A Place to Relax
a space to be inspired
Welcome to The Walled Garden at Mells
The garden was originally built for Mells Rectory which was demolished in the 1540s during the dissolution of the Monasteries. The Rectory was subsequently rebuilt on another site and the garden continued under a variety of stewardships whilst always belonging to the Mells Estate.
It has probably had many years of productivity as a traditional kitchen garden - the walls are covered with old fruit and vine fixings - but also many years of dereliction. During the war, young evacuees from London worked the vegetable plots and almost everyone Jo has spoken to over the age of 40 who grew up in the village claims to have spent their youth scrumping apples from the trees.
The garden is unusual in that it is a walled garden but has a view over ancient meadows on its south side. This gives you the protected and sheltered aspect of walls without the feeling of being closed in. The planting is very natural, soft and informal. It's not a status shouting garden, it tries to welcome everyone and being almost entirely herbaceous it's like one big summer party. The last week of May is Jo’s favourite week of the year, that's when the beauty leaves you breathless.
August can feel like you are in the south of France or Italy, particularly with the Olive Trees dotted around in enormous terracotta pots. September and October bring gentle golden light, interesting seed heads and the scent of apples ripening on the trees.
Jo uses the polytunnels to bring on young plants, revive tired plants, and grow cut flowers like Sweet Peas and Dahlias for the wedding flowers side of the business. Other hardy annuals like Cornflowers, Ammi and Dill grow outside along with herbs and perennials for cutting like Sage, Marjoram, Artemesia and Senecio. After seven years she feels that she knows the garden now, she’s learned when to put her foot down and when to give a little.
She sees it as a partnership and each year there are always surprises, a plant does unexpectedly well or another moves itself from one part of the garden to another. It's unpredictable and never feels under control but it always keeps her interest piqued.
What's at The Walled Garden?
- A wide selection of herbaceous perennials, herbs, cottage garden plants to add colour and interest to your borders
- Semi-mature Olive, perfect for the smaller garden or court-yard; Bay and Fig trees
- Traditional, unusual and hard to find plants
- Italian terracotta pots sources from Sienna
- Locally made ironwork garden sculpture by award winning blacksmith, John Collins at Stray Sparks
What can I do?
- Enjoy the informal cottage garden style and orchard planting
- Immense beauty and charm
- Our rose terrace overlooking the pasture and meadow
- Some beautiful views in an ancient setting
- Explore the village and the surrounding landscape with it industrial history, culture and rich wildlife
- See and buy wild flowers
We’re always happy to advise you on the best plant, shrub or tree for your particular location.
Come and visit us!