Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park - London
Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park, is famous for its large herds of roaming deer. But did you know that it is also home to Isabella Plantation, one of London’s best kept secrets? The hidden garden is located just a stone’s throw away from the herds of grazing deer on the adjacent field. Described as an “ornamental woodland garden,” the wildlife habitat is protected from the deer within a fenced area. Filled with exotic flowering plants, shrubs, trees, streams, ponds, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, Isabella Plantation is a beautiful, relaxing place to stroll and be with nature. Visitors must walk through the wrought-iron “Isabella Plantation” gates to enter the magical garden oasis.
Stepping stones and garden paths lead to one of our favorite spots – Thomson’s Pond, surrounded by weeping willows and filled with water lilies (pictured above). Depending on the time of year you visit, there’s always something new to see. It’s a real treat for garden lovers and bird-watchers alike. The habitat’s resident bird species include the Redpoll, Bullfinch, Woodpecker, Sparrow Hawk and Tawny Owl. See water fowl too, including Pintail, Tufted Duck, Pochard, and Mandarin Duck.
What To See When
During Spring, the garden is filled with Camellias, Magnolias, Daffodils and Bluebells. From late April, Azaleas (the garden has 15 known varieties of them) and Rhododendrons (50 different species) are flowering. Visiting birds during the spring include the Wood Warbler, Redstart and Whitethroat. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular times of the year to visit Isabella Plantation.
Summer months are also a great time to stroll through the garden. See Japanese Irises and Day Lilies. Visiting birds during summer months include the Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher.
Fall colors are spectacular. Acer trees’ leaves are turning a beautiful shade of red. The Fall also brings Guelder Rose, Rowan and Spindle trees filled with berries. Bird-watchers may catch a glimpse of Green Sandpipers.
Even in the winter, there’s plenty of color at Isabella Plantation. See early Camellias (single and double blooms in white, pink and reds) and Rhododendron, Mahonia, winter-flowering Heathers and Stinking Hellebore. Bundle up warm and enjoy being in the brisk outdoors. Bird-watchers may see Siskin and Reed Bunting during the winter months.
Free Guided Walks
Enjoy complimentary Guided Walks around Isabella Plantation throughout the year. Walks take place every month.
Richmond Park is open daily and admission is free.