The Southwood Garden at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, is tucked between Jermyn Street and Piccadilly. The garden or ‘green churchyard,’ as it has been known for much of its 300 year history, is a much loved part of this historic site which has one of Sir Christopher Wren’s finest churches, at its centre.
Local residents, the Church community, office workers and tourists alike, come to the garden for its peace and sanctuary. It is rare spot located away from the busy street, where visitors can meet friends and enjoy lunch from the renowned food market in the Church’s courtyard. Visitors to the Church's free lunchtime concerts also enjoy popping into the garden for a pre or post-concert break.
The Southwood Garden is used as a venue for events and in recent years, has hosted a number of exhibitions. The Church continues to collaborate with the West End gallery, Bowman Sculpture, to host an outdoor exhibition of work by Emily Young, the UK's leading sculptor working in stone.
The Church is keen to encourage biodiversity and sees its garden as a vital habitat for wildlife. The Southwood Garden is made up of paving, lawns and flower beds containing a mix of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, perennials, spring bulbs and mature trees. On a warm day, bees arrive to enjoy the pollinator-friendly planting. The soil is riddled with juicy worms for the resident blackbirds and each March a pair of mallard ducks set up home. Lucky, visitors can spot their ducklings paddling in the fountain.