Beech Bay in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is an ornamental woodland garden, full of exotic plants, that is designed to be interesting all year round.

The Plantation is run on organic principles. Its luscious ground cover and mature trees make good habitat for wildlife and it is part of the Richmond Park Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Access to the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is open year round.

There is a disabled-badge-holders only car park for the Isabella Plantation, access via Ham Cross. Other visitors should use the Broomfield Hill car park.   

Ride for free to the Isabella Plantation every Wednesday

Visitors to Richmond Park can catch a free return minibus service to see the newly enhanced Isabella Plantation.

Stopping at all gates in Richmond Park the service, will run until the end of August and will operate at forty minute intervals from 10.30am-3.30pm.

Motorised wheelchair available

A motorised wheelchair, which makes the job of pushing considerably easier, may be loaned for use within the Garden on weekdays between 9.00 and 15.00. Please ring 0300 061 2200 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required. 

Plants in the Isabella Plantation

The garden has 15 known varieties of deciduous azalea and houses the national collection of 50 Kurume Azaelas - introduced to the west around 1920 by the plant collector, Ernest Wilson. There are also 50 different species of rhododendron and 120 hybrids.

Isabella Plantation in July

Flowering trees and shrubs

Large, late flowering rhododendrons can be found in the south section of the garden, between the stream from the Still Pond and the main central stream. They have pink and white fragrant flowers and include many hybrids of Rhododendron auriculatum. Many rhododendrons are now producing handsome new leaves. These are often covered with a soft felt layer, which is white or ginger, and known as 'indumentum'.

In the secluded lawn to the south of Thomson's Pond the first giant flowers of the Magnolia grandiflora are set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. They have thick fleshy cream petals and a delicious citrus scent.

Clethra barbinervis with its long racemes of white fragrant flowers can be found on the path leading from the Top Gate leading down towards Bluebell Walk, near the entrance to Wilson's Glade.

Heather Garden

Look out for the 'Button Bus' Cephalanthus occidentalis, set back from the path leading to the Bog Garden. This shrub bears creamy-white flowers in small globular heads, which are very attractive to butterflies.

Bog Garden

In the Bog Garden the tall yellow spires of Ligularia przewalskii are set against a backdrop of bamboo, and the Gunnera manicata spreads its giant prickly leaves. Here, and by the streams, many varieties of Hemerocallis, the 'Day Lily', flower amongst iris. Bell-shaped, fragrant yellow of the 'Giant Cowslip', Primula florindae show in the marginal bed alongside the decked walkway. The wild flowers of 'Purple Loosestrife' and the frothy white blossoms of 'Meadowsweet' grow alongside more exotic plantings. Look out for butterflies visiting the Joe Pye weeds (Eupatorium purpureum) with its stately pinkish purple flowers. Water lilies open on Thomson's Pond, where dragonflies and damselflies hover and dart over the water on warm still days. Just off the central path look out for the soft pink flowers of the ground cover plant Persicaria affinis 'Superba'.

The Birthday Mound

Hydrangea quercifolia with its large oak shaped leaves and abundance of frothy white flowers heads can be found putting on an impressive show on the banking surrounding the Red Oak stump.

Foxglove Tree Glade

Hydrangea aspera, flowers in the glade set back from the Still Pond, this magnificent large leafed shrub produces large heads of porcelain blue flowers, with a ring of lilac-pink or white ray florets.

Azalea Feeding

Streamside Azaleas are fed with an organically approved seaweed based feed after flowering to encourage vigour, disease resistance and flower production the following spring.

Lawn Creation

The gardeners will be busy towards the end of this month preparing ground and sowing grass seed in areas of the Plantation where Rhododendron ponticum has been removed before carrying out new planting through the autumn and winter months.

Types of plants by season

spring

Camellias, magnolias, as well as daffodils and bluebells. From late April, the azaleas and rhododendrons are in flower.

summer

Displays of Japanese irises and day lilies.

Autumn

Guelder rose, rowan and spindle trees are loaded with berries and leaves on the acer trees are turning red.

winter

Even in winter the gardens have scent and colour. There are early camellias and rhododendron, as well as mahonia, winter-flowering heathers and stinking hellebore.

Birds in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is a particularly good place to see birds. Resident species include:

  • redpoll
  • bullfinch
  • wood pecker
  • sparrow hawk
  • tawny owl
  • water fowl such as pintail, tufted duck and pochard.

Visiting birds include:

  • wood warbler, redstart and whitethroat in spring
  • blackcap and spotted flycatcher in summer
  • green sandpiper in autumn
  • siskin and reed bunting in winter.

History of the Isabella Plantation

In the 17th century, this area in the south west corner of Richmond Park was known as The Sleyt. This is the name usually used for boggy ground or an open space between woods or banks.

By 1771, it is shown on maps as Isabella Slade . Isabella may have been the wife or daughter of a member of staff. But it is more likely to be a corruption of the word isabel, which was used as far back as the 15th century to mean dingy or greyish yellow - the colour of the soil in this part of the park.

In 1831, Lord Sidmouth, the park deputy ranger, fenced off 17ha (42 acres) of the Isabella Slade . He planted oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees as a crop for timber and gave the area the name it has today.

The present garden of clearings, ponds and streams was established from the 1950s onwards. It is largely the work of George Thomson, the park superintendent from 1951-1971. Along with his head gardener, Wally Miller, he removed Rhododendron ponticum from large areas and replaced it with other rhododendron species. They established evergreen Kurume Azaleas around the Still Pond and planted other exotic shrub and tree species.

The main stream through the garden from Broomfield Gate was dug in 1960 and the plantation was enlarged to include Peg's Pond.

More recently, in 1989, a wild stream was dug in the northern section and this has now been colonized by ferns, water plantains and brook lime. The Bog Garden was reconstructed in 2000.


Isabella Plantation

Beech Bay in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is an ornamental woodland garden, full of exotic plants, that is designed to be interesting all year round.

The Plantation is run on organic principles. Its luscious ground cover and mature trees make good habitat for wildlife and it is part of the Richmond Park Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Access to the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is open year round.

There is a disabled-badge-holders only car park for the Isabella Plantation, access via Ham Cross. Other visitors should use the Broomfield Hill car park.   

Ride for free to the Isabella Plantation every Wednesday

Visitors to Richmond Park can catch a free return minibus service to see the newly enhanced Isabella Plantation.

Stopping at all gates in Richmond Park the service, will run until the end of August and will operate at forty minute intervals from 10.30am-3.30pm.

Motorised wheelchair available

A motorised wheelchair, which makes the job of pushing considerably easier, may be loaned for use within the Garden on weekdays between 9.00 and 15.00. Please ring 0300 061 2200 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required. 

Plants in the Isabella Plantation

The garden has 15 known varieties of deciduous azalea and houses the national collection of 50 Kurume Azaelas - introduced to the west around 1920 by the plant collector, Ernest Wilson. There are also 50 different species of rhododendron and 120 hybrids.

Isabella Plantation in July

Flowering trees and shrubs

Large, late flowering rhododendrons can be found in the south section of the garden, between the stream from the Still Pond and the main central stream. They have pink and white fragrant flowers and include many hybrids of Rhododendron auriculatum. Many rhododendrons are now producing handsome new leaves. These are often covered with a soft felt layer, which is white or ginger, and known as 'indumentum'.

In the secluded lawn to the south of Thomson's Pond the first giant flowers of the Magnolia grandiflora are set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. They have thick fleshy cream petals and a delicious citrus scent.

Clethra barbinervis with its long racemes of white fragrant flowers can be found on the path leading from the Top Gate leading down towards Bluebell Walk, near the entrance to Wilson's Glade.

Heather Garden

Look out for the 'Button Bus' Cephalanthus occidentalis, set back from the path leading to the Bog Garden. This shrub bears creamy-white flowers in small globular heads, which are very attractive to butterflies.

Bog Garden

In the Bog Garden the tall yellow spires of Ligularia przewalskii are set against a backdrop of bamboo, and the Gunnera manicata spreads its giant prickly leaves. Here, and by the streams, many varieties of Hemerocallis, the 'Day Lily', flower amongst iris. Bell-shaped, fragrant yellow of the 'Giant Cowslip', Primula florindae show in the marginal bed alongside the decked walkway. The wild flowers of 'Purple Loosestrife' and the frothy white blossoms of 'Meadowsweet' grow alongside more exotic plantings. Look out for butterflies visiting the Joe Pye weeds (Eupatorium purpureum) with its stately pinkish purple flowers. Water lilies open on Thomson's Pond, where dragonflies and damselflies hover and dart over the water on warm still days. Just off the central path look out for the soft pink flowers of the ground cover plant Persicaria affinis 'Superba'.

The Birthday Mound

Hydrangea quercifolia with its large oak shaped leaves and abundance of frothy white flowers heads can be found putting on an impressive show on the banking surrounding the Red Oak stump.

Foxglove Tree Glade

Hydrangea aspera, flowers in the glade set back from the Still Pond, this magnificent large leafed shrub produces large heads of porcelain blue flowers, with a ring of lilac-pink or white ray florets.

Azalea Feeding

Streamside Azaleas are fed with an organically approved seaweed based feed after flowering to encourage vigour, disease resistance and flower production the following spring.

Lawn Creation

The gardeners will be busy towards the end of this month preparing ground and sowing grass seed in areas of the Plantation where Rhododendron ponticum has been removed before carrying out new planting through the autumn and winter months.

Types of plants by season

spring

Camellias, magnolias, as well as daffodils and bluebells. From late April, the azaleas and rhododendrons are in flower.

summer

Displays of Japanese irises and day lilies.

Autumn

Guelder rose, rowan and spindle trees are loaded with berries and leaves on the acer trees are turning red.

winter

Even in winter the gardens have scent and colour. There are early camellias and rhododendron, as well as mahonia, winter-flowering heathers and stinking hellebore.

Birds in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is a particularly good place to see birds. Resident species include:

  • redpoll
  • bullfinch
  • wood pecker
  • sparrow hawk
  • tawny owl
  • water fowl such as pintail, tufted duck and pochard.

Visiting birds include:

  • wood warbler, redstart and whitethroat in spring
  • blackcap and spotted flycatcher in summer
  • green sandpiper in autumn
  • siskin and reed bunting in winter.

History of the Isabella Plantation

In the 17th century, this area in the south west corner of Richmond Park was known as The Sleyt. This is the name usually used for boggy ground or an open space between woods or banks.

By 1771, it is shown on maps as Isabella Slade . Isabella may have been the wife or daughter of a member of staff. But it is more likely to be a corruption of the word isabel, which was used as far back as the 15th century to mean dingy or greyish yellow - the colour of the soil in this part of the park.

In 1831, Lord Sidmouth, the park deputy ranger, fenced off 17ha (42 acres) of the Isabella Slade . He planted oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees as a crop for timber and gave the area the name it has today.

The present garden of clearings, ponds and streams was established from the 1950s onwards. It is largely the work of George Thomson, the park superintendent from 1951-1971. Along with his head gardener, Wally Miller, he removed Rhododendron ponticum from large areas and replaced it with other rhododendron species. They established evergreen Kurume Azaleas around the Still Pond and planted other exotic shrub and tree species.

The main stream through the garden from Broomfield Gate was dug in 1960 and the plantation was enlarged to include Peg's Pond.

More recently, in 1989, a wild stream was dug in the northern section and this has now been colonized by ferns, water plantains and brook lime. The Bog Garden was reconstructed in 2000.

Landing Image
Isabella Plantation

This is some blurb text. This should be changed in the metadata screen for this asset.


Buy Plants Online

Royal Parks Foundation

Trees in the Royal Parks

Blog

Volunteer Gardeners

In Isabella Plantation

Royal Parks Store

Visit the Royal Parks Shop

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet pulvinar consectetur elit adisciplin donec avec elit magna pul vinar estbul ipsum elit sit donec ipsum.

Buy now...

Things to see

Things to do

  • Diana Memorial Fountain

    Diana Memorial Fountain

    This unique Memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 6th July 2004 and was built with the best materials, talent and technology.

    More things to do...
  • Speakers' Corner

    Speakers' Corner

    Speakers' Corner is a traditional site for public speeches and debates since the mid 1800's when protests and demonstrations took place in Hyde Park.

    More things to do...
  • 7 July Memorial

    7 July Memorial

    A permanent memorial to honour the victims of the 7 July 2005 London Bombings was unveiled in Hyde Park by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

    More things to do...
  • Royal Gun Salutes

    Royal Gun Salutes

    Royal Gun Salutes mark special royal occasions. On these days salutes are fired from locations in London including Hyde Park and Green Park.

    More things to do...
  • Barclaycard presents British Summer Time  Hyde Park

    Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park

    Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park, a 10-day summer extravaganza from Friday 4 July - Sunday 13 July 2014.

    More things to do...
  • Serpentine Lido

    Serpentine Lido

    Daily public swimming in The Serpentine from June - September. Serpentine Swimming Club swims every day, including the famous race on Christmas day.

    More things to do...
  • Boating in Hyde Park

    Boating in Hyde Park

    Rowing and pedal boats are available to hire on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. You can also take a ride on the UK's first Solarshuttle, powered only by the sun.

    More things to do...
  • The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

    The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

    The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk is a seven-mile-long walk, charted by 90 plaques set in the ground, that takes you within sight of famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life.

    More things to do...
  • Hyde Park Playground

    Hyde Park Playground

    The Hyde Park Playground is an exciting and adventurous play space that sits on the southern boundary of Hyde Park.

    More things to do...

Connect with us

Facebook Icon Flickr Icon YouTube Icon Twitter Icon
Beech Bay in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is an ornamental woodland garden, full of exotic plants, that is designed to be interesting all year round.

The Plantation is run on organic principles. Its luscious ground cover and mature trees make good habitat for wildlife and it is part of the Richmond Park Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Access to the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is open year round.

There is a disabled-badge-holders only car park for the Isabella Plantation, access via Ham Cross. Other visitors should use the Broomfield Hill car park.   

Ride for free to the Isabella Plantation every Wednesday

Visitors to Richmond Park can catch a free return minibus service to see the newly enhanced Isabella Plantation.

Stopping at all gates in Richmond Park the service, will run until the end of August and will operate at forty minute intervals from 10.30am-3.30pm.

Motorised wheelchair available

A motorised wheelchair, which makes the job of pushing considerably easier, may be loaned for use within the Garden on weekdays between 9.00 and 15.00. Please ring 0300 061 2200 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required. 

Plants in the Isabella Plantation

The garden has 15 known varieties of deciduous azalea and houses the national collection of 50 Kurume Azaelas - introduced to the west around 1920 by the plant collector, Ernest Wilson. There are also 50 different species of rhododendron and 120 hybrids.

Isabella Plantation in July

Flowering trees and shrubs

Large, late flowering rhododendrons can be found in the south section of the garden, between the stream from the Still Pond and the main central stream. They have pink and white fragrant flowers and include many hybrids of Rhododendron auriculatum. Many rhododendrons are now producing handsome new leaves. These are often covered with a soft felt layer, which is white or ginger, and known as 'indumentum'.

In the secluded lawn to the south of Thomson's Pond the first giant flowers of the Magnolia grandiflora are set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. They have thick fleshy cream petals and a delicious citrus scent.

Clethra barbinervis with its long racemes of white fragrant flowers can be found on the path leading from the Top Gate leading down towards Bluebell Walk, near the entrance to Wilson's Glade.

Heather Garden

Look out for the 'Button Bus' Cephalanthus occidentalis, set back from the path leading to the Bog Garden. This shrub bears creamy-white flowers in small globular heads, which are very attractive to butterflies.

Bog Garden

In the Bog Garden the tall yellow spires of Ligularia przewalskii are set against a backdrop of bamboo, and the Gunnera manicata spreads its giant prickly leaves. Here, and by the streams, many varieties of Hemerocallis, the 'Day Lily', flower amongst iris. Bell-shaped, fragrant yellow of the 'Giant Cowslip', Primula florindae show in the marginal bed alongside the decked walkway. The wild flowers of 'Purple Loosestrife' and the frothy white blossoms of 'Meadowsweet' grow alongside more exotic plantings. Look out for butterflies visiting the Joe Pye weeds (Eupatorium purpureum) with its stately pinkish purple flowers. Water lilies open on Thomson's Pond, where dragonflies and damselflies hover and dart over the water on warm still days. Just off the central path look out for the soft pink flowers of the ground cover plant Persicaria affinis 'Superba'.

The Birthday Mound

Hydrangea quercifolia with its large oak shaped leaves and abundance of frothy white flowers heads can be found putting on an impressive show on the banking surrounding the Red Oak stump.

Foxglove Tree Glade

Hydrangea aspera, flowers in the glade set back from the Still Pond, this magnificent large leafed shrub produces large heads of porcelain blue flowers, with a ring of lilac-pink or white ray florets.

Azalea Feeding

Streamside Azaleas are fed with an organically approved seaweed based feed after flowering to encourage vigour, disease resistance and flower production the following spring.

Lawn Creation

The gardeners will be busy towards the end of this month preparing ground and sowing grass seed in areas of the Plantation where Rhododendron ponticum has been removed before carrying out new planting through the autumn and winter months.

Types of plants by season

spring

Camellias, magnolias, as well as daffodils and bluebells. From late April, the azaleas and rhododendrons are in flower.

summer

Displays of Japanese irises and day lilies.

Autumn

Guelder rose, rowan and spindle trees are loaded with berries and leaves on the acer trees are turning red.

winter

Even in winter the gardens have scent and colour. There are early camellias and rhododendron, as well as mahonia, winter-flowering heathers and stinking hellebore.

Birds in the Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is a particularly good place to see birds. Resident species include:

Visiting birds include:

History of the Isabella Plantation

In the 17th century, this area in the south west corner of Richmond Park was known as The Sleyt. This is the name usually used for boggy ground or an open space between woods or banks.

By 1771, it is shown on maps as Isabella Slade . Isabella may have been the wife or daughter of a member of staff. But it is more likely to be a corruption of the word isabel, which was used as far back as the 15th century to mean dingy or greyish yellow - the colour of the soil in this part of the park.

In 1831, Lord Sidmouth, the park deputy ranger, fenced off 17ha (42 acres) of the Isabella Slade . He planted oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees as a crop for timber and gave the area the name it has today.

The present garden of clearings, ponds and streams was established from the 1950s onwards. It is largely the work of George Thomson, the park superintendent from 1951-1971. Along with his head gardener, Wally Miller, he removed Rhododendron ponticum from large areas and replaced it with other rhododendron species. They established evergreen Kurume Azaleas around the Still Pond and planted other exotic shrub and tree species.

The main stream through the garden from Broomfield Gate was dug in 1960 and the plantation was enlarged to include Peg's Pond.

More recently, in 1989, a wild stream was dug in the northern section and this has now been colonized by ferns, water plantains and brook lime. The Bog Garden was reconstructed in 2000.