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Cultivating Place: Women's History Month: The Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar

All images courtesy of Jekka McVicar, all rights reserved.
All images courtesy of Jekka McVicar, all rights reserved. 

Happy Women’s History Month!

To kick Women’s History Month off on Cultivating Place, we visit with the woman known as the Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar of Jekka’s Herb Farm in the UK this week. Her long and notable career has brought the gardened world the best the herbs of the world have to offer to our gardens, to our environments, to our kitchens, and to our souls.

In recognition of her herbal research, plant breeding, garden designing, and advocacy around the many merits of all manner of herbs to the garden world these past 40 years, Jekka has been awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Gardeners Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as 62 RHS Gold Medals.

All images courtesy of Jekka McVicar, all rights reserved.
All images courtesy of Jekka McVicar, all rights reserved. 

At Jekka’s Herb Farm and Herbetum in South Gloucestershire, she displays her life’s collection of more than 600 culinary, medicinal, pollinator-supporting, and beautiful herbs. I was honored to profile Jekka in my 2020 book, The Earth In Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, as one of the women leaders in our horticultural world who have expanded and elevated the way we think and talk about gardening. Jekka’s newest book, 100 Herbs to Grow A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Culinary and Medicinal Herbs publishes from Quadrille Press in march of 2024. Savor!

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.