The Walled Garden Family
a garden to enjoy
The Walled Garden Team
Jo Illsley, an ecologist, gardener and florist and her husband Jon Price (an arboricultural surveyor) took over The Walled Garden in 2009 to continue their British cut flower business.
They immediately decided that they wanted to share this unique and special place with others so developed a small cafe, initially only running at weekends and just selling homemade cake and cups of tea. Now, the seven day a week cafe includes a range of salads and lunches, a wood fired pizza oven running at weekends and holidays and delicious Italian gelato.
Florist, Jodie Bowman joined the Garden in 2010 and brought with her ten years of professional floristry experience, an exquisite attention to detail and a natural instinct for flower form and colour.
Jo and Jodie between them have an unerring passion for seasonal floral displays, using British grown flowers wherever possible and creating unique, vintage inspired arrangements.
Our Team at the Walled Garden
The cafe team, headed by Angie and Franky is made up of fantastic local youngsters, nearly all still at school or in between school and college, they never cease to amaze in their ability to work hard and stay cheerful under pressure. The place couldn’t run without them.
Finally, if you find yourself smiling whist browsing amongst greenhouse Bric-a-brac you have Sally to blame or if you’re yearning to pick up tasty vintage home wares from the Forage shed shop it’ll be Nicola’s fault. Both lovely ladies bring their eye, flair and creativity to shopping at the garden.
The garden still known as the Rectory Garden originated as the setting for Mells Rectory in the fifteenth century at a time when the village formed part of the estate of Glastonbury Abbey. At this time it was almost certainly a monastic garden growing herbs for medicine and study. During the turbulent 1500s the original Rectory, thought to stand where the polytunnels currently sit was pulled down and some of the stone was used to build Rectory Cottage which now adjoins the garden.
Subsequently, unattached to a large house the garden has probably provided produce for a number of houses in the village and has evolved though periods of dereliction and intense productivity throughout its history. Previous to our stewardship it was a rare plant nursery and before that an organic herb growing enterprise where anecdotally pigs were needed initially to clear the undergrowth
If you look closely at the walls you can see evidence of old doorways and walkways, ancient fixings and memories of gardeners old.
What else is at the Walled Garden?
The Walled Garden is a place where you can come for a coffee and end up staying for a lot longer!
You can spend the whole morning enjoying the beautiful setting, our home cooked food, the stunning flowers in the garden or maybe even doing an art class.
We aim to make your visit, be it short or long an enjoyable and memorable experience.