The Boodles Garden

Sanctuary Gardens

The Boodles Garden is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery. Taking inspiration from paintings at the gallery, it evokes the spirit of many significant artworks. The creative vision for the design takes from artistic elements, including colours, textures and ‘hidden details’ in paintings viewed during visits to the gallery.

With a theme of ‘art in nature’ the planting scheme, topiary, sculptural metal arches and water features are inspired or represent aspects of specific paintings and art movements, including Pointillism and Impressionism.  Subtle links to prominent paintings at the gallery will pervade the garden’s design and planting, providing visitors a visual treat where nature represents art, and vice versa.

The visitor is led through the garden via a green toned walkway beneath a series of sculptural arches that appreciate Canaletto and Claude’s elements of repetition and perspective, as well as honour Klimt and Menzel’s proclivity concerning fabric and intricate detail. 

A succession of bespoke textured metal water features define the space, providing surfaces to play with light and reflection reminiscent of Renoir, Monet and Seurat. 

The planting palette is predominantly green and act as a superb foil for the warm bold shades that weave and punctuate the garden representing the artist’s brushstrokes and texture within pointillist and impressionist paintings.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for?
Being a celebration of art and the National Gallery, this garden installation aims to stimulate the visual senses and provide the viewer with a sense of joy.

Where is the garden set?  
The garden would suit a sheltered urban location in southern UK, where not all plants need to be hardy.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
Drawing from the endless inspiration available at The National Gallery, the garden is a distillation and combination of the aesthetic and styles of these great works of art with the hope of bringing a sense of celebration and joy to all that view it.

Key sustainability points

  • Alternatives to cement throughout the garden including zero use of cements in concrete and any sub-base works, as well as recycled and repurposed sand.
  • Hessian used for the protective membrane, and avoiding single use plastic, where possible.
  • Garden arches designed to be lightweight and open (reducing wind resistance) to enable sub-base works to be less invasive and to allow for minimal construction.


Subject to planning authority consent, the aim is to rebuild part of the garden in front of the gallery, near the Getty Entrance, facing Trafalgar Square.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.