May 072014
 
White-tulips

The Walled Garden at Mells, Somerset

This year I went for some rather flamboyant tulip pot combos in shades of orange, red, purple and pink. I never managed to get a decent photo of them as they never all looked good at the same time, flopped in the sun or flopped in the rain. But overall I was pretty pleased with them, and they certainly gave a blaze of colour in an otherwise bare garden.

Then I saw these pure white tulips (I think they might be ‘White Triumphator’) at the Walled Garden at Mells. They really stood out among the emerging perennials, and looked quietly magnificent. So much so that a stray red tulip nearby looked positively garish. Maybe I’ll go for a more muted palette next year…

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Apr 242014
 
The Walled Garden at Mells, Somerset

Mells, Somerset

I once interviewed the new owner of an established, respected and very popular garden, who told me he was planning on closing the garden’s award-winning teashop. For a moment my journalistic integrity got the better of me, and I told him he was mad. Tea and cake help bring people to a garden. They also attract people who aren’t interested in gardens, but who like tea and cake.

Which is probably why the number of tables and chairs dotted around the Walled Garden at Mells has increased since I was last there. It was quietly busy on a gloriously sunny Good Friday, but it still felt like a garden first and foremost. You’d be hard pushed to find a nicer spot for tea, cake or wood-fired pizza than this south-facing terrace overlooking rolling Somerset countryside.

Mells2

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Aug 092013
 
Mells, Somerset

Mells, Somerset

My perfect afternoon involves a few key elements: a garden to nose around, some plants for sale, bric-a-brac to peruse and a cream tea. The Walled Garden at Mells offers all of the above and is therefore very much my kind of place.¬†Add some freshly cut local flowers, a pizza oven and an adjacent field of cows and you’ve pretty much hit upon my idea of nirvana.

Mells gravel_edited-1

The garden has minimal hard landscaping, feels slightly ramshackle and is informally planted with perennials and annuals. Old apple trees provide shade and there’s lots of interesting sculpture among the plants.

Mells buttonholes

While we were there, a team was quietly preparing bouquets of locally grown flowers for five weddings that were taking place that weekend. Here’s a selection of the buttonholes. Subtle, aren’t they? But lovely.