Places to Visit in Scotland
- Pitmedden Garden and Museum of Farming Life, Aberdeenshire
Near Ellon and a short distance from the city of Aberdeen, this is a breathtaking Scottish renaissance garden. It was laid out for Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden who had opposed the enforced Catholicism of James II (James VII of Scotland) and retired from public life to concentrate on his estate at Pitmedden.
The garden at Pitmedden dates from around 1675 By Lord Pitmedden and his wife, Dame Margaret Lauder. But the present design of the garden, created by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), was loosely inspired by Charles II's garden at Holyrood House in Edinburgh. The present garden at Pitmedden was designed by Dr James A Richardson who also created the modern Edzell Castle Garden.
Elaborate parterres in Britain was not common in Britain in 1675 and it is possible that Pitmedden had a knot gardens on the upper terrace (as it does in the NTS design) and that the lower garden was used for fruit and vegetables.
The original garden was destroyed by fire in 1818.
The property was donated to the National Trust for Scotland in 1952 by Major James Keith. It features four formal parterres recreated in the 1950s based on a 17th century layout and 2 new parterres were created in the 1990's. The geometric parterres vary in shape from a thistle to Sir Alexander Seton's coat of arms. Pitmedden also has several long, flower borders which run along the garden walls.
Original garden pavilions with ogival roofs look down on over 5 miles of box hedging arranged in intricate patterns to form the six parterres. These are filled with some 40,000 plants bursting with colour in the summer months, creating an elaborate spectacle.
Honeysuckle, jasmine and roses create a succession of fragrances, annuals such as Cosmos (pictured on the right) and fountains, topiary, sundials and a herb garden add to the sense of discovery. With over 80 varieties of apple trees there is a spectacular show of blossom and scent in the spring. During September you can buy the fruits harvested from the gardens.
Museum of Farming Life and Herb Garden
The adjoining Museum of Farming Life brings the agricultural past to life. And the sculptures of "March Hares" having a fight raises a smile from May to September...
Visitors can also enjoy woodland walks and a fascinating herb garden.
There is also a tearoom for visitors to refresh themselves before strolling around the garden again!
How to Get There
Pitmedden is easy to reach from Aberdeen as it is 15 miles north of the city via the A90 and A948. Address is Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB41 7PD
Opening times 1st May to 30th September open daily. The Garden, Shop, Museum of Farming Life are open from 10am to 5.30pm. Tearoom - 10.30am - 4.30pm.
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