Sarah Kirby | University of Leicester Botanic Gardens (linocut)



Leicester University’s Botanic Garden is a fascinating resource for artists.

In the early 20th century, wealthy industrialists built four grand houses with expansive gardens. Later, in 1947, the University obtained this land covering sixteen acres. The four once-separate gardens were merged and have been instrumental in conserving various plant species and global biodiversity.  

Today the Botanic Garden is a living museum, a green laboratory, with a wealth of botanical treasures. It offers visitors a green oasis of calm amongst a mosaic of habitats with ancient woodland, water features, glass houses, and a backdrop of heritage architecture.  

A unique environment for artists to work within and engage with visitors and the public.

There’s lots more to read on the University of Leicester's dedicated web pages.



Art in the Garden is an exciting new initiative that is associated with the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHLT). LSA Activity Days at the University's Botanic Garden will offer a stimulating opportunity for LSA members to use the gardens as inspiration for the production of new works. It will also provide an opportunity for visitors and members of the public to meet and engage with LSA members who will be painting and drawing on the days, making it an enjoyable experience for all.

In 2024, we are launching the initiative with five 'plein air' activity days in the Garden. LSA artists are invited to join colleagues in creating art.  The ‘plein air’ days will showcase our considerable skills as a society and provide members an excellent opportunity to meet up, socialise, and share experiences and ideas on best practices.

Beyond the ‘plein air’ days, the work produced it is hoped will provide a springboard for further exhibiting and residency opportunities currently under discussion.



The 4 LSA members’ Open Days with a public invitation for visitors are as follows:

JUNE 1 ‘Plein air gathering’ 11- 4 pm

JULY 6 ‘Plein air gathering’ 11- 4 pm

AUG 3 ‘Plein air gathering’ 11- 4 pm

SEPT 7 ‘Plein air gathering’ 11- 4 pm

On each of the days, LSA members are invited to join in fine art ‘plein air’ art sessions in locations around the Garden, using the wide range of themes and sources of inspiration. These could include anything from small organic details to broader landscapes, architecture, wildlife, visitors, and fellow artists. Work can be representational or abstract. Large or small. Artists can work in any medium.

This will be a unique opportunity for Botanic Garden friends, visitors, and members of the public to see art produced by LSA artists across various themes and mediums.

Each event will be promoted and publicised to raise awareness and interest and maximise visitor attendance.

The public will be invited to watch artwork evolve, meet the artists, and bring materials to participate in the day.

Artists will be issued with LSA Badges/Lanyards to wear on the days.

Practicalities - Bring your kit for a ‘plein air’ day and a packed lunch; toilet facilities are available. 

Paint Out/Draw Out

Members and public - come along and join in alongside LSA members. We will extend an invitation to local art groups to join us. These to include Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators, Leicester Sketch Club, Knighton Lane Group. Bring your pencils and paints a general invitation to the public. Art Buddies. LSA Artists made available for consultation and mentoring. Development of the work produced throughout the Summer for an Exhibition to be held in late 2024 or 2025/26

Children visiting the gardens will be issued with sketchbooks and pencils on entry to the Gardens. A Botanical themed colouring book with linear Botanical illustrations by Chloe Jean Brown has also been published.


Venue Details


Leicester University Botanic Garden is situated off the A6 London Road at the junction of the A563 Palmerston Way (Ring Road). The entrance is located on Glebe Road, and there is plentiful on-street parking.

Glebe Road, Leicester
LE2 2LD. England

Opening Hours
10am-5pm, every day







LSA Artist Mandeep Dhadialla - Tulip Daze (Lino Cut)