"Jekka is my herbaceous girlfriend and an absolute star. We became good friends very quickly, bonding over all the different varieties of thyme, which I love to cook with. There was a lot to talk about: there are more than 100 varieties of thyme and, fresh or dry, it goes brilliantly with meat, fish, roast vegetables, cheese – pretty much anything. It can even be made into a tea and sprayed around doorways to repel insects and pests. Sadly it doesn't work on my kids… Anyway, in the time that I have known Jekka, she’s designed my herb garden at home and inspired every generation of students at my restaurant Fifteen, which will be 10 years old itself this year, to carry her passion for fresh herbs wherever they go. And what’s most inspiring for me, is that she’s constantly learning new things and passing on her knowledge. " Jamie Oliver
"Jekka has done so much to promote the value and varied uses of herbs and we owe her a huge debt for all her work - not least in showing people what can be achieved by gardening without chemicals.
The Chelsea Flower Show exhibits have been inspirational.
I am never without a pot of basil on my windowsill - one year I grew thirteen different types. But if I were to be confined to growing one herb only, then it would have to be mint - matchless with lamb and new potatoes. I grew it as a boy in our Yorkshire back garden and endeavoured to make a few extra bob by selling it at a penny a bunch. I came home from school one day and my mum gave me the penny that my powers of cultivation had earned. I went down the back garden only to discover that the old man at the bottom of the street who had given mum my penny had dug up the whole clump. My appetite for commercial horticulture went out of the window and since then I have grown herbs and flowers simply because I love them." Alan Titchmarsh
"Jekka's show stands at Chelsea and Hampton Court have always stood out. I wasn't the first and won't be the last to be inspired by her incredible passion for herbs and her wealth of knowledge. One of the most memorable experiences with her was when I visited the farm (either to give a talk or a social visit, I forget) to find her preparing a load of stock plants for sale. Things like Escalonia resinoa, Westringia fruticosa variegata and Eriocephalus africanus. They had become rather large, and rather gangly in big pots and were taking up an unreasonable amount of space in her greenhouse. She didn't know at the time but I had just been chosen as the designer for the Saga Garden at Chelsea (in 2006) and had a plant list in mind which I'd already started working on sourcing. When I saw these mature shrubs, each with their own individual character and shape I could hardly contain my excitement and made my mind up there and then to completely change my planting palette. I think she thought I had gone a bit potty because I was like a blithering idiot unable to concentrate on what she was talking about and rushing off to make secret calls to the sponsor to get their approval. Once I was given the all clear I told Jekka that I wanted to buy the lot. Eventually she managed to get me to spill the beans and she then suggested a few other things she had hidden away. Getting the right plants and trying to create something slightly unusual is always tricky at Chelsea where nearly everything has been tried before but I went to bed that night happy that we had something that no one else would have...a big slice of Jekka McVicar and all her babies." Cleve West
"A story that comes to mind about working with Jekka is when she asked me to take a basil home to grow-on and shoot week a later or so. She had much more faith in my horticultural skills than I did as it wasn't a case of killing the basil - it didn't even make it back. She called the morning after the shoot to say she had found it squashed on her drive - I had run over it! Typical Jekka though, she never held it against me and we always have a great time shooting together on the farm." Jason Ingram
"I remember a wonderful story about Jekka and slugs. When they first started the farm, they had a massive war on slugs and snails and would go out at night with a torch and collect them up in a carrier bag and then take them and deposit them two miles down the road. Mac apparently got so fed up with this - as it did not seem to be working - so decided to do an experiment where he painted the slug and snails with a strips of Tippex before they were transported. After a few weeks, some of these marked snails came filtering back in!" Sarah Raven