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Exploring Chartwell – the Home of Sir Winston Churchill

I’m fortunate to live near Chartwell in Kent, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill. I’m a frequent visitor to Chartwell because…well it’s just a rather special place.

Even now, more than 50 years since his death, you can still sense Churchill’s spirit all around you whenever you visit. It’s well known that he loved the place very much, once famously remarking: “A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted.”

It’s said that when Churchill first visited Chartwell in 1921, it was the view overlooking the Weald of Kent that he fell in love with. It subsequently became his home from 1922 until his death in 1965. Churchill was a talented artist and over the years Chartwell was the source of inspiration for many of his paintings. It was also a source of solace for him during the darkest days of World War II and at other difficult times in his life.

Creating a Japanese Garden

A garden makeover was a challenging but rewarding DIY project

When we bought our home in Kent, we had acquired quite a large, but not very appealing, semi-circular area of front garden. It was basically an expanse of driveway gravel with a few shrubs randomly planted in borders which had been created using upturned patio bricks.

The good news was that there was clearly potential here for a garden redesign project.

The original semi-circular garden

My wife, who’s Japanese, spent some time figuring out what we could do with the front garden. One day she came up with a bright idea – if the soil was good enough, perhaps we could create a Japanese garden there.

This seemed like a promising idea, although neither of us had ever done anything like this before. We weren’t really sure where to start.