Much of the designed landscape we see today at Gargunnock has been created by successive generations of keen gardeners, the Campbell family in the 18th century, the Stirling’s in the 19th and 20th and now Willie Campbell in the 21st century
Gargunnock House faces due south with majestic views of the parkland or policies as they are known in Scotland. There are wonderfully exotic trees all around, coloured with every shade of green in the spring, glorious red tints in the autumn and with the Gargunnock Hills in the background.
The gardening year starts in February when the gardens and grounds are awash with snowdrops, dainty but hardy little flowers that produce a sea of colour and contrast to the otherwise bleak winter landscape. In April it’s a host of golden daffodils and multi coloured tulips, Miss Viola Stirling the last proprietor of the house left notes saying she planted 96 varieties of daffodils in the garden, the policies, alongside the drive and throughout the woods.
Throughout April, May and June the rhododendrons burst into flower and the scent of the azaleas on a warm summers evening as you walk along the drive can be overpowering. Throughout the seasons there are many other unusual flowering shrubs which come to life, adding their own individual colours and shapes to the five acres of gardens that surround the house.
During the summer the 18th century walled garden is alive with activity, full of borders with herbaceous plants, cut flowers and wild flowers. Fruit and vegetables are grown and a new orchard has been planted along with many interesting trees.
Autumn colour at Gargunnock is just spectacular with the red, gold and bronze tones of trees and shrubs along each side of the drive.
In the walled garden Willie Campbell, who has been the head gardener here for 15 years and Wendy Pizey his assistant have their propagation facilities and they are always on hand here or in the Stable Block, to the rear of the house, to show you around the gardens, identify plants and to give advice on gardening matters.
On the south side of the drive and opposite the Lodge at the entrance gates are two Rhododendron Walks which are lined with rare and species plants many of which have been collected or propagated by Willie here at Gargunnock. They are a continuum of the legacy of planting and landscaping that the Campbell’s and Stirling’s initiated in previous centuries.