Founded in 1921 with the assistance of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society, the University of Leicester Botanic Garden was established on its present site in Oadby in 1947. It comprises the grounds of four houses: Beaumont, Southmeade, The Knoll and Hastings, which were built early last century and are now used as student residences.
The four once-separate gardens have been merged into a single entity, whose 16 acres of lovingly cultivated grounds and greenhouses, display a wide variety of features and environments. The formal planting centres around a restored Edwardian garden.
Other planting includes an arboretum, a herb garden, woodland and herbaceous borders, rock gardens, a water garden, special collections of Skimmia, Aubrieta, and hardy Fuchsia, and a series of glasshouses displaying temperate and tropical plants, alpines and succulents.
The plant collections and landscape features make this garden one of the most diverse in the region. The water features and sculptures are particularly pleasing and add character to the setting. It is the perfect place for a pleasant walk and there are benches for those who simply wish to relax and admire the surroundings. Variety is the key to this garden's strength.