House of Pitmuies


By Forfar, DD8 2SN

Set amongst the wheat fields of Angus is a handsome country house with one of the finest gardens in Scotland. Pitmuies has a history that stretches back to the 16th century and subsequent alterations have left an imprint of Georgian elegance, both in the frontage of the house and in the steadings, with their stables and cottages set around a quadrangle, that greets visitors at the garden entrance.

For more than 20 years now, the field in front of the house has been managed as a traditional meadow, and the absence of chemicals and fertilisers has resulted in a species-rich environment, studded with orchids and yellow rattle and scintillating with butterflies and bees. The meadow is cut just once a year, allowing wildflowers to self-seed and multiply.

This natural space is complemented by the densely cultivated gardens that lie behind the house. Here there are twin-walled gardens, one devoted to raising fruit and vegetables, with old fruit trees and a formal potager where honeysuckle and climbing roses entwine themselves on trellises, and the other a glorious flower garden, that at the moment is spilling over with all the blooms of early summer.

The borders are symmetrical, edged with grass paths that lead to a central sundial and they are packed with perennials that open in succession throughout the summer.  At times the effervescent growth almost smothers the paths, while sweet peas scent the air and perfectly round globes of purple alliums are held aloft by tall stems.

Pities has rows of stately heritage delphiniums edged with irises, an archway of clipped silver pear trees and a hedge of dark red cherry plum foliage (Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’) which offsets the flowers. There is a line of shiny barked cherry trees (Prunus serrula tibetica), swathes of clematis and sculptures surrounded by foxtail lilies and galtonias.

A stand-out feature is the planting of the giant lily,  Cardiocrinum cordata, grown from seed that was collected in Japan.

To one side are three rose terraces surrounding a pond while a shrub border extends the season.

Pathways from the gardens extend along the Vinny Water. The Black Loch is a magnet for wildlife and there is an avenue of beech and lime trees, overlooked by an unusual turreted doo’cot.

Pitmuies also has woodlands, Pictish stones and a haha that separates the parkland from the lawns.

The Herald:

Welcome to our gardens

Throughout June, dozens of private gardens will be opening their gates to the public as part of Scotland’s Gardens’ Scheme, which raises money for a wide range of charities.

Amongst the openings in June are a group of villages in Auchtermuchty, Fife, which will be welcoming visitors on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June. These include established gardens, new plots, stately Sequoiadendron and a forest orchard. The gardens will be open from 12 noon until 5pm and tickets, priced £6, are available from Auchtermuchty town hall. 

Other SGS openings over the same weekend include St Bride’s Cottage in Broughty Ferry, a half-acre garden with wildlife pond and stream; the Gardens of Inveresk Village and 6 Scott Crescent in Hillside by Montrose, which has newly-planted front and back gardens set against established woodland.

More details are available from



Pitmuies Gardens are open daily until 30 September, 10am-5pm.

Tickets: £5/children free. 

Dogs on leads are allowed into the gardens.

Tel: 01241 828245


In association with Discover Scottish Gardens