National Botanic Gardens of Ireland
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLocated in Glasnevin about two miles north of Dublin, the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland are famed for their fine collections of plants, which hold more than 15,000 species and cultivars from a wide range of habitats from all over the world, as well as several millions of dried plant specimens. The gardens are also well-known for their particularly nicely-restored glasshouses. Especially the Great Palm House and the Turner Curvilinear Range are stunning and have received conservation architecture awards. The National Botanic Gardens are the seventh-most visited attraction in Ireland.
Conservation plays a major role in these 48-acre gardens. The National Botanic Gardens are home to more than 300 endangered plant species and 6 species that are already extinct in the wild. The gardens are a member of an international society that focuses on sustainable development and the conservation of biodiversity. The Glasnevin site is where the headquarters of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland are located; there is a sister garden in Kilmcurragh in County Wicklow .
HistoryThe site of the current Botanic Gardens used to be the location of a small estate owned by the poet, Thomas Tickell. That estate was purchased by the Irish Parliament in 1795 and donated to the Royal Dublin Society. They were to establish the first botanic gardens in the Ireland. The only remainder from that period in time is a double line of yew trees, which is called Addison’s Walk. The main lay-out of the gardens was done by Walter Wade and John Underwood, who were the first Director and the first Superintendent. Additions and changes were made with every new Director until the 1960s. The gardens were established with the main purpose of gaining more knowledge of agriculture, plants for medicine and for dyeing. By the 1830s, however, the agricultural purpose had been overtaken by the wish to gain more botanical knowledge. This was mainly due to the arrival of plants from all over the world.
As a research facility, the National Botanic Gardens were where the infection that caused the infamous potato famine (1845-1847) was discovered. Frantic research to stop the famine was done in the gardens. Management of the National Botanic Gardens was transferred to the government in 1877.
A famous person who used to work in the gardens was Ludwig Wittgenstein . He frequently visited the Palm House to think and write in 1948-1949. The steps he sat on now hold a plaque that commemorates his visits.
Visiting the National Botanic GardensThe gardens have more purposes and goals than you would expect at first sight. They aim to explore, understand, conserve,and share the significance of plant life. The six main goals of the National Botanic Gardens are conservation, science; education, reference; demonstration, and recreation.
The recreation part is why most people visit the gardens. The gardens are laid out to encourage and stimulate walking and exploring, and by doing so learn more about the importance of plants. The primary role of the gardens, however, is science and conservation and therefore it is not allowed to picnic, walk dogs, ride bicycles, jog or play music in the gardens. There are many other parks in Dublin where you can do all those things.
The National Botanic Gardens features a wide range of habitats and plant collections from around the world. Examples are the herbaceous border, the rose garden; the bog garden, the arboretum; the rockery, the alpine yard; and the pond area. There is also a vegetable garden and the breeding program of magnificent orchids is renowned around the world.
The Great Palm House is home to many subtropical and tropical plants and is connected to the Cactus House and the Orchid House. Another fascinating part of the gardens is the National Herbarium. The Visitor Center has a lecture hall, exhibits on the history and purpose of the gardens, and a restaurant and tea room.
From November through February, the National Botanic Gardens are open between 9AM and 4.30PM from Monday through Friday; and between 10AM and 4.30PM on the weekends and on public holidays. From March through October, you can visit the gardens from Monday through Friday between 9AM and 5PM; and on the weekends and public holidays between 10AM and 6PM. The gardens are free to visit.
How to Get ThereLocated about two miles from the Dublin city center on Botanic Road, the National Botanic Gardens can be reached on foot or by bus. Buses that stop nearby are 4, 9, and 83.
Similar LandmarksOther parks in the city that are worth visiting are St Stephen’s Green, the Iveagh Gardens, Phoenix Park and Merrion Square.
Great botanic gardens elsewhere on the planet include the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens, the New York Botanical Garden, Keukenhof and the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Jan 05, 2015