Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House
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First established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park since 1895.
First established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park by the people of Belfast since 1895. There is an extensive rose garden and long herbaceous borders and the tree enthusiast can seek out the rare oaks planted in the 1880s, including the hornbeam-leafed oak. Situated near Queens University Belfast, the Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists.
Designed by Charles Lanyon ,The Palm House is one of the earliest examples of a curvilinear cast iron glasshouse. Its construction was initiated by the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society in the 1830s. The two wings were completed in 1840, and were built by Richard Turner of Dublin, who later built the Great Palm House at Kew Gardens. Over the years, the Palm House has acquired a reputation for good plant collections. The cool wing houses all year round displays of colour and scent using plants such as geranium, fuchsia, begonia and built displays. Construction of the Palm House began in 1839, and the Tropical Ravine, or Fernery, completed in 1889, is a fine example of horticultural Victoriana. The plants grow in a sunken glen 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.
At the Tropical Ravine, the Ulster History Circle have erected a Blue Plaque dedicated to Charles McKimm 1848-1907. McKimm came to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1874, and was eventually appointed as Head Gardener. His enthusiasm caused many improvements to be made and the gardens were transofrmed. Belfast Corporation purchased the Gardens and renamed it the Belfast Botanical Gardens Park. In 1903 McKimm was appointed to a newly created post of General Superintendent of Parks for Belfast.
Days Out at Belfast Botanic Gardens
In addtion 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.