When it comes to green spaces in Dublin, Phoenix Park and St Stephen’s Green are firmly on the map, but that what about those glorious gems that are hidden in plain sight? Here are 5 of Dublin’s most tranquil secret gardens …
Botanic Garden at Trinity College
Founded by Trinity College, the Botanic Garden in Dartry has developed an international reputation for plant conservation work. The good news is you don’t need to be a student to appreciate the beautiful plants and flowers.
Botanical artist Yanny Petters runs regular courses in botanical drawing and watercolour illustration at the Botanic Garden. Keep an eye on her website for updates.
Trinity College Botanic Garden, University of Dublin, Palmerston Park, Dartry, Dublin 6
Victorian Kitchen Walled Garden, Phoenix Park
Some might say a garden within a garden, the Victorian Kitchen Walled Garden in the Phoenix Park is the perfect urban retreat.
Like stepping into the storybook world of Frances Hodgson Burnett, the garden is protected by rose-coloured redbrick walls and managed under strict organic principles, with biodiversity guaranteed by the presence of bees and pollinators. It’s especially pretty (and fragrant) in summer when its Sweet Pea, Chrysanthemums, Lupins and Campanula are in full bloom.
Interested in learning more about horticulture? Plan your visit for the second Saturday of the month, when the gardeners host their ‘Green Fingers’ Workshop at 10.30am. P.S. The neighbouring restaurant in the visitor’s centre is excellent. Who could resist sampling organic goods straight from the garden?
Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
The Chester Beatty Library Roof Garden
Its design might best be described as ‘contemporary Irish garden chic’, a little wild, a little industrial, built using natural and indigenous materials. Plants include heather, silver birch, wisteria, honeysuckle, as well as various aromatic herbs and bamboo (no doubt a nod to the Library’s collection of oriental art and literature).
Tip: Wander to the south side of the garden for the sweetest smelling flowers and herbs.
The Chester Beatty Library Roof Garden, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Blessington Street Basin
Blessington Street Basin is one of the most unique parks in Dublin, with 80 percent of the park consisting of water. An artificial island has been developed in the centre, creating a refuge for the ducks and swans that call the basin home. The park can be accessed from Blessington Street, around a 10-minute walk from O’ Connell Street.
Blessington Street Basin, Blessington Street, Dublin 7
Possibly the least secret garden on the list, but nonetheless a gem located just off bustling Harcourt Street. The tree-lined gardens provide a magical venue for a range of events over the summer months including Taste of Dublin and the Live at the Iveagh Gardens summer season of concerts.
Iveagh Gardens, Clonmel St, Dublin 2
Got your own favourite? Leave a comment below and share your tips!