The ISBA is fortunate to have the support of the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin in Dublin. To learn more about this wonderful national resource, follow their Facebook page or visit their website from which we have derived this brief introduction:
The National Botanic Gardens (NBG) at Glasnevin traces its origin back to 1795. Originally a private collection for members of the Royal Dublin Society, the gardens were opened to the general public in 1805. The renowned Curvilinear range was completed in 1869. The Botanic Gardens came into state care in 1878 and are currently operated by the Office of Public Works.
The purpose of the NBG is to explore, understand, conserve and share the importance of plants. A botanic garden grows plants because of their scientific interest, which can be at many levels; most importantly a botanic garden keeps a record of from where and when plants arrived in the garden and where they are growing. By keeping a wide range of species and cultivars, the collection can be used for:
- reference – to help identify plants
- education – illustrating an interesting fact about botany or the way in which a plant is important to people
- conservation – we grow many rare and endangered species, not only from Ireland but from all over the world
- science – the biology of many species is still poorly known and understood, and a number of new species have even been described from within the living collections at Glasnevin
- horticultural – learning how to grow scarce or difficult plants is important for furthering our knowledge of plants
- amenity – many plants are beautiful for their own sake, and the amenity value of the collections is always considered.
In the words of the Gardens’ director, Dr Matthew Jebb:
We aim to make the National Botanic Gardens a place where leisure, recreation and education are all compatible for the enjoyment of our visitors.
We in the the ISBA believe that, working with the support of the NBG, we can contribute to its aims of education and reference.