Our last stop in Ireland was a visit to the National Botanics Garden of Ireland. Dating back to 1795, The Gardens began as a private collection for the members of the Royal Dublin Society, but were opened to the public in 1805 to serve as a scientific approach to the study of agriculture- specifically, the use of plants for food and medicinal purposes among humans and animals.
In the 1830s, when plants began to be transported and shared around the world, The Gardens became a source for botanical knowledge.
Today, The Gardens, funded by the Office of Public Works, are a free attraction dedicated to conservation, education, science, reference, demonstration, and recreation. The also provide training and practical courses for local gardeners.
Currently, over 300 endangered species from around the world and 6 species already extinct in the wild are included in the living collections of the National Botanic Gardens. The Garden’s staff is actively conducting collective expeditions to identify the needs Ireland’s most threatened native species, while increasing overalls knowledge of the Irish flora.
The National Herbarium, within the National Gardens, has a dried plant collection of nearly 3/4 million as well as an active DNA research lab.
We didn’t get to spend much time at The Gardens because they were closing soon after we arrived, however, we enjoyed touring their specialty outdoor and indoor collections and greenhouses.