One of the reasons Churchill bought Chartwell was for the potential water feature he could create. The lower lake already existed when he bought the property but in 1924 a dam was built to create the upper lake. These were camouflaged by brush wood to reduce the risk of bombing raids during the wars. Thankfully they now offer majestic views and provide a home for lots of wildlife.
Our kitchen garden
Churchill himself built some of the walls to the kitchen garden at a rate of 90 bricks per hour. The garden produced fruit and vegetables for all his homes including 10 Downing Street. After a state of disrepair the kitchen garden was recreated in 2004 and now provides the Chartwell café with fresh produce.
Chartwell's rose garden
The rose garden was built specifically for Lady Churchill as a place of her own to view from her window. She planted most of the roses herself with different colours in different beds. German prisoners of war rebuilt the wall outside the garden, one of whom decided to stay and work for Churchill as a gardener and engraved a stone in the wall to commemorate his time there. These days it's a prime sun trap and beautiful in the summer months.
The Japanese cedar
The Crypotomeria Japonica was planted in 1852 only 10 years after its introduction to the UK, and that was all thanks to John Campbell Colquhoun's connections with Kew Garden. When owned by the Churchill's this tree became a favourite one for climbing.
The golden rose walk
This was a gift from Churchill's children in 1958 for Winston and Clementine's Golden Wedding Anniversary in September. The sundial was added later and the inscription was suggested to Lady Churchill by travel writer and anthropologist Freya Stark.
The heated pool was built in the 1937 drought. It was filled at night after locals ran out of water.
Originally a tennis court for Lady Churchill, it became a croquet lawn in 1948 when the children matured.
What looks good in the garden?
- Azara serrata - this shrub near the croquet lawn has lovely yellow flowers
- Clematis montana - a climbing plant with beautiful pink or white flowers found on the walls of the house
- Olearia stellulata - this shrub has white daisy flowers covering the steams - find it on the exhibition border
- Osteospermum prostratum - large white daisy flowers scrambling over the wall by the Top terrace