The Walled Gardens
The three walled gardens - the Peace Garden, the Pond Garden and the Sensory Garden lead from the rear terrace and offer a peaceful retreat and a place for quiet contemplation. Originally, the gardens would have been planted with fruit trees, soft fruit and vegtables. There is also likely to have been a flower garden.
The Peace Garden was opened in July 2006 to mark Amnesty International's Stop Violence Against Women Campaign. The planting was designed by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and is based on cool, soft, reflective colours which create a relaxed and tranquil environment.
Adjoining the Peace Garden is the Pond Garden, so called as it used to contain a central pond, which has since been planted with lavender. The garden has a number of cherry trees - some well established and others more recently planted in the north east corner. The Garden has spectacular autumn colour, provided through the climbing plant on the stable building.
The Sensory Garden is a secluded and intimate courtyard filled with plants that stimulate the sense. A cherry tree stands in the middle and is surrounded by a diagonally symmetrical central beds planted with rosemary, lavender and small yew trees.
The Herbaceous garden and the wilderness
Leading off from the eastern side of the Pond Garden is the Herbaceous Garden, which is a riot of colour in the summer attracting dragonflies and butterflies.
The Wilderness stretches from the Herbaceous Garden to the southern boundary of the grounds. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the area contained formal gardens but by 1765 the serpentine walk had been constructed. The area now has an informal and natural appearance, with winding paths and dense planting of deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes.
The grounds to the tear of Charlton House have some interesting features. These include the Ha Ha , a sunken ditch created in 1847 to divide the formal garden from the landscaped park without interrupting the view. Its purpose was to prevent grazing cattle from straying into the garden.
The Roman Stone was brought back from Italy by a former resident of Charlton House, a member of the Maryon Wilson family, in the early nineteenth century.
The grounds is also made up by the Summer House, Mulberry Tree, Gateway Arch and Floral Shield.
The Mulberry Tree is said to be as old as the house itself, dating back to 1608 and planted by orders of King James I to cultivate silkworms. Making it one of the first planted in the country. Unfortunately, the King mistakenly ordered that black mulberry trees be planted, not realising that silk worms breed on the white mulberry trees. To this day it still produces mulberries on a yearly basis.