Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House, Belfast City

Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House, Belfast City

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Belfast’s Botanic Gardens were first established in 1828 and have been open to the public since 1895. Within its confines you’ll find an extensive rose garden and long herbaceous border. Tree enthusiasts are in for a treat with rare oaks (planted in the 1880’s), including the hornbeam-leafed oak. The gardens are less than a ten minute walk from Queen’s University Belfast and have been an important part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage as well as a popular meeting place.

The Botanic Gardens are also home to the Palm House. This structure was designed by Charles Lanyon and is one of the earliest examples of a curvilinear cast iron glasshouse. After plans for its construction were initiated by the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society in the 1830’s, the two wings were finally completed in 1840. The Palm House was built by Dublin man Richard Turner, who went on to build the Great Palm House at Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens in Surrey, England).

The Palm House is well known for its varied plant collection with the cool wing housing fantastic display of color and scent all year round using plants such as geranium, begonia, and fuchsia. Construction began on the Palm House in 1839, and the Tropical Ravine, or Fernery, which was completed in1889 is another fine example of horticultural Victoriana. Here you’ll find plants growing in a sunken glen, which is overlooked by a balcony. The stove wing and dome area contain a range of temperate and tropical plants with particular emphasis on species of economic value.

Days Out at Belfast Botanic Gardens

In addition to the Palm House and Tropical Ravine, there is a children's playground, beautiful walks around the grounds and a bowling green. Botanic Gardens is often used for events, such as Garden Gourmet, as well as band recitals, concerts and opera performances.

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