At Jekka’s we are passionate about sustainably growing and using medicinal and culinary herbs. We love people coming to Jekka’s herb farm and discovering the range and joy of herbs. Herbs supports a variety of interests, whether it is from a culinary and medicinal perspective, attracting pollinators or for aiding your health and well-being.
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 embarked on creating Jekka’s Herb Garden at Jekka’s Herb Farm in South Gloucestershire in 2022/23. For those that visited us on an open day or master class during this time, you would have seen the garden slowly take shape. Read more about Jekka’s Herb Garden in the blogs on the garden in the spring, summer and late-summer as well as a time-line to see its evolution.
Jekka's Herb Gardens
The design of Jekka’s Herb Garden is built upon Jekka’s RHS exhibitions and her 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden as well as her private and public gardens.
These have included culinary herb gardens for Riverstone at their Kensington residence, The Goring in Westminister to provide herbs for their restaurant and for Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxford as well as the Quiet Garden for St Mungo‘s homeless charity in North Kensington.
Inspiration of Jekka’s Herb Garden
Jekka wishes to create a haven for people and wildlife in what is becoming a stressful and overly connected world. We already have an amazing biodiversity on the farm and by creating a large herb garden, there is more space for butterflies, bees, hoverflies, toads, frogs and all types of creatures to thrive.
Jekka’s Herb Garden allows us to preserve several of the species and varieties of herb that we are sadly becoming one of the few and remaining nurseries to propagate and grow. It also acts as a living herb seed bank to enable us to collect and harvest seeds that are becoming increasingly difficult to source.
Finally, and probably most significantly, Jekka wishes to inspire and educate people to grow herbs and Jekka’s Herb Garden, complemented by Jekka's Herbetum, is the perfect place to do that. At Jekka’s we believe everyone should grow herbs whether on a window sill, balcony, allotment or in a small (or large) garden. In order to help you start or continue growing herbs Jekka has designed her Jekka’s Herb Garden with several self contained small herb gardens, or herb petals, that visitors can ‘take home’ with them and reproduce in their own space. Whether you wish to grow medicinal herbs or have a shady spot, Jekka’s Herb Garden will be an inspiration for you.
Watch the video below to hear Jekka talk about the inspiration for her herb garden and design your own with Jekka's blog that contains small herb garden designs.
Sustainable & organic herb gardening
It is important that herbs in a herb garden, or any garden for that matter, are grown following organic and sustainable practices. This includes using organic feeds and no harmful pesticides as well as peat free compost and substrates. At Jekka’s we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution.
Sustainably grown herbs are not only great tasting, healthy culinary herbs but also support a remarkable biodiversity that includes important pollinators. In turn, these pollinators are vital in making sustainable environments.
Furthermore, gardens, especially productive culinary kitchen herb gardens, can help combat climate change in so many ways. For example, helping to reduce our missions and store more carbon, providing safe havens for our wildlife and contributing to a more comfortable and safer local environment. As the number of us living in cities is increasing, the importance of access to green spaces and gardens can only grow and become increasingly vital for our health and well–being.
Construction of Jekka’s Herb Garden
One of our core roots at Jekka’s is to be "Environmentally Conscious” in everything we do, which means that we are sustainable, organic and support the natural biodiversity at Jekka’s Herb Farm. We have followed this principal in the construction of Jekka's Herb Garden selecting suppliers that have similar roots.
For example, the steel edging has been made by Steel Landscaping Co., which, like Jekka’s, is a family run business. They use the best quality steel that lasts a lifetime and both manufacture and fabricate here in the UK.
By constructing Jekka’s Herb Garden on one of our previous hard standings we are reusing the membrane material that will act as a weed suppressor. Throughout the garden, we are using in line drip pipes for irrigation that will cut down on water usage.
We have called on our friends in Putting Down Roots (read about this fantastic organisation in our blog) to help sift and move the recycled topsoil for the herb beds that have been created from green waste from the herb farm.
Needless to say, the herbs are grown by Jekka and therefore, will be naturally organic and sustainable using peat-free compost and no pesticides or harmful chemicals.
Design of Jekka’s Herb Garden
Jekka has applied her extensive herb garden design experience to Jekka’s Herb Garden. Taking some garden design principals from her 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden, Jekka’s Herb Garden is developed 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 told, be completely inspired by the range and variety of herbs as well as being made aware of their culinary and medicinal usage.
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 the individual small herb gardens for visitors to become inspired and take home ideas to reproduce in their gardens.
Surrounding the herb petals and circular beds are gravel gardens showing off Jekka’s extensive and beautiful collection of Thymes and Oreganos.
Read Jekka's blog, linked below, to see the planting lists for each of the herb petals.
Example herb petals/beds in Jekka’s Herb Garden
Future of Jekka’s
Jekka’s Herb Garden is the next stage in a long evolution of Jekka’s, formerly Jekka’s Herb Farm.
Jekka’s Herb Farm started from a passion that outgrew the garden in Filton, Bristol in 1984 and resulted in the move to Alveston in 1987, at which time the farm was growing just 26 varieties of herbs; this has now increased to over 400 varieties. Over the last three decades Jekka’s has evolved from supplying garden centres to an online mail order business and from 2013, when we created Jekka's Herbetum and school, offering master classes and tours. See Our History for more information.
The last few years have been incredibly tough for the small nursery with Brexit, Covid and the ongoing war in the Ukraine. During this period, we have shifted and grown our online presence with mail order herb boxes and grow at home seed kits as well as a larger garden and home range. We were also delighted to run our first ever Jekka’s HerbFest in 2021 with the next one scheduled for July 2023. We thank everyone that has supported us over this period and before.
We are endlessly growing and are excited about the next phase of Jekka’s where we will focus on our Herb Experiences to teach, educate and inspire the future herb growers by instilling our passion for culinary and medicinal herbs. The first stage of this is Jekka’s Herb Garden.