The gardens and grounds at Glamis Castle are impressive all year round.
The Italian Garden
The Italian Garden, to the east of the castle, was laid out by Countess Cecilia, the Queen Mother’s mother, c.1910 to designs by Arthur Castings. Bounded by yew hedges, this garden includes a raised terrace between two small gazebos, from which can be seen fan-shaped parterres of formal beds separated by gravel walks. Other features include pleached alleys of beech, a stone fountain and ornamental gates which commemorate the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.
The Nature Trail, Pinetum and Walled Garden
Near to the Italian Garden is the Nature Trail - some three-quarters of a mile in length. Here sightings of red squirrels, herons and roe deer are quite common.
Walking eastwards along the nature trail will bring you across the Glamis Burn to the Pinetum. This area, planted by the 13th Earl c.1870, has a variety of exotic trees, many of which are conifers native to North America. Following difficulties in maintaining the Pinetum after the death of the 14th Earl in 1944, the 18th Earl commenced a programme of replanting and restoration. Along the northern edge of the Pinetum lies the Water of Dean, a small burn which drains the Loch of Forfar and which flows into the River Isla and eventually joins the River Tay. This was canalised in the 18th century to improve the drainage from the surrounding farmland. The burn is crossed by the Earl Michael Bridge, originally built in 1890, and reopened by the Queen Mother in 1996 after restoration by the 18th Earl.
The four acre brick-walled kitchen garden is approached by a grass ramp leading through what were once terraced flower gardens. The Walled Garden was built for the 13th Earl between 1866 and 1868 to designs by Archibald Fowler of Castle Kennedy, at a cost of £7,500. Although kept under grass for some years a programme of restoration has now commenced. The most recent development was the installation of a new fountain which was commissioned by the 18th Earl in 2012. Fruit and vegetables are being grown for use in the Castle Restaurant and flowers for use in the castle.
Springtime is perhaps the most dramatic season when the mile long avenue is stunningly lined with swathes of daffodils.
In the summer superb displays of rhododendrons and azaleas with their spectacular colours can be seen around the grounds. This is also the time to relax and enjoy the heady scents of the flowers in the Italian Garden. And in autumn the abundace of trees in the grounds ensures the visitor is treated to a glorious spectacle of autumnal colour.
Dogs kept on lead are welcome.