Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

We visited Pitmedden Garden when we were in Aberdeenshire recently. It’s a place that I have wanted to visit for something like 40 years after watching the early days of the Scottish gardening programme The Beechgrove Garden, because one of the presenters – George Barron – was the head gardener at Pitmedden then.

Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

Apparently I took 42 photographs while we were there, but I’ll just show you a few of them just now, to give you an idea what it’s like if you’ve never been there.
Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

Pitmedden Garden, knot garden, Aberdeenshire

The garden is a wonderful knot garden with over six miles of clipped box and yew hedges as well as a fairly recently replanted orchard. Most of the trees in there are too new to have much of a crop, but the older trees which are trained against the tall stone walls were well laden.

apples, Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire

One of the great things about this garden is that despite the fact that its ‘bones’ are set in the intricate box patterns, it will still be ever changing as the spaces are planted up with seasonal bedding plants. The area in the photo below was filled with several different sorts of marigolds. I love the topiary yew buttresses aginst the walls in the background too.

Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

It isn’t all formal though, there are some lovely overflowing mixed herbaceous borders too.
mixed border, Pitmedden Garden, Aberdeenshire

We were there quite early on a Saturday morning and almost had the place entirely to ourselves. It’s definitely worth visiting if you’re in Aberdeenshire.

Below is a You Tube video of the beginnings of Beechgrove Garden and you can see George Barron and Jim McColl chatting away, George had a lovely Aberdonian accent which wasn’t something I had heard much of back then. Occasionally he slipped into the ‘Doric’ but not often enough for my liking!

10 thoughts on “Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

      • I was brought up in NE Scotland. My parents came from Cullen.

        I enquired how is your own garden doing now?

        We retired to a Shropshire garden surrounded nearly by a tallish Leylandii hedge and ripped them out leaving us the pleasant prospect of creating a new garden like you.

        • H,
          That explains the Doric then. My garden has been patchy this year. The roses have been quite good, the hydrangeas in pots flowered but not the ones in the actual garden soil. The soft fruit has been a disaster compared with other years and the pears, plums and apples turned black in a late frost. IN our old garden, where we lived for 26 years we had high walls but one side had a Leylandii hedge, I fought it for about ten years and then gave up as it was getting stronger as I got weaker. I murdered it before it killed me! This year our weather has been weird, very hot at times but also lots of torrential rain showers, so I’ve had lots of leggy growth on shrubs to cut back, and the grass has grown like crazy. I hope to have some more garden photos on here soonish. I’ll have to do some major editing before the winter though, including removing a wild cherry tree which has become enormous in just three years and is suckering all over the place. I wonder if your new garden has started to look mature as quickly as mine has here, it has been a surprise.

  1. I love walled gardens. This one reminds me of Lanhydrock, local to me, which also has the formal beds and the yew butresses but on a much smaller scale than this. Those espaliered apples trees look stunning.

    • Joan,
      You’re not kidding and amazingly there were no gardeners in sight, I would have thought they would have to be at some part of it all the time, clipping away!

  2. What I especially like is the contrast between the two different styles of garden spaces. The more natural looking borders has more appeal to me, but without the formal garden, it wouldn’t have the same impact. At least that’s how it strikes me from the photos.

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