their residences, you can take a walk in the beautiful gardens, enjoy a treatment in the spa, spend time in the library, pick up a coffee at the Espresso Bar while reading the morning paper or watch a film in the Cinema. The Italian-inspired Restaurant & Bar, Maria G’s, is open to everyone in the wider neighbourhood too, so anyone can pop in for a drink and say hello.
Herbs from Jekka’s Herb Gardens are used by the chefs in Riverstone’s in-house restaurants, enhancing the incredible Italian flavours of the food. How fantastic to see something grow from a seed and then enjoy it as part of your meal!
The Riverstone residents live full, independent lives, surrounded by a warm and friendly community, in the place they love, with health and wellbeing at the heart, and gardening is a keen passion for many. Gardening is wonderful as it has a great social side and the great thing about the Riverstone community is that the residents can create a gardening club where they can compare notes and swap seeds. They can also assist Bryan, Riverstone’s Head Gardener, and get their hands dirty. Residents are welcome to enjoy the fruits (or herbs) of their labour, whether they choose to help Bryan in the main herb gardens or utilise their terraces for their own gardening projects. We think that it is a great that they can use any herbs from the gardens for their own cooking in their apartments.
Plus, Jekka has designed the Herb Gardens to be enjoyed by the residents and their grandchildren. If they their grandchildren are growing their own at home, they can share their successes. Jekka believes there is great pleasure to be had in sharing the joy of growing your own.
Gardening doesn’t require acres of land and a shed full of tools – at Riverstone, low-maintenance, but greatly rewarding gardening is available to anyone who would like to get involved. Everyone is different, there’s no one tonic. The best thing of all is getting outside, fresh air is essential, and feeling the sun on your face.
The best way to explore Riverstone residence is to arrange a tour. Simply contact the team at Riverstone Kensington on 020 8189 7244 or Riverstone Fulham on 020 7349 1911 or visit Riverstone's website for more information.
This summer, our passion for herbs will be further celebrated in style with Jekka's HerbFest 2023 being held in Bristol from Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July. You can find out more about this exciting event at www.jekkasherbfest.com