Discovering Cannizaro Park

Cannizaro House and the Sunken Garden, Cannizaro Park
Cannizaro House and
 the Sunken Garden, May 2010

Cannizaro Park was one of my favourite discoveries last year. I'd read about it a few times, but not ventured there before. Wimbledon isn't my neck of the woods, and I must admit that I didn't find the odd Italian name very intriguing--if it had been "The Lost Gardens of Wimbledon Common", I probably would have visited this place right away!
This was a judgement Cannizaro Park surely didn't deserve, it is a beautiful place that alone is worth a trip to the area; I've been back there several times over the last year.

The odd Italian name comes from a house with the name Cannizaro House, which stands adjacent to the park--its former gardens--and is now a hotel. The house got its name from a Duke of Cannizzaro (a locality in Sicily), who lived there in the 19th century.
Cannizaro Park has been open to the public since the late 1940s, when the house and gardens were sold to the local borough council.

Cannizaro Park, Autumn 2010
The Maple Avenue, October 2010
There's something to see in Cannizaro Park at any time of the year, as it features a great display of seasonal flowers, shrubs and trees.
Early in the year, there are snowdrops and crocuses, soon followed by camellias. There are daffodils and bluebells in spring, as well as rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. There are roses in summer, and maples and other trees make the park a blaze of reds, oranges and yellows in autumn.

Many of these plants have their own area within the park: Snowdrop Glade, Daffodil Walk, Rhododendron Walk, Azalea Tunnel and Azalea Dell, Laburnum Walk, Maple Avenue.
Besides, there's the Sunken Garden, which is next to Cannizaro House, and the Dutch Garden nearby; there is the hidden Rose Garden, the Italian Garden (where the kitchen garden used to be), and more.
(See the map below for more details.)

I always find that visiting Cannizaro Park is like exploring a secret garden, with its open lawns, woodlands and secluded gardens, and as it is a bit off the beaten track, I've never seen it that busy.

Cannizaro Park, Autumn 2010
The Italian Garden in autumn, October 2010

The Dutch Garden, Cannizaro Park, in Summer
The Dutch Garden in summer, June 2010

The Rose Garden, Cannizaro Park, in Summer
The Rose Garden in summer, June 2010

Rhododendron Walk, Cannizaro Park
The Rhododendron Walk in spring, May 2010

The Sunken Garden, Cannizaro Park
The Sunken Garden in spring, May 2010

The Birch Grove, Cannizaro Park, in Spring
The Birch Walk in spring, April 2010

See more photos: My Cannizaro Park set on Flickr

How to get there:
The easiest way to get to Cannizaro Park is to get to Wimbledon and then take the 93 bus to Wimbledon War Memorial. Walk to Westside Common and there's an entrance next to Cannizaro House.
Alternatively, you can access the park through a back gate, down of a path off Camp Road, if you're coming from Wimbledon Common.

Here's Google map I made, showing the individual parts of the gardens and what plants there are:

View Cannizaro Park in a larger map

Links to other websites: