National Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Ireland

Posted On November 30, 2009 

The National Botanic Gardens are situated in Glasnevin, 5 km north-west of Dublin city centre, Ireland. The garden spans across 27 acres (19.5 hectares), and is situated between the south bank of the River Tolka and the Prospect Cemetery.

These colorful gardens were founded in 1795 by the Dublin Society (later the Royal Dublin Society). Over the years, the garden has grown and today, it has about 20,000 living plants, and many millions of dried plant specimens. Over the past two centuries, the gardens have played a pivot role in botanical and horticultural advancement in Ireland. New cultivars and seeds have been imported and cultivated.

National Botanic Gardens

Some of the attractive features of the garden include a sensory garden, a rock garden and burren area, extensive herbaceous borders, an arboretum, and a large pond. The annual display of decorative plants which includes a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding is indeed a sight to behold! The riot of colors in various shades and hues is a feast to the senses.

The garden also includes a spectacular range of four glasshouses dominated by Richard Turner’s architectural masterpiece. One can also find the recently renovated Curvilinear Range and Great Palm House. The garden is not only popular with tourists but also with locals who come here for an aesthetically pleasing evening stroll enjoying and beholding the glories of nature.

The soil at Glasnevin is strongly alkaline. As a result, there is a restriction on the kind of cultivation. Even so, the gardens display a wide range of outdoor “habitats” such as a rockery, herbaceous border, rose gardens, and much more.

The rose garden, the rockery, herbaceous borders, an organic fruit and vegetable garden, arboretum, an alpine yard, extensive shrub collections and wall plants are some of the other attractions which draw tourists from all over.

History of the Garden

Thomas Tickell, a poet, owned a house and small estate in Glasnevin. These were sold to the Irish Parliament in the year 1790, and later given to the Royal Dublin Society for them to establish Ireland’s first botanic gardens. The current garden has a double line of yew trees, named as “Addison’s Walk” which is reminiscent of that era.

The garden was created with the intention to advance knowledge of plants for agriculture, medicine and dyeing. In fact, the gardens were the first location where infection responsible for the 1845–1847 potato famine was identified. The gardens were placed into government care in 1879.

Botanic Gardens
Even though the main object of the botanic gardens is to maintain a collection of plant species, it proves to be an enjoyable and enlightening place to visit. It is a riot of colors during spring and summer. And thanks to Turner’s glasshouses, summer seems to extend even into the cold winter months, when the bamboo, orchids and giant water lilies provide the “wow” factor to many visitors.

Visitor InformationTimings

Summer: Sun 11:00-18:00 & Mon – Sat 09:00-18:00

Winter:  Sun 11:00-16:30 & Winter Mon – Sat 10:00-16:30

Glasshouses are closed between 12:45 – 14:00 everyday unless otherwise specified.

Getting Here

The gardens are located 3.5km north from centre of Dublin, off Botanic Road. There are no rail stations nearby. Tour buses also do not generally ply here. You will either have to take a public bus or drive down yourself.

Suggested Length of Visit

1hr 30mins


No Admission Fees

Facilities and Amenities

Restaurant: Yes

Car Park: Yes, a small fee may be applicable for parking

Coach Park: Yes

Disabled Access: Glasshouses and Gardens are accessible for people with disabilities but there are some steep gradients.

Related Posts

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

CommentLuv badge