Oct. 23, 2020

Dublin's National Botanic Gardens

Dublin's National Botanic Gardens
The Palm House

Dublin's National Botanic Gardens lies between the Tolka River and Glasnevin Cemetary. The Gardens or "The Bots", as my Dad referred to them, were established in 1795 when the Irish Parliament bought the property in Glasnevin and deeded the property to the Royal Dublin Society.

The site had originally been the country estate of the poet Thomas Tickell (1685 – 1740). In the intervening 200+ years the city has expanded and encircled the site leaving an oasis of calm and beauty enjoyed by Dubliners today. Coupled with the price of admission - free - this destination continues to be attractive to all.

Thomas Tickell

In the 1940s, my Dad came here frequently as a young man when he got bitten by the plant bug and much of the plant lore that carried him through his professional life was absorbed here. Dad ingratiated himself with the older gardeners who labored in "The  Pits", a non-public spot, where much of the grunt work was carried out by these experienced men. I detail much of this story in Episode 6 of the podcast:

As a child I came to these gardens frequently, thinking nothing of the friendly greetings Dad received. He was highly thought off by this community who respected him for his knowledge and ability to solve difficult plant propogation problems. All of that was lost on me, but I was fascinated awed by the fabulous giant Victorian greenhouses and welcomed the warmth of their interiors on blustery cool Irish days. Today these greenhouses continue to impress as pinnacle achievements in 19th century design. Much of this work was executed by the genius Dubliner Richard Turner (1798 - 1881) whose Hammersmith glassworks in Ballsbridge created these lightweight confections

The Curvilinear Range - 1848