The Walled Garden at Chartwell

From fruit and vegetables, beautiful cut flower beds to the golden rose avenue - and not forgetting the chickens! - the Walled Garden has a bit of everything.

Churchill the gardener

The present walled garden dates from the mid 1920s when the surrounding brick wall was built. A productive garden was certainly mentioned in the sale particulars when Churchill bought the house in 1922 but was probably sited where the croquet lawn now lies.

Churchill was an enthusiastic amateur bricklayer and a plaque on these walls states 'The greater part of this wall was built between the years 1925 & 1932 by Winston with his own hands'. You can still see this plaque in the garden today.

As a large country house, Chartwell almost certainly always had a garden to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to the family. The garden provided an essential and practically self-sufficient source of produce for the Churchill family. For many years fresh produce was sent to Churchill's London home for Mrs Georgina Landemare, the family cook to use, sent by car every Monday and a hamper by train on Thursdays.

Reinstating the garden

The area fell into disrepair during the war but then accelerated once more when Churchill retired from office in 1955. The National Trust stepped in further when a master plan was prepared to reinstate the garden in 2003 using old diaries from Churchill's last Head Gardener, Victor Vincent, as well as invoices and paintings as guides.

The area today is as magnificent as it has ever been and undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Chartwell garden crown. It remains a working garden and now supplies the Chartwell café with fresh produce.

Blossom on the step-over apple vines growing in the Walled Garden at Chartwell

Edible elements in the Walled Garden at Chartwell

One of the busiest parts of the Walled Garden at Chartwell are the fruit and vegetable beds, with the produce grown once supplying the house and now used up in our own café. Discover each season of these still highly productive beds and how we look after them.

A Garden For All Seasons

Tulips in the kitchen garden at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Spring Blooms

As the garden wakes up with spring the cut flower bed comes to life with colour. Tulips in all shapes and hues unfurl and anemones open up to greet the sleepy sun. Over the season these blooms will be picked and taken up to the house where our volunteers expertly arrange them for the display rooms.

Walled garden at chartwell, yellow squash on the vine starting to grow

Early autumn harvest

Artichokes, gooseberries and runner beans are just a few of the many foods growing in our kitchen garden. During the summer months the fruit and vegetable beds turn a luscious green as the produce gets ready to be picked and taken to the café.

Spinach, salsify, parsnips, carrots and artichoke growing in the kitchen garden at Chartwell

Autumnal Harvest

Take a wander into our Walled Garden to see what seasonal delights we're growing. Root vegetables are being harvested, ready to be transformed into delicious stews in our café with winter produce already showing strong.

Brussel Sprouts growing in the Kitchen Garden at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Winter Rest

Winter sees the last of the produce ready to harvest, such as the brussel sprouts and kale that are ideal for Christmas lunches in the Landemare Café. Over the colder months the kitchen garden is put to bed, and new bulbs are planted in the cut flower borders ahead of another year of rainbow colour.

Cut flower beds

During the spring and summer, head down to the walled garden to find the cut flower beds bursting with bright and bold colours.

Sunflowers, dahlias, peonies and many, many more can be found throughout the warmer months, all bring beautiful sights and smells to a stroll around the walled garden.

As you head around the house, keep your eyes peeled for flower displays, all brought in fresh from the cut flower beds and lovingly arranged by our wonderful volunteers.

The marycot at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

The family connection

Whilst you're exploring the walled garden, pop into the Marycot as you go, a little brick house Winston Churchill built himself for his daughter Mary. Don't forget to visit our Bantam chickens living in the famous(ish) Chickenham Palace as well!