Eccleston Square – the green heart of Westminster

The heart of London’s Westminster, within a few minutes walk of Victoria Station, is not where you would expect to find a large verdant garden filled with spectacular plants. But that is exactly what lies waiting to be discovered in Eccleston Square. Join distinguished plantsman Roger Phillips and National Garden Scheme CEO, George Plumptre, for a glimpse into this London oasis:

A closer look

Eccleston Square was developed by the famous London architect, Thomas Cubitt, in the 1830s around a central area of three acres which today forms the garden. A series of majestic plane trees dotted through the square provide the background for the tapestry of plants which now fill large areas. It is since the 1980s that most of the present planting dates, courtesy of the distinguished plantsman Roger Phillips, who has lived on the square since then.

From late winter right through into early summer a succession of plants, large and small, come into flower or foliage. There are many rarities, not least those benefitting from the particular microclimate of sheltered spaces in central London, where winter frosts are very rare and there is much summer warmth. As well as unusual flowering trees and shrubs here are collections of camellias, ceanothus and tree peonies as well as a spectacular variety of climbing and rambling roses many of which have climbed high into various trees. But in addition to the horticultural delights, the chance to enjoy such a peaceful green oasis in the middle of the city is a joy.

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Plant diary

National Garden Scheme CEO, George Plumptre, who lives on Eccelston Square has been keeping a daily plant diary since lockdown began in March. Below are just a few of the horticultural treasures to be found You can read it here.

 

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