University of Leicester Botanic Garden

Leicester University Botanic Garden sits on 16 acre piece of land and contains well farmed grounds and greenhouses that display wide varieties of environments. Entry to the Garden is free, and the public is always welcome to visit anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the year, except during Christmas holidays.

Historical Background

Foundation

Its roots begin in 1920 after the officers of the Botanical Section of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society were given the role of establishing such a type of garden in the areas surrounding Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College which is now known as University of Leicester. Layouts started being installed in 1921under the watchful eye of Mr. AR Horwood, the Honorary Secretary for scientific and technical aspects.

When it came into completion in early 1925, the farm compromised what was then a woodland garden that had been designed to showcase the typical flora of the Charnwood Forest which harbored sections devoted to culinary herbs, medicinal plants dye plants, a rock and water garden.

Transfer of the farm to Oadby

The farm remained at Rutland College until 1947, when it was moved to where it is currently based at Oadby. The Oadby site consisted of open fields only, prior to the coming of the farm.

The Houses and their Gardens 

The farm hosts four houses that were designed by architect Stockdale Harrison. Built in the Carboniferous sandstone is the Sandstone Garden that dates to the early construction of the site. It was perfected by some Buddhist priests about 500 years ago, when they came across it. Mr. Brice, who was working at the farm, is said to have been personally advised by visiting Japanese experts on its design too.

Another garden linked to the houses is the Beaumont garden that had the reputation of being the best garden in and around Leicestershire. It employed a number of employees ranging from 9 to 12, some working outside the greenhouses while others worked inside.

By the 1968’s, the site’s boundaries that had dividing the four houses, were removed and the farm began taking its current shape.

Major attractions

  • Arboretum
  • Herb Garden
  • Special plant collections

Activities

  • Research

The farm plays a vital role of being a spot for research by the University’s Genetics department.

  • Teaching

Biology teachers at the University of Leicester use the farm as a spot to practically show their students of the various species of plants, how they deal with different environments, and so on.

  • Sculpture & art exhibitions

A specific day is organized by the farm, where they get to have sculpture and art exhibitions.

  • Music performances

The garden is a spot for music performances because of its huge size and beauty.

  • Plant sales

The Garden organizes a day which visitors can buy any specific plants grown at the Garden.

  • Touring

The place is a nice place for tourism.

  • Exploration

A student/historian with the need to explore or know about different plants at the Farm is welcome to do so.

If you are in Leicester, you can visit Victoria Park, Leicester.

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