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 after all. Every year the roses unfurl across the Golden Rose Avenue and Lady Clementine's Rose Garden, reaching their peak in mid-June but blossoming all summer long.
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, the striking display is 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 prisoners 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.
In 2017 two hybrid tea rose varieties were replanted; the 'lovely lady' with classic pink blooms and the 'pascali' with a gorgeous creamy-white petal. In the late 1980s the latter rose was voted the world's favourite - you'll have to visit to see what all the fuss was about.
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.
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.
A beautiful album of golden rose paintings accompanied the avenue; look out for it in the Dining room on your house visit.
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 modern roses and replacing them with the original vintage varieties detailed in the Churchill's album of paintings.
One classic variety not to be missed is the masquerade rose. Blooming in a sensational yellow hue, the petals turn pink to red as the flower ages over summer.