The garden is divided by yew hedges and brick walls into a series of rooms in the Arts and Crafts style.
The Pool Garden was created in memory of Reiss’s nephew, John Michael Lucas who was killed in action in 1942.
The Cedar Court is enclosed by high brick walls with magnolias and a narrow path running between the colourful borders.
Other rooms to explore are the Eagle Court, the Fountain Garden, the Middle Garden and the Kitchen Garden.
National Trust members visit for free.
The Manor at Tintinhull belonged to the Cluniac Priory of Montacute until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
In 1539 it was given to Sir William Petre who let part of the estate to Edward Napper. Andrew Napper added the classical west facade in 1722.
The estate changed hands several times until it was bought c1900 by Dr S J M Price, an amateur botanist. Price laid out a series of garden rooms and paths to the west and north sides of the house.
In 1933, Tintinhull was bought by Captain and Mrs Reiss. Reiss had not received any formal training but was influenced by the gardens she saw in France and Italy and by the ideas of Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote.
Reiss made friends with her neighbour Margery Fish at East Lambrook Manor. They often went on plant-hunting trips together. Fish wrote: ‘I always felt Phyllis gardened like a man, and less of the sentiment which seems to hamper many women…she preferred to call herself ‘The Groupist’ and me ‘The Plantist’.
John Betjeman visited the garden in 1950s. He commented: ‘I don’t know what it is that makes this garden so pleasant and peaceful and so obviously not looked after by a public authority’. Betjeman continued: ‘when the tenant leaves the house, the soul goes out of it’.
Reiss gave Tintinhull to the National Trust in 1954, living there as a tenant until her death in 1961.
In 1974, Penelope Hobhouse and her husband Professor John Malins became tenants. Hobhouse felt that it was ‘her duty to restore the garden to its appearance in Mrs. Reiss’s day’.