Jekka's Herb Garden

Spring in Jekka’s Herb Garden - Herb Petal Planting

Jekka built her Herbetum in 2013 to display her collection of over 400 medicinal and culinary herbs with the aim to educate and inspire today's visitor and to ensure that the history, culinary and medicinal usage of herbs are not lost for future generations. To further Jekka’s vision we are embarking on creating Jekka’s Herb Garden at Jekka’s Herb Farm in South Gloucestershire. For those that visited us in 2022, on an open day or master class, would have seen the garden slowly take shape. You can see its evolution in Jekka’s Herb Garden Timeline here.

Jekka’s Herb Garden is designed around two large interconnecting circular beds, which mimics the infinity sign. Thereby, either allowing the visitor to continually walk around the herb garden lost in thought or contemplation or alternatively, as we are continually being told, be completely inspired by the range and variety of herbs as well as being made aware of their culinary and medicinal usage. You can read more about Jekka's Herb Garden on the main page here.

Each of these circular beds, in the eyes of the infinity sign, is home to a large flower with eight petals or oval beds. It is these herb petals that are planted as individual small herb gardens for visitors to become inspired and take home ideas to reproduce in their gardens.

Surrounding the petals and circular beds are gravel gardens showing off Jekka’s extensive and beautiful collection of Thymes and Oreganos.


Jekka's Herb Garden
Jekka's Herb Garden

Read more about Jekka’s Herb Garden in the blogs on the garden in both  summer, late-summer and autumn as well as a time-line to see its evolution.

Preparing the herb petals for planting

The beds are outlined using steel edging and filled with recycled compost from the herb farm which comprise of peat free compost containing horticultural grit.

Jekka produces her design on computer, where each herb is a symbol roughly the size of its final spread. This avoids the problem of over planting that ultimately leads to stressing of the plants and eventually the removal or loss of some. Jekka always advising against trying to produce the Chelsea Flower Show garden from day 1 as these are an illusion that can only be created over time. 

Jekka's Herb Garden Design

Jekka's Herb Garden Design


Once the beds are filled and prepared and the design is made, Jekka lays out the garden by simply putting the potted herb in position and seeing if it works. The design is only a guide and the herbs in situ might need to be moved around.

The herbs are then planted in position by carefully removing the plant from the pot, teasing out any roots, planting at the same depth as it was in the poy and then, depending on the season, watering in place. Read Jekka's Blog for her 6 top steps to "Grow On" your herbs.

Some additional Guides and Blogs that might also help in designing and building your culinary herb garden are: 

Please also see the main page about Jekka’s Herb Garden 

 Jekka's Herb Garden

Laying out the plants for the pollinator herb petal

Jekka’s herb petals

There are 8 different gardening themes for the herb petals and each petal is roughly of the size of a herb garden that can be reproduced at home. The petals are roughly elliptical of dimensions 5m by 2.5m for the larger circle and 4m by 2m for the smaller.

The 8 gardening themes are:

  1. Annual
  2. Culinary
  3. Edible flowers
  4. Evergreen
  5. Herbal Infusion
  6. Medicinal
  7. Pollinators
  8. UK Native

Each of the herbs listed below is linked to the corresponding page on Jekkapedia where you can get further information.

Annual herb petal

  1. Anethum graveolens (Dill)
  2. Anthriscus cerefolium (Chervil)
  3. Amaranthus tricolor 'Red Army' (Red Amaranth)
  4. Borago officinalis (Borage)
  5. Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold)
  6. Coriandrum sativum (Coriander)
  7. Monarda citriodora (Lemon Bergamot, Lemon Bee Balm)
  8. Ocimum basilicum (Sweet Basil)
  9. Salvia viridis (Painted Sage, Red Topped Sage)
  10. Viola tricolor (Heartsease, Wild Pansy)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Annual Petal
Left to right: Chervil, Painted Sage and Red Amaranth

Culinary herb petal

  1. Achillea ageratum (English Mace)
  2. Allium tuberosum (Garlic Chives, Chinese Chives)
  3. Aloysia citrodora (Lemon Verbena)
  4. Artemisia dracunculus 'French' (French Tarragon)
  5. Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
  6. Levisticum officinale (Lovage)
  7. Punica granatum (Pomegranate, Carthaginian apple)
  8. Petroselinum crispum (Parsley)
  9. Salvia officinalis (Sage, Common Sage)
  10. Sanguisorba minor (Salad Burnet, Pimpernel)


Jekka's Herb Garden: Culinary petal
Left to right: Lovage, Garlic Chives and Sage

Edible flowers herb petal

  1. Agastache rugosa 'Golden Jubilee' (Golden Agastache)
  2. Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)
  3. Borago officinalis 'Alba' (White Borage)
  4. Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold)
  5. Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
  6. Hesperis matronalis (Sweet Rocket)
  7. Primula vulgaris (Primrose)
  8. Salvia officinalis (Sage, Common Sage)
  9. Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary)
  10. Tropaeolum majus 'Empress of India' (Nasturtium Empress of India)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Edible flowers petal
Left to right: Sage, Borage and Chives

Evergreen herb petal

  1. Dianthus 'Mrs Sinkins' (Clove Pink Mrs Sinkins)
  2. Escallonia resinosa (Curry Scented Escallonia)
  3. Helichrysum italicum (Curry Plant)
  4. Luma chequen (Chillean Luma, Chilean Myrtle)
  5. Myrtus communis 'Variegata'(v) (Variegated Myrtle)
  6. Ozothamnus hookeri (Kerosene Bush)
  7. Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary)
  8. Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens' (Purple Sage)
  9. Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp rosmarinifolia (Green Lavender Cotton)
  10. Teucrium marum (Cat Thyme)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Evergreen petal
Left to right: Variegated Myrtle, Curry Scented Escallonia and Kerosene Bush

Herbal Infusion herb petal

  1. Aloysia citrodora (Lemon Verbena)
  2. Chamaemelum nobile (Chamomile, Roman Chamomile)
  3. Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
  4. Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm)
  5. Mentha longifolia subsp. schimperi (Desert Mint)
  6. Micromeria fruticosa (Mediterranean Rock Mint)
  7. Monarda didyma (Bee Balm Bergamot, Red Bergamot)
  8. Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens 'Red Shiraz' (Purple Basil)
  9. Origanum majorana (Sweet Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram)
  10. Salvia lavandulifolia (Narrow Leaved Sage)


Jekka's Herb Garden: Herbal infusions petal

Left to right: Roman Chamomile, Lemon Verbena and Desert Mint

Medicinal herb petal

  1. Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood)
  2. Echinacea pallida (Echinacea Coneflower)
  3. Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
  4. Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop, Blue Hyssop)
  5. Inula helenium (Elecampane)
  6. Linum perenne (Flax, Linseed)
  7. Mentha pulegium 'Cunningham Mint' (Creeping Pennyroyal)
  8. Nepeta cataria (Catnep, Catnip)
  9. Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
  10. Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Medicinal petal

Left to right: St John's Wort, Meadowsweet and Flax

UK native herb petal

  1. Achillea millefolium (Yarrow, Woundwort, Milfoil)
  2. Angelica archangelica (Angelica)
  3. Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)
  4. Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian)
  5. Cichorium intybus (Chicory, Succory)
  6. Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove, Fairy Gloves)
  7. Echium vulgare (Viper's Bugloss)
  8. Fragaria vesca (Wild Strawberry)
  9. Rumex acetosa (Sorrel, Broad Leaved Sorrel)
  10. Papaver rhoeas (Field Poppy, Common Poppy)
Jekka's Herb Garden: UK native petal

Left to right: Woad, Viper's Bugloss and Yarrow

Pollinator herb petal

  1. Allium fistulosum (Welsh Onion, Japanese Leek)
  2. Cedronella canariensis (Balm of Gilead)
  3. Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop, Blue Hyssop)
  4. Isatis tinctoria (Woad)
  5. Inula helenium (Elecampane)
  6. Lepechina hastata (False Salvia, Pitcher Sage)
  7. Monarda didyma (Bee Balm Bergamot, Red Bergamot)
  8. Nepeta cataria (Catnep, Catnip)
  9. Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
  10. Salvia officinalis (Sage, Common Sage)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Pollinating petal

Left to right: Lavender, Oregano and Welsh Onion

Jekka’s gravel herb beds

In between the petals and framing Jekka’s Herb Garden is a gravel garden, which is planted with Jekka’s collection of Thymes and Oreganos with feature herbs. We are regularly asked about making thyme lawns and this list is a good start to creating one of your own.


  1. Thymus 'Dillington' (Dillington Thyme)
  2. Thymus 'Fragrantissimus' (Orange Scented Thyme)
  3. Thymus 'Iden' (Iden Thyme)
  4. Thymus 'Jekka' (Jekka's Thyme)
  5. Thymus 'Jekka's Rosy Carpet' (Jekka's Rosy Carpet Thyme)
  6. Thymus 'Lilac Time' (Lilac Time Thyme)
  7. Thymus 'Pinewood' (Pinewood Thyme)
  8. Thymus 'Porlock' (Porlock Thyme)
  9. Thymus caespititius (Cretan Thyme)
  10. Thymus pulegioides 'Bertram Anderson' (Bertram Anderson Thyme)
  11. Thymus pulegioides 'Foxley' (v) (Foxley Thyme)
  12. Thymus serpyllum 'Annie Hall' (Annie Hall Thyme)
  13. Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (Elfin Thyme)
  14. Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink Chintz Thyme)
  15. Thymus serpyllum 'Vey' (Vey Thyme)
  16. Thymus var. albus (Creeping White Thyme)
Jekka's Herb Garden: Gravel herb beds - Thyme

Left to right: Bertram Anderson, Foxley and Creeping White Thyme


  1. Origanum 'Hot and Spicy' (Hot and Spicy' Oregano)
  2. Origanum dictamnus (Cretan Oregano)

Feature herbs

  1. Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire, Sea Fennel)
  2. Dianthus 'Mrs Sinkins' (Clove Pink Mrs Sinkins)
  3. Mertensia maritima (Oysterleaf, Oysterplan, Sea Bluebells)
  4. Olea europaea (Olive Tree)
  5. Punica granatum (Pomegranate, Carthaginian apple)


Want to know more?

You can find more about herbs in Jekka’s blog and videos as well as Jekka's book 'A Pocketful of Herbs' or Jekka's Complete Herb Book, browsing Jekkapedia and exploring our herb based recipes.

Alternatively, come and visit the herb farm in South Gloucestershire at one of our Open Days, Master Classes or Herb Experiences (see our events calendar).

For advice on growing and maintaining herbs, check out ‘Jekka’s Seasonal Tips’ blog series, which includes what to do in your herb garden in early spring, late spring, summer and autumn & winter. Together they form the basis of Jekka’s guide on how to grow herbs.

Please also see Jekka's herbs of the month blogs: Bay (January), Rosemary (February), Salad Burnet (March), French Tarragon (April), Angelica (May), Alliums (June), Lavender (July), Basil (August), Mint (September), Szechuan Pepper (October), Thyme (November) and Curry Tree (December)

Herb plants are available and you can organise a collection from our herb farm in South Gloucestershire or at one of our Open Days. Please see our 'Looking Good List' for availability and use our webform or email your list directly to us ( We no longer offer a general mail order service for our plants but we do offer an occasional limited selection of Jekka's Culinary Herb Boxes.