Thursday, December 3, 2015

My 2015 Adventure to England--A Visit to Jekka's Herb Farm-Bristol, England!

I always look forward to seeing my friend, Jekka McVicar and her fabulous herb farm in the countryside near Bristol, England.  This year I was accompanied by my herbal sister, Debs Cook and our driver, the wonderfully patient Simon Cook!  One of the reasons I love to go to England so much is that I can always see old and familiar countryside or explore new places by train without having to drive.

I have seen the herbetum in spring when it was first started in 2013 and then I have seen it in the early part of September.  I wanted to see it in late September.  So my first weekend was spent taking the train to Bristol where Debs and Simon picked me up and away we went to Jekka's.  I brought along a potted whimsy and my savory grapefruit jelly for Jekka.  She even loved the gift bag I brought them in.  I think she will have her daughter Hannah do a version for her.  She gave me a jar of her homemade apple and tomato chutney to have with our Thanksgiving turkey.  It was delicious!  I even mixed it with some mayonnaise today for my turkey sandwich!
Jekka and Her Potted Whimsy!
Two Young Ladies Getting Jekka's Herbal Advice and Autograph!
Herbal Sis, Debs and Our Driver, Simon!
Lots of Questions for the Queen of Herbs!
A Beautiful Day for a Tour!
Jekka's Favorites Herb Garden!
My Two Favorite Herbal Ladies and Me!
Jekka's Gift of Homemade Apple Tomato Chutney!
Well, the herbetum was in full flower and leaf.  It was beautiful to behold.  Jekka always gives a tour of the area.  There were a lot of people because of a radio show she did early that morning.  Always good to have young and old herb lovers.  That's what I love about Jekka, she draws the young people to learn about herbs through their parents love of herbs.  It is so rewarding to see.  She is so passionate about herbs and hopefully it will only continue to help her grow the love of herbs in all of England and across the world!

The one tragedy about going to Jekka's is that I can't bring plants back to the U.S.  Jekka is a passionate herb person.  She loves the different herbs and knows everything about each variety.  She has traveled the world gaining knowledge about each new variety.  That is why when Debs asked if she had a peppermint scented verbena!  I had been in the dark.  I thought lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) now back to (Aloysia citriodora) was the only one in this genus.  Wrong again!  There are between 30 to 35 other shrubs species in this genus of the family Verbenaceae.  So any way back to my original point!  Jekka said she had peppermint verbena!  Debs was excited and I think she had seen it at Sissinghurst.  When Jekka gave her the plant, it was different than what she had seen.  I didn't get to bring it back with me, but it was my seat buddy in the car traveling around the English countryside.  Heavenly!  A topic to explore in more detail in the coming year.  Here is the description from Jekka's catalog:
Aloysia gratissima White Brush  Frost hardy, deciduous shrub.  Height up to 3 meters or a little over 3 feet.  Delicate small slightly vanilla scented white or violet tinged flowers.  Lance shaped lightly mint scented leaves.  Very attractive to butterflies.  Native of South America.  Medicinal.

My Seat Buddy!  A Peppermint Scented Aloysia!
Always an exciting time with my dear and special herbal friends, Jekka and Debs!  We never have enough time to be together.  Hopefully some year we can all go out to lunch and enjoy each other's company! 

The temperature has fallen again into more seasonal temperatures in the herb garden.  Very brown and late fall like here in the 'Burgh.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Don't forget to enter my jam and herbal jelly giveaway at the link on the right hand side of my home page.  Don't comment here to enter.  The drawing will be next Tuesday, December 8, 2016 at 10 AM EST.  This blogging every day is wild and crazy!  Hope you are enjoying it!  Talk to you tomorrow! 


Sharon Lovejoy said...

You know I love your postings, but often I don't stop long enough to leave a morsel.

I loved this journey, the sights, tastes and scents. Why hadn't I heard of this verbena? It sounds heavenly and we should try to find it in the USA.

Sending love across the miles,


KathyB. said...

A peppermint scented aloysia ? I am intrigued. Loved this post.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thanks dear Sharon Lovejoy for your kind words and comments. Hopefully we can explore where to find those extra Aloysias next year or maybe a December 2015 post! xo

Yes, KathyB there is a peppermint scented aloysia! Hopefully I will get a post together later this month or it will be something to explore in the new year!

Thank you both for stopping by! xo