Garden Portrait: Drummond Gardens

OCTOBER is the month to share your favourite gardens.

(This month share with us what is special about your favourite garden. Why do you like it? When is it at its best? And how do we get there. Of course you may wish to share your own garden in which case unless you open it to the public, keep the actual location private. )

Drummond Gardens are Scotland’s most important formal gardens and amongst the finest in Europe. Set below the castle walls and surrounded by woodland, rolling countryside and the Ochil Hills to the east they were laid out in 1630 by John Drummond, 2nd Earl of Perth, but took their present format almost two hundred years later. As you enter the courtyard there is no indication of the grandeur to come.


A tiny room on the right of the arched entrance is the ticket office – no fancy gift shop or tea-room here. And then you move to the garden entrance at the top of the terraces.


The design is the Saltaire, the Saint Andrew’s Cross of Scotland, incorporating within the axis the multi-faceted obelisk sundial, built by John Mylne in 1630. The box hedges within the cross contain the Coats of Arms of the Drummond and Willoughby families.

The sundial shows the time in different countries
A view of the castle from the garden

The garden is designed to be viewed from the terraces as once you are on the ground the layout is difficult to see.  The red and yellow roses represent the Drummond colours.


Of course a formal garden like this must include much statutory. Cute cupids, Greek gods and goddesses, animals…

The garden includes fourteen species of Maples so colour in spring and autumn is guaranteed as well as a beautiful copper beech planted by Queen Victoria in 1842 and dozens of deciduous trees and shrubs.

At the rear of the garden behind a wall is the kitchen garden with 21 varieties of apples trained to grow up the walls, fruit beds, vegetable beds, roses, dahlias and a glass house filled with pelargoniums, Achimenes, plumbago and a grape-vine.

And once again I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of colour in a garden this far north and in mid-September.

Drummond Gardens are located at Muthill, nr Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland PH7 4HZ and even if you are not a fan of the formal garden it really is worth a visit to view something so unique in the UK. And if you go to the web site there is a lovely video on the Picture Gallery page which uses a drone to take you soaring above the gardens so you can see it all.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it October: A Garden Portrait
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

This is the last week for showing me your favourite gardens, next Sunday we begin the penultimate month of the challenge (how quickly the year passes) with Trees, leaves, woods, forests, and fungi – autumnal if you like though any time of year is quite alright by me.

As usual I appreciate everyone who has visited me this month to like and/or comment on my posts and a special thank you to those who linked their favourite gardens to mine so that we could all visit them too. I really enjoy my virtual garden walks.

40 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: Drummond Gardens

    1. I had it marked as a garden to visit en route to our holiday cottage, to fill in the time before we could check in. I had forgotten what kind of garden it was so when we reached the terrace I was quite blown away. Much better in reality than my photos show.

        1. Er… I see you more of a lying in a hammock with a beer in one hand and a camera in the other watching the world go by 🙂 not up a ladder trimming hedges.

  1. A splendid tour, Jude. Your photos are beautiful. Yes, I know this is supposed to be all about the gardens, but my favourite photos are of the castle. Wowzer!!
    I’m pretty sure I was born of noble blood and switched accidentally in the nursery. How else to explain the certainty that I should be living in a castle? This one would do nicely, thank you 😉

  2. Tarnation! You caught me out. I was thinking the theme changed today. And I’ve just lost an argument with Mick. I was adamant I’d been to this garden but it turns out I’m thinking of one on the West Coast. Never mind- this one is a beauty. It was a rainy old day at mine. Lovely post, Jude. And I should have done trees next week. 😦 Sob! Back to the wine 🙂

      1. I’m delving back in memory banks. I can clearly picture it because it was grey and damp. I think it may have been in the Dumfries area rather than West Coast. We did 2 up there, 1 very splendid indeed and then the one yours reminded me of. Hey ho! 🙂

        1. I’m trying to think of any formal gardens we visited in D&G but not coming up with anything. Scotland does have some splendid gardens. Next trip though has to be to the Outer Hebrides. Not many gardens there I imagine!

  3. As I read on my jaw dropped little by little when I finally let out a loud “wow”. It felt like we are walking with you through these amazing gardens – the kitchen garden is wonderful.
    Will definitely write them on my list if I visit Scotland one day. 😉

    1. I guess I liked the kitchen garden the best because it is more ‘me’ but the formal design viewed from the terraces is stunning and all those trees make for wonderful colours.

  4. I love this post – which is perversely why it’s taken me so long to comment! The header is a mistresspiece, showing the whole scope of the garden. For a woman who’s not real keen on formality you pay it great homage. Nice dog, nice figleaf and nice marble buttocks! As always the individual flowers are beautifully shot. This is garden design on a grand scale – formal gardens are usually hard to photograph in my limited experience unless you find a convenient second storey window.

    1. I welcome your comments Meg as you always take time to absorb the post; I forgot to add the cute cupids so I may have to do another post featuring them as I work my way up the east coast! It is a very grand garden and the views from those terraces are spectacular.

  5. These are stunning . . . how come I’ve missed them all this years. Somewhere else I need to add to my Scottish list for when we finally make it back up north.

    1. There are a lot of wonderful places to visit in our own patch, OK getting up to Scotland does take effort especially for us now. I also fancy popping over to Ireland for a couple of weeks. I wonder what they have in the way of gardens?

      1. Now Ireland that is somewhere I definitely want to go. My grandparents went regularly, and have such wonderful photographs. I suspect their gardens are glorious being so far west.

  6. Looks like another garden to go on the “must visit” list. I often am in the west of Scotland so I will just have to get over to the East. Is the brown on the box just sun burn or the dreaded blight?

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