Late Summer in Jekka’s Herb Garden – Jekka’s top 10 favourite herbs

Late Summer in Jekka’s Herb Garden – Jekka’s top 10 favourite herbs

In late summer, Jekka’s Herb Garden takes on a magical transformation, offering a sensory feast that captures the essence of the season. Late summer in a herb garden is a time of abundant growth and flavourful delights and where the aromatic symphony of Basil, Thyme, and Oregano mingles in the air. This is the moment when the vibrant flowers of Echinacea and Cornflower paint a picturesque backdrop, inviting bees and butterflies to dance among their blooms.

This blog outlines Jekka’s top 10 favourite herbs in her garden at this time of year, which are:

  1. English Mace (Achillea ageratum)
  2. Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum 'Greek')
  3. Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
  4. Rosenkuppel Oregano (Origanum 'Rosenkuppel')
  5. Pomegranate (Punica granatum
  6. Rock Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis aristatus)
  7. Rosemary Tuscan Blue (Salvia Rosmarinus 'Tuscan Blue')
  8. Sparkling Bright Thyme (Thymus 'Sparkling Bright')
  9. Sweet Pear Mint (Mentha spicata 'Sweet Pear')
  10. Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

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

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Jekka’s top 10 favourite herbs

  1. English Mace (Achillea ageratum)

    A hardy herbaceous perennial (meaning that it dies down in winter and reappears in spring) with finely divided fern-like foliage, which is vividly green and aromatic, and clusters of small creamy daisy-flowers. In cuisine, its delicate, aromatic leaves impart a subtle, savory flavour to soups, stews, and sauces. Medicinally, it has historically been used for digestive issues, inflammation, and wound healing. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make it valuable for skin treatments. English Mace thrives in diverse climates and benefits from pruning after flowering when the new growth emerges.

    Plants are available via a farm gate collection or at an open day (our next open days are the 1st and 2nd September 2023 – tickets available here).

English Mace (Achillea ageratum)

  1. Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum 'Greek')

    A hardy deciduous sub shrub with clusters of white tubular flowers. Greek Oregano has robust, peppery leaves with a distinct, earthy flavour that complements Mediterranean cuisine and can be used on pizzas, salads, and marinades. Medicinally, it boasts antibacterial and antioxidant properties, aiding digestion and respiratory health. Like other Mediterranean herbs, it requires a well-drained, gritty soil as it is typically the wet that kills it. Therefore, if growing in a container, raise off the ground to aid drainage and place against a wall in winter.

    Want to learn more? Read Jekka's Guide to Oregano. 

Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum 'Greek')
  1. Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

    A hardy evergreen shrub with small white flowers with golden stamens, followed by blue/black berries in autumn. Its aromatic leaves add a unique, slightly spicy flavour to dishes like stews, sauces, and Mediterranean cuisine. Medically, Myrtle is noted for its astringent and antiseptic properties, used in traditional remedies for respiratory issues and skin conditions. Unlike Rosemary, a plus for both Myrtles and similarly Lumas, is that they produce growth from old wood so you can be quite brave and use shears to re-establish a good dome shape. Also, if a branch does get broken or the tips do get scorched  from the wind you simply have to cut back and the new growth will come from the old wood.

    Want to learn more? Read Jekka's Blog All About Myrtle & Luma.

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) 

  1. Rosenkuppel Oregano (Origanum 'Rosenkuppel')

    A hardy deciduous sub shrub with clusters of very attractive, small dark pink flowers that are a haven for bees and pollinators. These flowers are offset by its dark green, oval, slightly hairy leaves. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and have a very mild flavour so great in salads. Grows similar to other Oreganos and, if you want more flavoursome Oregano, Jekka recommends also trying Oregano ‘Hot and Spicy’, Oregano ‘Jekka’s Spice’ and Italian Marjoram.

    Plants are available via a farm gate collection or at an open day (our next open days are the 1st and 2nd September 2023 – tickets available here).

    Want to learn more? Read Jekka's Guide to Oregano.

Rosenkuppel Oregano (Origanum 'Rosenkuppel')

  1. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

    A half-hardy deciduous shrub whose new growth is bronze coloured that changes to green, glossy, narrow oblong leaves as the season progresses. In warm climates, the lovely red flower is followed by leathery red fruits. The seeds of which are prized in salads, desserts, and beverages, offering a burst of flavour and vibrant colour. In the UK, unless you have a hot house, it is unlikely to set fruit. Medically, Pomegranate is lauded for its rich antioxidant content, supporting heart health and reducing inflammation. It's also believed to aid digestion and boost immunity. Grow Pomegranate in a garden, raised bed or a container on, for example, a balcony. You can see Pomegranate trees in Jekka’s Herb Garden and Jekka’s Herbetum

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

  1. Rock Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis aristatus)

    A semi evergreen hardy perennial with a good compact habit. It has dense spikes of small dark blue flowers that attract a wide range of pollinators. Its flavour profile is a combination of Mint, Oregano and Thyme. Although we use it a lot in cooking, it is not widely used. You can add leaves to soups, stews and fatty food. Pruning encourages bushiness and regular harvesting keeps the plant vigorous.

    Also checkout Blue, Pink and White Hyssop (seeds available through the links) to make an attractive border for both you and your garden pollinators.

    Plants are available via a farm gate collection or at an open day (our next open days are the 1st and 2nd September 2023 – tickets available here). 

Blue Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

  1. Rosemary Tuscan Blue (Salvia Rosmarinus 'Tuscan Blue')

    An evergreen shrub with an upright It has small blue flowers with short, thick, dark green, needle-shaped, aromatic leaves. Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb and therefore, prefers a well-drain soil, sunny position, and moderate watering. Prune Rosemarys after flowering to maintain their shape and remember, as it is part of the Lamiaceae family, do not cut into dead wood and remain in the green. Rosemarys were hit hard last winter due to the cold winds, which meant we lost several on the herb farm. Therefore, protect with horticultural fleece in the cold periods. Its aromatic leaves infuse roasted meats, potatoes, and breads with a distinct pine-like flavour. Medicinally, rosemary is associated with improved cognitive function and digestion and there is ongoing research into its use.

    Want to know more? Read Jekka's Guide to Rosemary 

Rosemary Tuscan Blue (Salvia Rosmarinus 'Tuscan Blue')
  1. Sparkling Bright Thyme (Thymus 'Sparkling Bright')

    A hardy evergreen shrub with a bushy, upright habit. It is an attractive variety of Thyme with oval, variegated pale green, white and silver leaves and terminal clusters of small pale pink flowers in summer. The leaves have a lemony scent and flavour, which means it combines well with a variety of dishes from chicken to fish to salads. Thymes like growing in poor, well drained soil. They will need protection from cold winds and hard, wet winters. The plants can take deep freezes as long as the soil is well drained. To promote growth and stop becoming woody Jekka recommends cutting back after flowering.

    Want to learn more? Read Jekka's Guide to Thyme.

Sparkling Bright Thyme (Thymus 'Sparkling Bright')
  1. Sweet Pear Mint (Mentha spicata 'Sweet Pear')

    A hardy herbaceous perennial with mid green leaves that have a mulberry tinge. It is a delightful Mint that has lush, aromatic leaves which impart a subtle pear-like essence to beverages, desserts, and salads, offering a refreshing twist to dishes. Mint varieties, like Sweet Pear Mint, have digestive and relaxation benefits due to their essential oils. Mint generally grows well in any soil, but prefers its roots in shade with the sun on its leaves. As it is easier to grow than to eradicate, it is advisable to restrict the roots, either in a container or pot plunged into the ground. We sink pots of mint into Jekka’s Herbetum beds.

    Want to learn more? Read Jekka's Guide to Mint.

Sweet Pear Mint (Mentha spicata 'Sweet Pear')

  1. Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

    A hardy herbaceous perennial that has a number of culinary and medicinal uses. It has beautiful light mauve flowers and leaves that have a citrus spicy flavour which make a great herbal infusion or are excellent with rice and fish dishes. Renowned for its medicinal value, Bergamot offers antibacterial properties and aids digestion, while its aromatic oil is cherished for aromatherapy and stress relief. To cultivate Bergamot, provide well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and consistent moisture. This perennial thrives in temperate climates. Regular pruning prevents overcrowding and enhances air circulation. Embrace Bergamot's culinary allure and healing potential, elevating both your garden and well-being with its captivating essence.

    Plants are available via a farm gate collection or at an open day (our next open days are the 1st and 2nd September 2023 – tickets available here).

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

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 DaysMaster Classes or Herb Experiences such as this year’s Jekka’s HerbFest (see the highlights).

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.


Jekka's Herb Garden