I spent a fascinating study morning at Jekka McVicar's Herb Farm last week, where at last I had the chance to see what's changed since she converted her nursery to a Herbetum in 2013. The presence of herbs with their stories and uses was as strong as ever, with some unexpected additions. It was a showery day, which turned Jekka's attention to our changeable weather. "We no longer have showers, we have deluges", she said as a particularly sharp one forced us to shelter for a little longer (and eat more delicious cake) before going outside. Jekka's husband, Mac cheerfully fetched a bundle of large umbrellas, so we could continue on our way. Once outside, "How many of you sharpen your secateurs every week?", was our first and most unexpected question. We shuffled our feet guiltily, and most of us admitted we didn't. "How many of you sharpen your kitchen knives every week?" Now on a surer footing, most of us admitted that we did.