Discover a hidden gem in London - Cannizaro Park and its Rose Garden! This tranquil oasis is the perfect place to spend an hour or two wandering around, admiring the expansive lawns, woodlands, and formal gardens. Recently refurbished, the Rose Garden is a must-see, featuring fragrant David Austin garden roses and other companion plants that were selected for their fragrance. In the spring, the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom, while the park's restoration efforts have made it a delightful spot to visit in the summer too. So, if you're looking for a peaceful escape, and a place to see garden roses in London head to Cannizaro Park and explore its beauty!
The Rose Garden in Cannizaro Park
Cannizaro Park is a true London secret garden; you may have lived in London for a long time and never heard of it, as it is rarely mentioned in tourist guides and most people learn about it through word of mouth. It is a true gem of Wimbledon, with a peaceful atmosphere set by the fine fountain at the entrance - a perfect place to sit and listen to the water falling. The park is very well-maintained, with plenty of open grass areas and many fine trees - large enough to spend an hour or two exploring, but not so large that you can't see everything. There are several attractive, more formal gardens and terraces to admire, contrasting with the expansive lawns and woodlands to wander in. There is also a charming rose garden that has recently been refurbished, featuring lots of fragrant David Austin garden roses. Not far from the rose garden is a nineteenth-century statue of Diana and one of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (who lived in Wimbledon for at least part of his exile).
In the spring, the park is truly breathtaking when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom. But thanks to the recent restoration efforts of the Cannizaro Park management company, volunteers and supporters, it is also very enjoyable in summer - thanks to the renovation of the rose garden that was recently completed.
Rose Garden restoration at the Cannizaro Park
In Spring 2022, The Friends of Cannizaro Park, with the support of the London Borough of Merton (LBM), redesigned the rose garden. Our Landscape Partner, Landform Consultants Ltd, created a more modern design, funded by donations and largely created by the Friends' volunteer gardening team.
This redesign returned the garden to its pre-war design of four quarter beds, originally planted by the Corporation of Wimbledon, LBM's predecessor. The new design retains the same circular layout, but enhances the garden in several ways. Paths have been widened to improve access, and more benches have been provided to accommodate visitors. David Austin roses have been selected for their health, fragrance, colour, and attractiveness to bees, while insect-friendly perennial planting extends the flowering season.
The garden also features obelisks with climbing roses and clematis, as well as carefully chosen edging plants such as lavender, teucrium, and nepeta, providing great visual interest and additional fragrance.
Rose Varieties growing at the Rose Garden
Individual rose varieties are labelled in the rose beds as well as on the plan of the garden.
List of roses growing in the rose garden at Cannizaro Park:
- Claire Austine"(Climber)
- Country Parsons
- Gabriel Oak
- Kew Gardens
- The Lady of the Lake (Climber)
- Mary Delany (Climber)
- Princess Anne
- Scarborough Fair
- Silas Marner
- Susan Williams Ellis
- Tottering by Gently
- White Flower Carpet (Ground Cover)
Rosa "Mary Delany" -The exquisite Rose "Mary Delany" is a captivating climber, boasting delicate pointed buds that open to reveal medium-sized, loosely double, light pink flowers. These blooms are produced in large open sprays over an extended period of time, and are held on slender dark stems. As they open, golden stamens are revealed, and a light-medium Old Rose scent with hints of fruit is released. This rose is healthy and almost thornless, with small, dark green leaves adding to its charm.
Rosa "Gabriel Oak" - Introducing Rose "Gabriel Oak", a stunning variety of rose with large, many-petalled rosette blooms in a striking shade of deep pink. As the blooms age, the outer petals lighten, creating a beautiful contrast. Not only is this rose visually stunning, but it also has a wonderful, strong fruity fragrance. It forms a very shapely, broad, rounded shrub with mulberry purple stems and dark green foliage, giving the overall impression of richness and abundance. Named after the beloved character in Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far from the Madding Crowd, this rose is sure to bring beauty and joy to any garden. David Austin, 2019.
Rosa "Susan Williams-Ellis" - Rose 'Susan Williams-Ellis' is a delightful and unassuming Old Rose of typical beauty. This pure white sport of the pink English Rose, 'The Mayflower', is remarkable in that it is completely free from disease. Its medium-strong fragrance is perfectly Old Rose in character, and its upright, bushy, twiggy growth makes it extremely winter hardy. Named for the founder of Portmeirion Pottery, who was a great enthusiast of the English Roses, this rose was introduced by David Austin in 2010.
Rosa "Kew Gardens" - Experience the beauty of Rose "Kew Gardens"! These small, single flowers are held in large heads, similar to a hydrangea, and bloom from early summer to autumn. The buds start off as soft apricot and open to a pure white with a hint of lemon behind the stamens. Not only is this rose extremely healthy and almost thornless, but it also has a bushy and upright growth. David Austin, 2009.
Rosa "Scarborough Fair" - For rose lovers, the "Scarborough Fair" variety is a must-have! Not only is it incredibly tough and reliable, but it also produces an abundance of soft pink, semi-double flowers with a musky Old Rose scent. Its bushy, upright shrub makes it a great addition to any garden. Named after the classic English folk song made popular by Simon and Garfunkel, this rose is sure to bring a touch of nostalgia to your garden. David Austin, 2003.
Rosa "Princess Anne" - A rose fit for royalty, the "Princess Anne" is a stunning variety of rose with deep pink, almost red, petals that fade to a pure, rich pink. The petals are narrow yet substantial, with a hint of yellow on their undersides. This healthy variety produces large, fragrant clusters of flowers with remarkable freedom. It forms a bushy, upright shrub with thick, succulent, highly polished foliage. Named for Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, this rose is truly a sight to behold. David Austin, 2010.
Rosa "Silas Marner" - The romantic beauty of Rose "Silas Marner" is undeniable. Its soft mid-pink petals are pale on the reverse and fade at the edges, creating a gentle, almost ruffled quality. Held on red stems, the medium-sized cupped blooms have an attractive button eye and a medium-strong Old Rose fragrance with accents of fruity lemon, green banana and apricot. This very healthy medium-sized shrub has glossy dark green foliage and wide, arching growth, making it a perfect addition to any garden. Named after the kindhearted hero of George Eliot’s classic novel, Rose "Silas Marner" is sure to bring a touch of romance to your garden.
Rosa "The Lady of the Lake" (Climber) - The beautiful Rose "Lady of the Lake" captivates with its delicate, semi-double flowers, each about 2” across, that gracefully adorn long, slender and flexible stems. Pale pink in colour and of open formation, each bloom reveals a stunning boss of golden stamens. Its fresh citrus fragrance adds to its charm. Named after the ruler of Avalon in the Arthurian legend, this rose also plays a pivotal role in Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem of the same name. David Austin, 2014.
Rosa "Claire Austin" - The beautiful Rose "Claire Austin" is a vigorous climber that will bring both beauty and performance to your garden. Its pale lemon buds open to reveal large, creamy white flowers with outer petals arranged in perfect concentric circles. The sweet scent of myrrh, meadowsweet, vanilla and heliotrope will fill the air, while the strong and healthy growth is clothed in attractive matt green foliage.
Map of Cannizaro Park - Location of The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden in Cannizaro Park is conveniently located near the Priest's House and Kier Garden. You can reach it quickly and easily by taking Diana Path from the main entrance.