Everything in the garden will be lovely... 
When we took over The Bell it was clear that the bones of a beautiful garden were there, with lots of potential for us to discover. We haven’t been able to spend as much time on it as we would have liked over the summer but now that Autumn is here we can turn our attention to preparations for next year. 
The first thing we have done is turn the empty bed by the garden gate into a flower bed full of herbs and edible flowers for use by the kitchen and in our cocktails. It’s a work in progress but so far we have two types of mint, plus thyme, sage and rosemary for the herbs, along with violas, pinks and fuschias (yes, you can eat fuschia flowers and you can also make jam from the berries - who knew!). We will be adding fennel, chives, lemon balm and borage and will also make space for lavender and forget-me-nots amongst others. Not only will it be beautiful and useful, it should also smell delicious as you come through the gate. 
We have also started a rewilding project down the far end of the garden. A friend of ours, who is really keen on conservation, noticed when we first moved in that the lower end of the lawn was full of native wildflowers. He was intrigued so he made a count and identified a surprisingly large number of native plants, along with a thriving and diverse range of insect life. He compared what was in the garden to the wild plants on Leckhampton Hill and is pretty sure that, due to the similarities he found, the end of the Bell garden has never been cultivated. What that means is that the plants that are growing there now will have been growing there undisturbed for centuries, which is pretty remarkable. 
He has staked off an area of the bottom of the garden and will be managing it carefully over the next few years, intruding a beautiful blend of native plants that are appropriate for this area and this soil. He has started by sowing yellow rattle seeds - this is a lovely wild plant that over a couple of seasons will keep the grass at bay, leaving room for more wildflowers to come in. 
We have other plans too - Ian our chef would like us to start growing some of our own produce so we will be starting a vegetable garden - and if you are an enthusiastic grower with surplus produce he will always be happy to find ways to use it in the kitchen. 
If you would like to get involved in any aspect of helping us to grow and maintain our garden we are starting a community gardening group so please get in touch by emailing community.thebell@gmail.com 
Chris sowing yellow rattle seeds 
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