The Botanic Gardens were established in 1795 under the auspices of the Dublin Society, later the Royal Dublin Society, at the behest of the Irish Parliament to 'promote a scientific knowledge in the various branches of agriculture'. The garden is Ireland's premier botanical and horticultural establishment. It occupies a beautiful 19 hectares site with the river Tolka forming the northern boundary. It contains over 20,000 plant species and cultivars including many exceptional specimens.
There are plants for scientific research, conservation, education and display as well as dried plant specimens (herbarium) and an extensive horticultural library.There are some magnificant trees, many outstanding displays of shrubs and perennials and the famous Victorian glasshouses including Turner's magnificent curvilinear range.
Over the past two centuries the gardens have played a central role in botanical and horticultural advancement in Ireland. Plants and seeds have been imported and new cultivars and species distributed to gardeners and nurseries.