A visit to Jekka’s Herb Farm sparked a horticultural debate

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Aug 2016 in Inspiration, Plants

Jekka's Herb beds Lisa Cox Garden Designs

A couple of weeks ago I visited Jekka’s Herb Farm with the Garden Media Guild.  What an inspiring lady Jekka is, so passionate about what she does and about spreading the word about the benefits of herbs to our health and well being.

Jekka's Herb Farm Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Thyme in Jekka Nursery Lisa Cox Garden Designs

We had a really interesting tour around the nursery, getting to taste some interesting and different herbs and hearing about more unusual varieties and species. My favourite had to be the fennel flowers which I will certainly be using in salads from now on – I love fennel anyway, but the flowers were more subtle in flavour and somehow sweeter.

Lavender at Jekka's Herb Farm Lisa Cox Garden Designs

After the tour of the nursery we were welcomed inside to eat cake and try some of the delicious home produced herbal teas.  Our chats sparked a really interesting discussion about the horticultural industry and how the smaller nurseries are now sadly dwindling because of the lack of young people entering into the world of horticulture.

Mint at Jekka's Herb Farm Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Lavender flowers at Jekka Herb Farm Lisa Cox Designs

In the UK, horticulture is still seen as a career for the less academic or as a menial job for the less gifted. I’ve never understood how this can be the case when it takes many years to learn and even more to become an expert, if indeed that’s possible.

Lavender & other herbs at Jekka's farm Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Jekka is looking for someone she can inspire and train to take over the nursery one day, but finding someone who has a passion to learn and a desire to soak up all her knowledge is seeming to be almost impossible.

Jekka Herb Farm Lisa Cox Garden Designs

What can we do to inspire the younger generations to think about horticulture as a viable career option? How can we excite and motivate them to embark on a career that will inspire and excite future generations.  What will we do when all the expert growers are no longer around to teach us, it’s quite a scary thought I think?

I’d love to say that I have an answer, but I don’t.  How do you think we can change perceptions about an industry which is pretty essential to the human race?

Broad leaved thyme Jekka Herb Farm Lisa Cox Designs

Jekka runs masterclasses at the farm, has open days and it’s also possible to arrange a group visit. There’s a lot more information on her website if you’re interested in reading more.

(Images: Lisa Cox)



RHS Chelsea 2016 – The plants of the show

0 Written by Lisa on 28th May 2016 in Inspiration, Plants

Foxgloves in Brewin Dolphin Garden RHS Chelsea 2016

It’s the final day of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 and I wanted to round off my week of blog posts with some of the plants that shone out at the show. Read more

Choosing plants that fit with their surroundings

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Mar 2016 in Plants

Fallas festival Valencia Lisa Cox Designs

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Valencia. A really great City that was just warming up for their annual festival “Fallas” which takes place in 2 weeks.  We experienced lots of firecrackers (a reminder of my days in Greece at Easter) and a daily afternoon firework display in broad daylight, which felt a little bizarre! Read more

Protecting our precious trees

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Feb 2016 in Design Tips, Plants

Oak tree from the wood floor taken with wide angle lense by Lisa Cox

I’m currently working on a project where we have few trees on site that are subject to a Tree Protection Order (TPO).  Obviously I need to be absolutely sure that I create the new garden in a way that will ensure that the trees aren’t damaged so I’ve been taking advice from a professional arborist to ensure that we’re doing things right. Read more

Low hedges – a few alternatives to Box

4 Written by Lisa on 6th Oct 2015 in Plants

Box topiary and stone bench in Box, Wiltshire

You may or may not have heard that there’s been an outbreak of box tree caterpillar in London and some of the Home Counties. The caterpillars eat the leaves and produce webbing over their feeding area which can eventually cause the plants to die. Read more

It’s bulb planting time!

0 Written by Lisa on 1st Oct 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

Golden narcissus at RHS Garden Wisley Lisa Cox

I’ve just returned from Surrey after 5 long days planting my project in Weybridge.  No photos yet I’m afraid as it wasn’t looking very photogenic without the lawn and with the protective boards down on the terrace.  But I’ll be popping back at the end of October armed with my camera so I’ll share the pictures with you as soon as I can. Read more

Planting – getting the colour tone right

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Jun 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2015 Lisa Cox A Front Garden for Victoria Park Mazda

When I designed the garden at RHS Flower Show Cardiff I really thought the crowd would be divided about the planting because of the warm and vibrant colours.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong, everyone seemed to love it! Read more

A visit to New Wood Trees in Devon

2 Written by Lisa on 9th Feb 2015 in Inspiration, Plants

New Wood Trees Devon Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I went to visit New Wood Trees on Wednesday, a fabulous nursery in Devon specialising in multi-stem trees.  I’ve sourced a few trees from them in the past, but it was great to finally make a trip there to see the extent of their stock and to meet the owner, Philip Nieuwoudt. Read more

The power of yellow…do you love to hate it?

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Nov 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Yellow day lilies at Loseley Park hemerocallis

When I first start to talk to clients about plants, the majority of people say that they don’t want any yellow.  From experience what they actually mean is that there’s a particular plant with a particular tone of yellow that they don’t like or want in the garden. Read more

Gardening and Landscaping Mission to the Netherlands Part Two…The Nurseries

2 Written by Lisa on 30th Oct 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

Field grown trees at Boomkwekerij Ebben Nursery Holland Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Earlier this week I shared some images of the Villa Augustus hotel.  But today I want to share some photos of some of the fabulous nurseries we visited whilst we were there.  Most of the images were taken on my phone so they’re not really up to scratch, but I hope you enjoy all the same… Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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