Tuesday, July 7, 2015

National Botanic Gardens. Leisure, recreation, education

National Botanic Gardens
Leisure, recreation, education
The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, just a short bus ride from O'Connell Street in Dublin, are a delight. The arboretum, pond, river banks, cultivar collections, vegetable gardens, glasshouses and wildlife, provided interest for every visitor. And it costs you nothing - admission is free!

The recently restored Great Palm House (above) is 20 metres high and is the tallest building in the garden and contains an amazing array of plants from countries somewhat warmer than this one. Indeed, all the glasshouses, many of them recently restored, are worth a visit.
In the glasshouses!
Artichoke
There are quite a few gardens in the 50 acres, including an Education Garden, a Viking House and Garden and a very interesting Fruit and Vegetable Garden. Some great information here (and practical examples) on organic growing techniques, composting and honey production and also a large collection of Irish apple cultivars from all around the country. Lots of fruit and vegetables too.

This squirrel was the only wildlife that we spotted in the gardens.

A very small part of the Herbaceous border
After strolling through the rockery, on our way down towards the river, we spotted the squirrel. After that we walked up the slope through the magnificent Herbaceous Border. This is very impressive at the moment and must be one of the best, of not the best, in the country.

What is Life?
There are some art works scattered throughout the gardens and this 2013 piece, called What is Life, marks the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double-helix in 1953. It is designed by Charles Jencks and is a gift to the nation from private donors. It is only recently that we have discovered that all life on earth, from microbes to plants ad animals, is related! I'm quoting here from the Visitor Guide and Map, available from the Visitor Centre for just a euro.

Also in the Visitor Centre, you will find a lovely little cafe where you may enjoy a snack or indeed treat yourself to lunch. We enjoyed some coffee and the delicious pastries above. By the way, you can walk direct from here to Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum and here too you'll find a cafe for refreshments.

See also Teeling Distillery visit
Chapter One Restaurant
Dinner of Delights at Restaurant Forty One