Explore the Gardens at The Little Nell

The gardens at The Little Nell are spectacular every summer with more color and flowers each year. The Nell’s head gardener, Arabella of Busy Beavers Gardening, shares details on this year’s gardens, and what to expect during our weekly garden tours Fridays at 4 pm. Photos by Jamie Jaye Fletcher.

The Front Garden

The first area in The Nell’s garden features a bright annual display with ferns and hosta as a backdrop. Plants include annual cosmos, pansy, night scented Stock and osteopernum – The African Daisy. It’s designed to be very appealing by day or night.

The Element 47 / High Line Gardens

Set in front of the Element 47 patio, this wonderful garden is nestled beside Aspen’s finest dining experience. You’ll see perennials such as lupine and columbine as well as bright and showy annuals that capture the light throughout the day.  At the mountain side of this garden, edible flowers for the kitchen are being grown such as violas in an array of colors – a great addition to the desert plate. Inspired by the High Line in New York City.

The Living Wall

This is one of our favorite gardens. In 2015, we created a modern living wall covered in flowers for the first time. This year’s design is “All for Love, Love for All” and features petunias, lobelia, ipomoea and hedera ivy. As the wall continues to grow, you’ll see its design evolve with the unity symbol in the middle and the hearts on either side. A frequent backdrop for photos and an Instagrammable moment. This garden is very special as it is currently the only outside living wall in Aspen.

The Hillside Garden

This is a beautiful shaded garden full of hosta, columbine and ferns that are formalized with colorful annuals – giving it a very European look. Designed as a twist on the white garden – this garden is such a favorite of Arabella’s. Also featuring night scented stock, its fragrance at night is quite lovely.


The Edible Organic Herb Garden

This garden contains fresh herbs and edible flowers for the kitchen’s use. It’s common for you to see one of the chefs coming out and picking fresh herbs for the kitchen and flowers to decorate your plates. Edible flowers are so much fun and we currently have nasturtium, marigold, viola and chive flowers. The herbs include basil, chives, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, dill, lavender, spearmint and mint. We use the mint in the Garden Tours’ signature cocktail –  the Mountain Mojito – made with Goslings Black Seal Rum from Bermuda.

The Cutting Garden

There are many gardens around the pool that contain beautiful perennials and annual displays, including iris and lupine and lilies. This garden features an array of beautiful dahlias that can be used for floral displays. Gorgeous, big dahlias in pinks and oranges really bring the entire garden together – and this flower was a particular favorite to my grandmother, who was a well-respected gardener in England.

Garden Tours are held in The Nell’s courtyard every Friday at 4 pm. No need to register, simply meet at the living wall to join.