This is our favourite time of year in the garden at Bells at Killcare . The blistering summer heat has moderated, the days are warm and even and the nights are cooling down. It’s perfect for growing vegetables.

We’re very excited about our two bushes of Sardinian myrtle (photo insert) kindly given to us by Sardinian chef Giovanni Pilu. We’re going to let them get a little bigger and bushier before we begin topluck them. Perhaps this time next year we’ll work on some dishes using their unique flavour.

The garden is full with sweet and lightly piquant Lombardo chilli peppers. Our sugar loaf lettuce is thriving, as are the zucchini and basil as well as a host of herbs. A new lot of radish is ready and the autumn vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, snow peas, eggplant and, one of our favourite, cime di rapa (a sprouting turnip top) that will go into many dishes- tossed through pasta, as a stuffing for ravioli, braised in a pan with garlic and chilli as a side dish.

If you are staying overnight at Bells or in for lunch at the restaurant, you’re quite welcome to go for a stroll in the gardens. Chances are you’ll see one of the chefs picking something for the kitchen.

Stefano Manfredi

Daily guided walks are available (10am and 3pm) for all in-house guests. E: reservations@bellsatkillcare T: +61 2 4349 7000