After what I considered a very successful few days in and around the Burren, on Saturday I headed to Dublin, and the National Botanic Gardens. After the peace and quiet of Western Ireland the chaos and complexity of Dublin was an assault on my senses. So many languages, so much traffic, so much humanity! Fortunately, the nearby Botanic Gardens was an oasis of tranquility. My visit started with a brief tour of the library and a peek at a few of the rare books on botanical painting—one from the 1500s! Next an introduction to Brendan Sayers, master horticulturist and orchid expert, who showed me a folio edition of Ireland’s Wild Orchids. Such a thrill!
Soon after, I had the distinct privilege of meeting and chatting with Susan Sex, Ireland’s foremost botanical artist. What a lovely person and what a huge talent. Seeing her current work in progress left me speechless!
After a personal tour by Brendan and Susan, I left the gardens inspired and exhausted.