August at BELL

Produce, Classes, Volunteer Shifts, and More

Bell Garden logo

The Farm Stand is still active with various produce to choose from, and blackberries are continuing to ripen on the vines. We’ve included a Recommended Recipe based on produce directly from BELL for cooking inspiration, along with our usual Gardener’s Tip and Garden Report. Our recent classes, Indian Cooking and All About Bees, were full and successful. Check out our upcoming classes to add a little spice to your schedule, and don’t forget to sign up in one of our volunteer slots for the month!

Gardener’s Tip

Know Your Zones: Zone 7a

by Missy Hamilton – Board President & Garden Manager

In Zone 7a, there is still time to plant before the first frost! What can you grow in 90 days? Also, get ready to plant your cool-weather favorites.

Stay tuned for tips and tricks for fall gardening!

Garden Report

We converted our old koi pond into a ‘cut’ garden. What is a ‘cut’ garden, you might ask?

Well, it’s a garden filled with taller, long-stemmed flowers for things like floral arrangements. Nat explains it below, but she’s also holding a class in August about floral arrangements, made with flowers directly from BELL! And who else wants to try some of the edible flowers planted by Renee?

beautiful flowers

The Cut & Edible Gardens are in Full Bloom

by Nat Flammia – Board Member & Key Volunteer (Bloom Patrol & Communications Committee)

The ‘Cut’ Garden, which is right across from the Daylilies, blossoms from an old koi pond BELL used to have, and it’s in full summer bloom. This year, we’ve planted zinnias, cosmos, marigold, nasturtium, and sunflowers, along with a few special guests which transplanted themselves from other parts of the garden! (See the holy basil that’s keeping the bees happy and the leafy kale.)  The bed has grown in full and lush, despite the excessive heat we’ve been enduring. Recently, volunteers also extended and seeded our perennial bed that faces the cut flowers, so we’re hoping to see more blooms there as well.

While you’re in the flower section, be sure to also visit our edible flower beds that run along the front fence. Renee Anzalone, a board member and resident nutritionist and chef, planted them full of herbs and plants with edible flowers. I tasted the “lemon marigold” the other day – they actually taste like lemon! Visit the garden and ask a volunteer to help you explore the bed. It’s a great sensory activity for all as well.

Flowers from the cut flower bed and the edible flower beds are available to take home with you for a donation of your choice. Come by during our Farm Stand hours to cut your own! If you’re not sure how to cut your garden flowers or what to do with them next, you can join Nat for a Growing Together class on Cutting and Arranging Garden Florals on August 20th.

garden sprout
rows of young plants
young plants close-up
trellis in garden
garden with flowers

Photo(s) credit: Nat Flammia

Upcoming Events

Want to learn something new? Then this is the right section for you! Check out two featured classes below, or click the link to view all of our Growing Together classes!

  • Native Plants, Saturday, August 6th, from 10-11:30 a.m.
    Julie Berbiglia names many of the native plants Tennessee, as well as why and how to use them in your garden and/or landscaping. This class will also give you Smart Yard Inches (2 for Right Plant/Right Place, +2 Provide for Wildlife).
  • Cutting & Arranging Garden Florals — Saturday, August 20th, from 10-11:30 a.m.
    Join BELL Garden board member & volunteer Nat for an intro to cutting and arranging summer florals from your garden. You’ll learn about the best techniques for cutting fresh flowers and creating lasting arrangements. Please bring sharp scissors. All other materials, including vases and flowers, will be provided. Below is an example of one of the many ways an arrangement can be completed.

Photo(s) credit: Nat Flammia

Recommended Recipe

Roasted Garden Vegetable Medley

garden vegetables medley

Photo(s) credit: Stuart Englert

by Stuart Englert – Field Rows & Greenhouse Garden Manager


12 medium-size green and/or red okra
20 cherry tomatoes
20 yellow pear tomatoes
1 small red onion
1 small white onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice okra into ½- to ¾-inch pieces. Halve tomatoes. Cut onions into small wedges. Place vegetables in a bowl and stir to blend. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add Italian season, salt and pepper to taste. Stir again. Spoon ingredients into a large glass baking dish and spread evenly. Place dish in oven for 25 minutes until vegetables are tender. You can eat as is, or try the medley over angel hair pasta, Ramen noodles or rice.

Classes you might have missed in July

Indian Cooking & All About Bees

cooking class

Photo(s) credit: Ashleigh Hall (above) and Shirleen Tarangle (below)

Meet the Volunteers

BELL Garden is 100% volunteer-run! Our volunteer spotlight this month is on:

John Pooler

John Pooler

Key Volunteer

Originally from Chicago, I’ve been working in the dirt (soil to some) since my first job at age 13, which was as a grounds keeper at a major organization’s headquarters. Another job that helped to pay college bills was working with a roofing company as a handy man. Presently, I am a System Analyst at a major international bank. They push volunteerism (as do I) and that led me to Bell Garden.

Having three adult children (still up north), allows me to have free weekends. With a continuing drive to contribute and share, I have found the perfect place to do this. As one of the board members recently said, “This is my family now.” We have wonderful leadership and a really great core volunteer group. Come visit us!

Photo(s) credit: Shirleen Tarangle

Volunteer Sign-Ups

Key Volunteers

Business resumes as usual in August. However, we often need help filling specific positions. If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign up through SignUpGenius  or email Deborah at if you have a specific request:​

  • HARVESTER(S): Harvest fresh produce on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings throughout the season, approximately now through September. Will be trained by the Field Rows Garden Manager.
  • WATER WARDEN(S): Ensure the garden is regularly and appropriately watered throughout the season, approximately now through September. Will be trained on proper watering by Garden Managers.

New Volunteers

Looking for a rewarding way to spend a few hours outdoors each week? BELL Garden is always looking for new people to help out. To become a Key Volunteer, please complete our Volunteer Application and plan to attend one of the next New Volunteer Orientations. Email Nat and Deborah at with your questions.

Thanks for supporting BELL Garden!

Get ready to meet some new friends, catch up with old friends, have fun and learn something about gardening!