Most visitors begin their tour of Pitmuies in the first walled garden which provides fruit and vegetables for the house.Here some very old apple and pear trees have been joined by two quinces.
An archway of clipped silver pear ( Pyrus salicifia ‘Pendula’) frames the central walk of herbaceous borders and sundial and the flower colours here are soft and pale, pinks and white and grey foliage, all flanked by a dark red hedge of cherry plum (Prunus cerosifera ‘Pissardii’). A “ravine of flowers”, it is at its best in June and July.
The Rose Garden
To the right, below the house, a series of three rose terraces are linked by stone steps to the central fountain with its water lilies, bulrushes and goldfish. Long delphinium borders lie alongside stretching the length of the terraces. Many of the varieties have been grown in the garden since the 1920’s. They are edged by dark iris.
On the far side, a green trellis with climbing roses divides the rose garden from the blue and yellow herbaceous borders and the massive yew hedge that protects the whole garden from the prevailing south-west wind.
The Cherry Tree Walk
At the foot of the Rose Garden, a line of eight shiny-barked cherry trees (Prunus serrula tibetica) leads towards the old grass tennis court and is backed by a white trellised walk where clematis mingles with climbing roses and Himalayan poppies flourish among exotic ferns, hostas and iris. The huge lilies (Cardiocrinum cordata) were grown from seed collected in Japan in 1992. The former tennis court now boasts paved corners and a central roundel sprouts stately spikes of “Bear’s Breek’s” (Acanthus mollis), foxtail lilies and galtonias planted around a golden elm (Ulmus ‘Wredei Aurea’). The whole area is backed by low walls, shrubs and small trees. Beyond lies a shrub border.
Through the gate at the foot of the garden is a small meadow, formerly a drying and bleaching green for the chapel-like “gothick” wash-house, built over 200 years ago.
Pitmuies has known three periods – the first of a house recorded in the late 1500s. Remains of that house, with its worn stone spiral staircase faces south over the garden. The grander west facing front is believed to date from 1680's .