National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

In 1790 permission was granted for the Botanical gardens to be built in the Glasnevin neighbourhood of Dublin. At first their original purpose was purely educational, promoting a scientific perspective of the study of agriculture and its uses for things such as food and medicinal purposes. It did however, also include the idea of botany as being beautiful to look at in its own right and purpose. Now the work in the gardens focuses on classification, documentation and education of the public with the gardens now holding over 15,000 plant species.

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In May, we decided to go on a day trip. So we got on a plane and went and explored a new country. Ireland is a is so close and yet neither of us had been there so for £25, we thought let’s go! Landing into Dublin airport we were met with poster displays of Irish dialect; examples such as ‘Haven’t a baldy notion’, instead of ‘I haven’t got a clue’. There are lots of bus options to get into Dublin’s city centre, but since we were heading to the gardens we had to take a slightly alternative route. All I can say is, make sure you have the correct change for the buses in Dublin and you’ll be fine. On the walk from the bus we found some interesting architecture in the form of a church that I hope to share in one of my projects that I am currently working on. It certainly got our attention and we had to investigate. The gardens were just across the road from the church and were free to enter, always a nice surprise when you anticipate a charge (not that we mind paying).

The gardens had the same feel as Kew (on a smaller scale) and we happily spent a couple of hours wondering through the glasshouses and sculpted park that surrounded them. There was a nice balance of interest between the glass houses and the outside, it was nice having this balance of interest so it wasn’t just about the glasshouses. Sometimes they become the main attraction and the wonders of the outside get forgotten or cast aside slightly. But the Glasnevin gardens were pretty great inside and out. I really recommend the trip and also a visit to Dublin. We want to go back and explore more of Ireland.

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