Charleston’s walled garden was created by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant following designs by Roger Fry. Together they transformed vegetable plots and hen runs, essential to the household during the First World War, into a quintessential painters’ garden, mixing Mediterranean influences with cottage garden planting. Part of the garden’s sense of luxuriance and surprise comes from the variety of sculpture it contains. Classical forms sit side by side with life size works by Quentin Bell, mosaic pavements and tile-edged pools. [photograph (c) Harpur on behalf of Charleston Trust]
“Of all the gardens open to the public that I’ve visited, none has less pretension or more charm that this; its complexities and subtleties reveal themselves slowly, and there is real magic that can be breathed deep.”
Monty Don, 2015
Entry to the Charleston Garden is included with any ticket for the House. Garden only tickets do not need to be booked in advance and can be purchased in our shop on the day of your visit.
The Garden opens one hour before the House.
“…the garden here was not a gentleman’s garden or a gardener’s garden, it was always an artist’s garden.” Angelica Garnett
Some favourite plants of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant featured in the garden include Wallflower Persian Carpet, Tulip Apeldoorn, Narcissus poeticus, Snake’s head fritillary, Aconitum Napellus, Sweet Peas, Rosa gallica’ Papaver orientalis, Zinnia, Red-hot poker plant, Iris sibirica, Lilium candidum, Dahlia, Globe artichoke, Sunflower, Nasturtium, Cosmos, Asters and Anemone japonica.
Bring a picnic and watch the outdoor performance of ‘The Children in the Moon’, and then explore, play and make your own creations as a family.
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