The activities and role of the Gardens is a great deal more varied than meets the eye.
Our purpose is to explore, understand, conserve, and share the importance of plants. We aim to make the National Botanic Gardens a place where leisure, recreation and education are all compatible for the enjoyment of our visitors.
Within the living collections at the National Botanic Gardens we have over 300 endangered species from around the world, and six species already extinct in the wild. These are a vital resource, like a Noah’s Ark for the future.
Education is a fundamental role of the National Botanic Gardens through our collections and activities we aim to increase public awareness of plants and their importance to people globally. We provide free audioguide tours which enable visitors to take self-guiding tours through their own MP3 player, mobile phone or souvenir player.
Staff at the Gardens are actively describing new species, increasing our knowledge of the Irish flora, conducting collecting expeditions, and investigating the needs of our most threatened native species. The National Herbarium is based within the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, and has a collection of nearly 750,000 dried plant specimens. We also have an active DNA research lab.
By holding a wide range of named and labelled collections and keeping an up-to-date catalogue, the collections provide a unique reference source for Irish gardeners, horticulturists, and botanists.
Cultivating a wide range of plants from the diverse climatic regions of the world, and displaying these under good horticultural practice allows our visitors to see what they too can achieve in their own gardens. We run training courses in gardening and hold practical workshops throughout the year.
The overall design and contents of the Gardens creates an environment that is stimulating, whether a visitor is here for instruction or pleasure. However it should be remembered that the primary role of the Gardens is as a scientific collection and therefore we do not allow dogs, picnics, bicycles, scooters, fishing, ball games, jogging, or running, nor the playing of musical instruments or recorded music. Entry is free and we are open every day of the year besides Christmas Day. Opening times vary depending on the season.