The Herbal World Of Jekka McVicar

I first became aware of Jekka McVicar while I was working at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. For many years, while I looked after Alan Titchmarsh, he would stop to chat to her and we would admire her stand or garden. Jekka started by growing herbs for friends and soon they became so sought after that she found herself growing more and more. To the point where her family had to move to a house with some land so that the business could flourish. How wonderful to make a living from growing something that brings such happiness. Jekka has grown herbs for many top chefs, adding that little something extra but essential to finish their creations. She now creates herb gardens for school children and hospices amongst others and she also teaches to make sure that her immense knowledge is shared.

I listened to this interview while walking along the river in the sunshine. It's a lovely escapist listen.

The Herbal World of Jekka McVicar, Food Programme - BBC Radio 4

Culinary herb pioneer Jekka McVicar shares her life through food with Sheila Dillon.

Chelsea Flower Show

I've had the pleasure of working on the wonderful RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the past week and wanted to share some pictures here. First thing in the morning before the show opens, it's the very definition of a Quiet Life. Still. Glittering in the early sunlight. Beautiful. To me, it's so much more than a flower show. The growers, gardeners, designers and BBC production team are all creative, passionate people who care so much about the show and the energy that creates is just magical.

Sometimes You Just Have To See The Sea

Every now and then I get a deep craving to see the sea. It's an inbuilt desire to be at the edge of the land, to watch the tide ebb and flow and to breathe in the salty air. I had been working all morning and decided it was time for a break. I was only going to take an hour or so but suddenly needed to get out of the city. I found myself reasoning that I could work on the train there and back and within thirty minutes I was on my way.

It was rainy, grey and misty but sometimes that's the best time to see the sea. There were hardly any people around and the colour of the sea was absolutely magical. I walked slowly along the pier and breathed in the air, listening to the tide. An hour was all I needed. A little fix. Sometimes you just have to see the sea.

Yay for Autumn!

I can't deny that I get a bit giddy when the temperature drops at the end of the summer. It signals time to dig out my favourite old winter coat and woollen mittens. Time to get ruddy cheeks from windswept strolls through crunchy leaves ending with a mulled cider in a cosy pub.

September for me is a perfect combination of summer skies with winter cosiness. Scarves and shades. The best possible pairing. It feels somehow like a new beginning and a chance to relax after the vibrance of summer.

I love this article from Lauren Laverne on wonderful website The Pool which talks about why September should be the new 'New Year'. I tend to agree.