North Hop

Discover Pitmedden Garden

Sunday 23rd June 2019

With only 4 weeks to go until we set up for the weekend at the stunning Pitmedden Garden for our Secret Garden Experience we thought we'd share some of the fascinating facts about the garden...

Pitmedden Garden dates back to around 1675, it was destroyed by a fire in 1818. The present garden at Pitmedden was designed by Dr James A Richardson who also created the modern Edzell Castle Garden.

When the National Trust for Scotland took on Pitmedden Garden in 1952, it was a working kitchen garden. The entire upper garden was filled with trees and the lower garden was filled with bushes, fruit and vegetables. To reflect its 17th century origin, the Trust recreated the entire garden which is reflected in the intricate box hedge parterres nowadays.

The waist-high parapet connected by two pavilions are all original to the 17th century. The Thunderhouse Pavillion can be viewed inside today. It could have been used to spend some comfortable quiet time together while looking out into the garden, for small tea parties or to seek shelter from the rain while strolling through the Walled Garden.

Pitmedden Garden is home to over 250 apple trees, many of which are trained to the original stone walls. They were planted in the early 20th century when the garden has been used as a kitchen garden and supplied many local communities and hospitals during the Great Wars. For over 20 years now Pitmedden Garden celebrate their great apple harvest with an annual 'Apple Sunday' event, held on the last Sunday in September.

One of the parterres (a level space in a garden occupied by an ornamental arrangement of flower beds) forms Sir Alexander Seton's (original creator of the 'Great Garden') coat of arms.

The Tempus Fugit (Time flies) parterre has a sundial with 24 facets at its centre and is believed to be contemporary to the original garden. There are 6 sundials at Pitmedden Garden altogether, one of which is a human sundial! Walk onto the sundial and stand on the month we’re in, your shadow will be the dial giving you the time of the day!

There are over 30,000 bedding plants within the parterres, all raised in our on-site glasshouse over spring and planted out in May and June, surrounded by over 6 miles of box hedging.

When NTS took on the garden in 1952 from Major James Keith they were also given a neighbouring farm which now forms part of the Museum of Farming Life. The museum is housed in a number of buildings including a farmhouse with rooms presented as they might have been in the 1800s. The museum brings the agricultural past to life!

Fresh vegetables and herbs grown in the garden are used daily in the gardens on-site tearoom, and seasonal garden produce (when available), including delicious apple juice and jelly is available from the gift shop.

So these are just a few facts about the garden but if you book one of the VIP tickets for our event in July, as well as getting entry to our fab event Pitmedden's Head Gardener Scott will take you on a special guided tour of the garden, and will finish off proceedings in the Thunderouse with canapés and fizz or beer. These tickets are only £14 + BF but are limited in numbers and can only be booked in advance, don't miss out!