Roses in bloom at Chartwell

Roses have long been associated with the Churchill's and their family home, Chartwell in Kent. The flower was a part of Winston and Clementine's love story from the very beginning and whilst a rose garden did already exist at Chartwell before the family bought the house, it was under their residence that the roses truly blossomed.

Lady Clementine's Rose Garden

The present walled rose garden on the north side of the house was designed by Clementine's close friend and cousin Venetia Montagu. Together they created a traditional, formal English rose garden divided by paths into four beds and softened by a mass of perennials and shrubs in gentle colours.
The rose garden was Clementine's pride and joy and became the part of the garden she loved the most. Winston had proposed to Clementine in the rose garden at Blenheim Palace, and no doubt the rose garden here at Chartwell bought back some fond memories for her.
During the Second World War the area went in to decline but during subsequent restoration work the garden was brought back to life. German prisoners of war undertook some of the work and helped re-face the walls in the rose garden. You can see a signed stone done by one of the prsioners as proof on the wall.

Recreating the garden

The National Trust have tried where possible to use roses similar to the ones Lady Churchill would have used like Rosa Ice Cream and Rose Pink Parfait.
Enjoy the sun trap that is Lady Churchill's Rose Garden surrounded by intense colours and fragrances in what is perhaps the most quintessentially English feature of the Chartwell garden.
Relax in Lady Clementine's Rose Garden this summer
Honey bee on a rose at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent
Relax in Lady Clementine's Rose Garden this summer

The Golden Rose Avenue

Running through the centre of the walled kitchen garden is one of the most romantic features of Chartwell - the Golden Rose Avenue. It dates from 1958, the year of Winston and Clementine's golden wedding anniversary. Their children had the idea of giving them a collection of golden-coloured standard roses to mark the occasion, along with a beautiful album of golden rose paintings that can be viewed in the Dining room.

A walk down the avenue is full of colour, sounds and fragrance, with nepeta (catmint) adorning the borders and garden birds making the hedges home.

A vintage quality

In the years since 1958 many of the original roses died away and were subsequently replaced by modern varieties of golden roses. Our gardeners decided it was time to go back to the old ways and in 2015 they begun the task of taking out the moden roses and replacing them with the original vintage varieties detailed in the Churchill's album of paintings.

Catmint growing underneath the golden roses in summer
Catmint growing under the roses in the golden rose avenue at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent
Catmint growing underneath the golden roses in summer