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Events at the National Botanic Gardens


Free of charge


9:00 am


National Botanic Garden of Ireland – Glasnevin

Petr Holecek - Quack Quack sculpture

National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin: Sculpture in Context 2022

1st September to 7th October @ 10am - 5pm daily

The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin will host the 36th annual Sculpture in Context Exhibition free to the public from 1st September to  7th October inclusive. Bringing together the work of more than 120 artists using a wide range of media, these works of art represent the rich, diverse character of Irish and International contemporary sculpture. From the smallest, most intricate ceramic works to stone sculptures of monumental scale, visitors to the exhibition will be enriched by the experience of viewing such inspiring works in one location.

Exhibiting artists for 2022 include: Michael Quane RHA, Jen Donnery, Martin O’Keefe, Petr Holecek, Tracey McVerry and Fiona Smith. Sculpture in Context is a pivotal event in the Irish arts calendar and is the longest-running and largest sculpture exhibition in the country. It attracts a large public and critical audience and is the cultural highlight of the National Botanic Gardens calendar. Sculpture receives a spectacular presentation throughout 50 acres of beautifully-landscaped grounds with artworks displayed in the most unexpected and surprising places. Visitors can enjoy smaller sculptures exhibited in the glasshouses and in the gallery located above the restaurant in the Visitors’ Centre.

For more information see Sculpture in Context. The exhibition is free entry. Guided tours can be booked at Eventbrite.

For all enquiries regarding accessibility or for Schools and Colleges guided tours and educational queries, please contact the Botanic Visitor Centre Reception at Tel.+353 1 804 0319 or by email 

Michael Quane - HorseRider with Quadruped sculpture

National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin: Dublin Fringe Festival: Remnant Ecologies – Jony Easterby 

September 21st @ 8.00pm – 10.30pm

An exclusive night-time adventure in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin.

This meditative and immersive night-walk will guide you through a series of light and sound installations, exploring Dublin’s iconic Botanic Gardens as you have never seen them before.

Responding to our relationship with the natural world, these intimate artworks explore the cultural remnants humans have created through our love of nature. Empty bird cages, a playful song, the insides of cuckoo clocks and fragments from botanical dictionaries are intertwined, telling their story through unforgettable sound and light installations in the serene surroundings of the gardens after dark.

This is one artist’s attempt to make sense of a world, in which a passion for nature is mixed with an anxiety for its future.

Presented by Dublin Fringe Festival in partnership with National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin and axis: Ballymun. With support from the Welsh Government Office in Ireland.

Please Note:
This experience takes place outside and is unseated, please dress appropriately.

Tickets at Dublin Fringe Festival.

Additional Sculpture: Pippa Taylor
Lighting Design: Harriet Wallace
Image: Jony Easterby

Remnant Ecologies 1. Image by Nicola Easterby and Jony Easterby. Dublin Fringe Festival 2022

Book Launch ‘The life of Charles Frederick Ball (1879-1915), botanist and horticulturist’, Seamus O’Brien and Brian Willan @ National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

September 28th @ 3.00pm – 4.00pm

In 1915 the Irish Times called Charles Frederick Ball ‘one of the best known botanists and horticulturists in Ireland’. He had been Assistant Keeper of the Royal (now National) Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, editor of the journal Irish Gardening, and a noted plant breeder – Escallonia ‘C.F. Ball’ is named after him. Had he not been killed at Gallipoli in 1915 he could have expected to succeed Sir Frederick Moore as Keeper.

In this illustrated talk Seamus O’Brien and Brian Willan aim to shed new light upon C.F. Ball’s life and work. They tell the story of his early years in Loughborough in Leicestershire, his apprenticeship and training at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, his arrival in Dublin in 1906 and his subsequent work at the Botanic Gardens, his plant-collecting trips to Europe, his time as editor of the journal Irish Gardening from 1912.

It is also a story of love and sacrifice. C.F Ball courted and then married Alice Lane, the youngest daughter of a well to do Anglo-Irish Dublin family. When war broke out he enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was then sent out to Gallipoli to take part in the Suvla Bay landing. He was killed by shrapnel, when going to the aid of a colleague, on 13 September 1915.

Seamus O’Brien is Head Gardener of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, a well known author and a noted authority on Irish horticulture.

Brian Willan is a former publisher, a grandson of Alice Ball by her second marriage, and has drawn upon C.F. Ball’s letters to Alice to write an account of his life and work.

The talk will take place in the Lecture Theatre, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, on Wednesday 28th September, at 3pm.

Themed Tour: Sculpture in Context 2022 Guided Tour @ National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin

Saturday September 17th,  Wednesday September 21st,  Saturday September 24th, Wednesday September 28th, Saturday 1st October @ 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Staged annually at the Gardens, Sculpture in Context is the longest running and most prestigious sculpture exhibition in Ireland, showcasing the inspiring and extraordinary work of both established and emerging artists throughout 50 acres of gardens and glasshouses. Join us for this specially curated guided tour taking in some of the sculptures and highlighting the skills of the artists and the questions their works raise, in the glorious surroundings of the Gardens in autumn.

This year Sculpture in Context will celebrate 35 years exhibiting and promoting sculpture in Ireland. Booking at Eventbrite or at the Visitor Centre in person (cash only).

Jen Donnery - Echo Narcissus
Fiona Smith - FragileBalance_
Petr Holecek - Quack Quack sculpture

Themed Tour – Botanical Beverages: What’s in a Drink? @ National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Wednesday 14th September and Wednesday 21st September @ 3.00pm – 4.00pm

Water is essential to life, the only drink we actually need. However for thousands of years, through infusion, fermentation and distillation, we have used plants to bring variety and flavour, stimulation and intoxication to our daily drinks. From the far-flung to the familiar, join us on a journey through of some very important plants we use for brews throughout the world!

Booking at Eventbrite or at the Visitor Centre in person (cash only).

Botanical Beverages Tour promotional graphic

Daily Guided Tours

Monday to Sunday 11.30am and 3pm.

Even in autumn, walking through the Gardens is a magnificent experience. Join our popular guided tour and discover the most rare, iconic, helpful, environmentally vital, and quirkiest plants of our collections. Our experienced guides will also tell you about the fascinating history and international significance of the National Botanic Gardens.

Booking at Eventbrite or at the Visitor Centre in person (cash only).


Autumn Guided Tours promotional Graphic


Dublin 9
D09 VY63

01 857 0909

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3.5 km north from centre of Dublin, Botanic Road, Glasnevin.

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