A Travellerspoint blog

National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

Gormanston and Dublin


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I've had a busy couple of days, busier than expected though still enjoyable! Although I finish teaching at 12:15, once I've had lunch I've had to do my online TEFL course assessment job until dinner, and then lesson prep after. An exception to this routine was today, though, as this afternoon I helped lead an excursion to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Dublin.

It was a great experience, and I got to see a lot of them, though not all. There was one other teacher there apart from me, plus the two group leaders. We were able to let everyone go round independently, rather than having to walk round with the students, so that meant that we could go at our own pace too (though my colleague had just been there the day before, with another group, so she stayed in the café while I looked round the gardens by myself).

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The big highlight for me was a set of two historic iron-framed greenhouses.

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One had a Palm House as its central section, which contained various different types of palm tree, as well as some other tropical plants like sugar cane, banana, plantain, pineapple and Pachira Aquatica (also known as The Provision Tree or the Monkey Tree, cultivated in South and Central America for its edible nuts, leaves and flowers).

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In separate sections there was a collection of cacti and succulents, including a group from South, Central & southern North America and another group from Madagascar, and a collection of orchids and carnivorous plants, though not many of them were in flower.

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In the other big greenhouse I was especially interested in a small but fascinating collection of plants endemic in isolated islands around the world (such as Madagascar, Madeira, Bermuda, Pitcairn Island and the Juan Fernández archipelago), including a couple which have now died out in their original location and now exist only in botanic gardens...

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...as well as a larger collection of widely grown crops and other plants, which included coffee, bamboo, avocado, olive, taro, pomegranate, rubber, papyrus, tamarind, guava and turmeric.

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There was also a collection of plants from the former Gondwanaland - the ancient southern continent within Pangaea, now Australia, Africa and South America. Since it split up into different continents, related plants separated and evolved independently.

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Having managed a very good look inside the glasshouses, I then had time for a wander round some of the outdoors sections, though after looking at the gardens map again now, it seems that I missed more than I'd originally thought. I missed out on the rose garden, the fruit & veg garden (which apparently contains, amongst other things, an extensive collection of Irish apple cultivars from across the country), the Wild Ireland section, the pond, and sections of larch, holly, hornbeam, walnut, hickory, maple, ash, lime and box - at least I've already seen a lot of those tree types elsewhere, of course! I enjoyed what I did see of the outside sections, though - cedar, yew and cherry trees, as well as beds of herbs, the Alpine Yard and a glimpse of a recreation of a Viking Dublin house & garden from the 10th century.

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I also admired the Two Women sculpture near the Great Palm House before it was time to go.

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A couple of other photos I took during the trip which don't fit in anywhere else...

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Posted by 3Traveller 13:35 Archived in Ireland Tagged ireland dublin botanical_gardens english_teaching exotic_plants

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Comments

So interesting! Did you recognise any plants from Ecuador?

by Emma

Yes, giant bamboo, palm trees, carnivorous plants and some of the tropical plants like banana and coffee. I've seen others (e.g. tamarind, guava, various palm tree types, etc.) in other botanic gardens around the world as well.

by 3Traveller

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