When leaving the house through the drawing room, this is the first garden you enter. Enclosed by brick walls added about 1720, this garden is really more a courtyard.
This was the first area Captain and Mrs Reiss set about developing. It had been a rough paddock with a muddy path running along the north wall of the house. There's no set planting scheme within the borders. Instead, plants that had disappeared from the garden over the years have been re-introduced.
The Middle Garden has a quiet and natural feel with no defined colour scheme. It's overlooked by a pair of stone eagles perched on top of the original gate pillars.
In 1947 Phyllis Reiss changed what used to be a tennis court into the Pool Garden. She dedicated it to the memory of her nephew, a Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot killed in the Second World War.
The central feature is a circular lily pool with a simple fountain enclosed by yew hedges. There's also a small foliage garden where until shortly after the Second World War, Captain Reiss's garden shed stood.
During Mrs Reiss's lifetime, visitors weren't allowed into the kitchen garden. She believed vegetables were for eating not looking at, like many people at that time.
Nowadays you're free to walk past rhubarb, herbs, berries and more.
The earliest parts of the house date back to 1630 and were built by the Napper family. They chose hamstone from the nearby Ham Hill, from which Montacute and the rest of Tintinhull village are also built.
Whether you visit in spring, summer or autumn; the colours in the garden will always enchant you, from the pretty pinks of the water lilies, and the purple of the lavender to the vibrant yellow iris.
Take a break
Find the swing and just enjoy the tranquility in the gardens. Listen to the bees buzzing around, the birds singing their songs and soak in the colours and scents of the flowers.
And there's always time to have some tea or coffee and a traybake in the tea-room. And what better combination than our delicious food and Phyllis's exquisite gardens.
Listen to Phyllis
Take a seat on the settee in the living room and listen to Phyllis Reiss's words as she explains her planting schemes for the garden.