The GardenerBack to Villains Main > The Gardener
Real Identity: Dr. Bella Garten
Affiliations: Hudson University
Appearances (Comics): Challenge Your Fighters, Knocked The Fuck Out, Boss Bitches, Stakeout, Batharl, and Where Do We Go From Here?
Powers/Skills: Knowledge of Bioengineering
Voiced By: Not Applicable
During her college years at Hudson University, Bella Garten became friends with Pamela Isley and saw so much potential in her but she was too focused on saving the Green. They were best friends then true love eventually blossomed. They were inseparable but hid their romance in public. They hung out with another couple, Cora and Rene, often. They confided their relationships to each other. By sophomore year, they were roommates in love. During Junior year, Isley and Garten's relationship fell apart thanks in no small part to a professor named Dr. Jason Woodrue. There was something about Woodrue that had a hold over Isley but she didn't realize what was happening. Garten saw through the charade and tried to warn her but Isley dismissed and gaslit her instead, even accusing Garten of being jealous. They eventually broke up over Woodrue. Garten moved out and never saw Isley again.
Dr. Garten saw Tawny Young's report about Poison Ivy's terraforming plot. She recalled she knew Ivy was destined for greatness from the moment she saw her preparing to test for simple sugars. She believed it was time for an impromptu class reunion. Garten arrived at Gotham International Airport and found her driver. He tried to ask her where she wanted to go but she stated he has his instructions already and was not to disturb her. Garten wondered if Ivy sensed her in the Green and stopped to look at Ivy's old apartment. On the way back to the penthouse, Chaz ran into Garten. Chaz tripped out on her two plant-dogs. She was amused and offered him a ride home while he told her all about Ivy. They soon crossed paths in downtown Gotham and hugged. Garten suggested Thai dinner. Before Ivy could apologize, Garten told her there was no need to apologize. Garten thought they were young and could have handled it better but she believed it worked out for the best. Ivy admitted to being so ignorant and gullible. Garten then told her she was the reason she was in Gotham.
Ivy told herself she just needed some alone time with Bella Garten first before introducing her to Harley Quinn. Ivy and Garten made small talk on the phone while Ivy waited on Queen Bee to arrive for an interview until Garten asked if she told Harley she was in town yet and they went out for dinner. Frank eavesdropped on Ivy's phone call and was vindicated when Garten called out Ivy on not being a fan of confrontation. Garten hoped to meet Frank one day and called him a fascinating specimen much like her pets. During a meeting of the Ladies and Nonbinaries of Doom, Ivy was shocked Garten touched her hand in front of everyone. Despite not being a member, she elected to take part in the raid on Blackgate Penitentiary. During the battle, Robin, Flying Fox, and Orphan wrangled Bella Garten but she somehow snapped the line. Garten took on a new Bat-themed vigilante and wondered if her name was "Patches." She quipped he was still workshopping it. Garten had some suggestions but she passed and made a flat jab at her clothes. Ivy overheard and realized she was Harley Quinn. Garten tried to excuse herself while they talked but Harley wanted to know who she was. She introduced herself as Ivy's ex from college to Harley's surprise.
Harley put it together that Bella was the reason Ivy didn't answer the phone the other night and returned home without Thai. Harley brought up being surprised to find out she was going to zombify Gotham. Batgirl, Robin, Tiffany Fox, Cassandra Cain, and Porcelain gasped. Harley apologized for being petty and surmised Bella was nice. Ivy told her she was and she could know that if she got a chance to meet her. Harley pointed out she took that choice away. Ivy countered she wasn't completely innocent either. Ivy grabbed all the heroes with giant stalks. Harley claimed she teamed up with them to find intel on Miia. After Nightfall and Livewire quit and left, Harley called Bella a plant-wrecker. Bella pointed out their time would be better spent beating information out of Black Mask. Once Mask caved, Ivy refused to take Harley's hand and left Blackgate with the remains of her Legion, suggesting she tell Peaches the good news since she was the hero.
Ivy reflected at Ace Chemicals. She told Bella she enjoyed having her around but she fell back into her old ways sneaking around and lying to her partner. Bella added it wasn't fair either for Harley to destroy her Edin plans and keep a secret of her own. Bella reminded Ivy she needed to take care of herself, too, and that was the true reason she came to Gotham then she advised her to stop stifling her true feelings. Ivy thought Bella came for the class reunion. Bella quickly stated she wasn't going to celebrate Woodrue by going to it. She apologized for the unintentional disruption with Harley and deemed her to be a pretty dope girlfriend. Ivy agreed. Bella declared it was time for them to be honest about everything. As she left, Bella told Harley to take care of Ivy and to give her respect and honesty or else she would be back and stay longer.