cover art for The Queen of Herbs - Jekka McVicar

Dig It - Discussions on Gardening Topics

The Queen of Herbs - Jekka McVicar

Season 2, Ep. 8

The Queen of Herbs – Jekka McVicar

Jekka McVicar talks with Dig It’s Peter Brown and Chris Day about the popularity in growing herbs, tips on growing them, plus a fascinating insight into her RHS show work Jekka shares her passion for growing and propagating herbs, organic growing, meeting the Queen and Jekka spills the beans on her exciting new herb garden project which opens next year.

Plant mentions: Numerous Basils including Basil ‘Red Rubin’ for infusing to create pink gin, Coriander, Convallaria (Lily of the Valley), Cress, Digitalis (Foxglove, medicinal herb), Dill, French Tarragon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Laurus nobilis (bay leaves), Mints including Peppermint and Spearmint, Murraya koenigii (Curry tree), Nasturtium, Oregano, Red Amaranth, Rosemary, Salvia lavandulifolia (lavender-leaved sage), Szechuan (Sichuan) Pepper, Turmeric, Thymes, including Jekka’s Purple Haze, Tomatoes, Wild Rocket and Winter savory.

A range of herb plants are available at the Garden Centre and online

Kew Gardens research into herbs

Product mentions: Jekka’s Mr Fothergill’s herb seeds, Maxicrop Seaweed Extract, available at the Garden Centre (feed on Friday).

Medicinal herbs resources: Medical herbalist Anne McIntyre and herbal practitioner Simon Mills.

Borage the gnome news story

Jekka’s Books see website, plus available at the Garden Centre, A Little Book of Herbs. An A-Z.

Peat-free compost, Jekka has her own formula based on coir. If potting herbs always use a Peat-free ‘Potting’ compost rather than a multi-purpose mix.

2009 RHS Lawrence Award, for best floral display. The Medal was special as it was the first for herbs and a first for organics.

Notable luminaries: Garden designer and writer Noel Kingsbury, RHS show organiser Mavis Sweetingham, horticultural legend Beth Chatto, national treasure Delia Smith, top TV chef Jamie Oliver, top fish chef Nathan Outlaw.

Jekka’s Desert Island plant: The entire Lamiaceae family of flowering plants commonly known as the mint or deadnettle or sage family and includes culinary herbs like Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Marjoram, Oregano, Hyssop, Thyme, Lavender, and Perilla.

To find out more about Jekka’s story, the specialist herb farm containing over 400 culinary and medicinal herbs from all around the world and online shop.

Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.

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  • 8. Jessica Naish, Buckingham's best flower farmer

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  • 2. For the love of Chillies, with Jason Breed

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