Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

A trip across the pond

path cutting through Irish rock garden

My name is Joan Ganley, and I live and garden in Calgary, Alberta (Zone 4). But today I would like to share pictures taken during a trip to Ireland in May 2016. While visiting family in Dublin, I had the opportunity to visit The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. Founded in 1795, the gardens cover 48 acres and contain over 20,000 plant species. Here are a few highlights from my visit. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

potted plants in front of a windowThe Teak House is located near the botanic garden entrance and provides space for floral fairs and exhibits. A cape primrose (Streptocarpus hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as a houseplant) shows off here.

close up of framed vertical succulent displayA framed vertical succulent garden on display in the Teak House during the Dublin and District Cactus and Succulent Society show in May.

alpine plants in an indoor raised garden bedSteps away from the Teak House is the Alpine House. Alpine plants could easily rot if left outdoors in Dublin’s climate. This alpine table has captured my young cousin’s interest!

close up of indoor rock garden displayGood drainage and protection from the elements keeps these plants on the alpine table happy.

recreation of 9th century house with grand greenhouse in backgroundThe Viking House and Garden with the Great Palm House in the background. Based on archaeological evidence, the Viking House is an accurate recreation of 9th- and 10th-century houses excavated in Dublin in 1961. The Great Palm House, originally built of wood in 1862, was damaged by a storm and rebuilt in 1883 using iron.

greenhouse with various cacti and succulents growing insideThe Cactus and Succulent House (aka the Flowering House) at the west entrance to the Great Palm House features a collection of over 1,000 species of cacti and succulents.

path cutting through Irish rock gardenStrolling beyond the Great Palm House, you reach the Rockery, which was installed in the 1880s. This view from the Rockery looks back toward the herbaceous borders.

There’s much more to see at The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, including The Curvilinear Range; The Victoria Waterlily House; an arboretum; beds and borders featuring herbaceous plants, grasses, fruits, and vegetables; a rose garden; a tea room; and a library. It’s definitely worth a stop—and you might even see a leprechaun!

For more information, visit the garden’s website:


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  1. MohawkValley 03/29/2023

    Beautiful . That last picture would make a pretty nice backyard , yes ????????

  2. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 03/29/2023

    is anyone else wishing the herbaceous borders were going to be the upcoming photo after the pathway shot?

    Thank you, Joan, for sharing your snaps of this very interesting place!

    1. cynthia2020 03/29/2023

      Re: herbaceous borders

      Love them!
      Thinking of a trip to Sissinghurst and Great Dixter this summer...

  3. User avater
    simplesue 03/29/2023

    Beautiful tour, I'm just amazed at the Viking house recreation, that roof is a work of art!

  4. perenniallycrazy 03/29/2023

    Cool! Hope to visit one day.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/29/2023

    I love, love, love seeing overseas gardens.

    1. cynthia2020 03/29/2023

      I have sometimes wondered if anyone who posts here regularly would want to meet at a public garden for a few hours to talk about plants and garden design. I am not on e.g. FB and have not organized people on e.g. Meetup - but I could envision e.g. a very informal meet in Buffalo or ? Just throwing the idea out there...

  6. cynthia2020 03/29/2023

    Joan - loved the photo of the day. Thank you for sharing!

  7. btucker9675 03/29/2023

    Love this - especially the Viking building and that vertical succulent "wall." Thanks for sharing!

  8. John_Seagle 03/30/2023

    Damn!, this is fascinating and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this tree planting

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