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About 20,000 plants grow in the collection of the National Botanical Garden. Here you can see, among others rockeries, herbaceous beds, rose garden, rock garden, swamp garden and arboretum. A vegetable garden was also created. There is also the National Herbarium. The newly restored palm house houses many tropical and subtropical plants. There is also a cafe in the gardens.
The garden was founded in 1795 by the Dublin Society (later the Royal Dublin Society), and is now state-owned. Its original purpose was to broaden the knowledge of plants useful for agriculture, medicine and dyeing. The Gardens were the first place in Ireland to identify the potato disease responsible for the Great Famine of 1845-1847. Throughout the famine in the gardens, research was undertaken to contain infection.