British Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar will unveil the first ever specially commissioned permanent garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017.
A magnificent centrepiece of the celebrated event’s all-new Live Well zone, Jekka’s garden will bring to life the contribution horticulture continues to make to our health and wellbeing in today’s bustling modern world. The Health & Wellbeing Garden will be launched when the show opens its gates on Thursday 11 May at the Three Counties Showground.
RHS Ambassador for Health through Horticulture, Jekka McVicar said: “I am delighted to have been asked to create a lasting garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I want the Health & Wellbeing Garden to be a usable and beautiful space that is embraced by people of all ages – a space for growth, education and reflection. With the Malvern Hills as a dramatic backdrop, RHS Malvern Spring Festival is such a beautiful place and because it’s at the start of the summer, it’s always a time of such optimism. It is a real privilege to bring this garden to life as part of such a dynamic and exciting show.”
Jekka’s Health & Wellbeing garden, as the focus for the new Live Well Zone, is inspired by the increasing need for reflection and escape from the stresses of modern life. It also seeks to preserve and share the vital knowledge of how horticulture and its associated therapies can help the mind, body and soul. The garden will be a living, working space with a tranquil seating area, where visitors can immerse themselves amongst the aromatic herb beds, and also educate themselves on the place that herbs and horticulture play in today’s society.
Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Jane Furze said: “It is a real pleasure to be working with Jekka to build a garden not only for this year’s event, but also for the future. Jekka’s designs look spectacular and we cannot wait to see these brought to life and shared with our many visitors. The Health & Wellbeing Garden will no doubt be a real highlight of RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 and for many years to come.”
Throughout the 4-days of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Jekka will host daily ‘herb conversations’ in the garden, unearthing hidden gems from the world of alternative therapies, food and gardening. Jekka will also provide insights into herbs as the foundation of modern medicine, seeking to preserve the knowledge that over time is danger of being lost.
The Health & Wellbeing Garden is in support of Pathways, a work-focused day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. Pathways use gardening and the environment as an educational tool to introduce young adults to the working world. Clients of Pathways benefit from gaining vital skills for entering the working world, these include trust, communication, interaction with peers, taking direction and responsibility for themselves and others.
Leaving a legacy, Jekka’s garden will provide Pathways with a nurturing space to continue their works in encouraging clients to grow. Throughout the show times, Pathways will sell plants and refreshments from the garden. Funds raised from these sales go towards covering the costs of the residential trip taken twice each year for clients of Pathways, a vital retreat for clients that contributes to their sense of wellbeing. Outside of show days, Pathways and local schools will host sessions in the garden. The garden aims to inspire visitors of all ages and abilities with engaging elements tailored for all.
Jekka’s design will incorporate the unique and flexible WoodBlocX system, specially selected to provide permanent raised bed structures to house the garden’s vast selection of herbs and edibles. The centrepiece of the garden contains four large planted sections featuring smooth curves constructed from the unique WoodBlocX system. WoodBlocX use sustainable, long-lasting, organic and FSC accredited wooden bricks, which can be used to create any shape such as the naturally fluid curves seen in Jekka’s elegant design.
Considered an unmatched expert by the UK’s top chefs and horticulturalists, Jekka McVicar is an enterprising British herb grower, organic gardening expert, author and broadcaster. Jekka’s Herb Farm, in nearby South Gloucestershire, boasts the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK with more than 500 different varieties.
Alongside her RHS Ambassadorship for Health through Horticulture, Jekka’s accolades include 62 RHS Gold Medals, Garden Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the RHS Lawrence Medal for the best exhibit shown at any RHS show in 2009. Jekka is also a Vice President of the RHS, Vice President of the Herb Society, is a founder member of the RHS Herb advisory group, and a member of the RHS Three Counties Agricultural Society Joint Committee. Jekka has herself exhibited at RHS Malvern Spring Festival since 1993 and has been a vital contributor to the team at Three Counties for over a decade.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. Tickets are now on sale. For more information and to book tickets, please call 01684 584924 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.