The square takes its name from the Cheshire village of Eccleston, part of the estates of the landowners, the Dukes of Westminster. Originally a low-lying swamp which was drained in the early 17th century, it was planned as a three-acre square in 1828 by Thomas Cubitt (1788–1855).
Over the past 30 years, the whole garden has been replanted to give year-round interest. There are many specialist collections, including camellias, climbing and shrub roses, and a National Collection of ceanothus.
In 2006, a Wollemi pine was donated to the square. The species was thought to have been extinct until found recently in Australia. Over the past eight years a large variety of unusual tender plants have been put in and are flourishing in the garden.
Among our especially tender plants we have a few specimens of the giant Mexican dahlia, Dahlia imperialis, which grows to about four metres and flowers in mid-November, if there is no frost. We also have the white sunflower tree, Rojasianthe superba from Guatemala, which flowers in March, but needs a very mild winter to hold its flower buds. It did well in 2013.