Cannizaro Park, with a history dating back to its years as part of the Duke of Cannizaro’s Estate and its transition to a public Park when Merton Borough Council adopted it in 1949, is a well loved and popular park. It’s Grade II listed status is due to some of the rare and exquisite plants which are all around the park. It has some superb trees and shrubs, which are attractive to both the horticulturalists and the gardeners as well as those who visit; come for a walk or a picnic or simply to find some peace and quiet.
Cannizaro covers some 35 acres of open land on the edge of Wimbledon Common and was a private garden for about 300 years. It is only in the last 60 years has the land been open to the public. Based around a small valley the Park has a large variety of green areas from wide open lawns to small intimate areas such as the Herb garden and tennis court garden and lovely leisurely walks through the woodlands. Formal areas have been developed with the sunken garden next to the Hotel and the Italian Garden down near the pond expressing the changing face of garden design through the years. The design of the Park has evolved over the centuries but the plants remain the stars of the show. In the late 19th and first half of the 20th century trees and shrubs from around the world were brought to Cannizaro.
To enjoy the plants, trees and the park you will find a variety of walks from plain flat paths, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs to others which can only be negotiated on foot. All are easily navigable by most visitors and those particularly in the Woodlands and areas of Rhododendrons have an almost magical quality as they follow a route through the Rhododendrons, Azaleas and down towards the water garden at the lower end of the park. Cannizaro Park is a joy to visit throughout all the seasons but is really special during spring and autumn with the flowering of spring flowers, rhododendrons and azaleas and the large collection of Magnolias which show up brilliantly in the early spring light. To see the myriad of bright colours created by the Autumn leaves on the collections of Birch, Maple and Horse Chestnut Trees is equally spectacular.
Cannizaro Park is not just for those who appreciate its natural qualities because it also has a long history of staging arts events ranging from displays of modern sculpture to musical events. The Park also has a range of sculptures with the fountain in the driveway and the statue of Diana and the fawn.