Where subtropical plants flourish at 53.3° North latitude
This website is dedicated to the memory of David Robinson (1928-2004) and Muriel Robinson (1929-2016).
The Robinson Garden at Earlscliffe is situated on the Howth peninsula, just north of Dublin city, at a latitude of 53.3º North. It shares the same latitude as cities such as Manchester in England, Hamburg in Germany, the southern part of the Hudson Bay and Edmonton in Canada, and Minsk in Russia. In fact, it is even further north than Newfoundland. Despite its proximity to the North Pole rather than the equator, the garden boasts a remarkable set of plants - bananas, tree ferns, South African Erica, and a diverse range of palms thriving outdoors throughout the year, without any need for winter protection.
This cannot be attributed solely to horticultural expertise; it owes much to the exceptionally favourable microclimate in the area. The garden's south-facing slope benefits from its proximity to the sea, as well as the presence of the 180-meter high Hill of Howth on its northern side. Moreover, the warm current from the Gulf of Mexico, which almost encircles Howth, further enhances the peninsula's ability to nurture an extensive array of plant species. In fact, it is believed that Howth can cultivate a wider range of plants than any other place at a similar latitude.
The auspicious location is utilised to conduct tests on the climatic resilience of plants from all five continents. Notably, no artificial protection is provided to any plants, even during the coldest weather, enabling realistic insights into their hardiness to be obtained.
Over its 170-year history, the Earlscliffe house has been owned by various individuals with connections to significant episodes and events in both Irish and world history. On this site you can explore the history of the garden and the house, learn about the plants and their hardiness, and see the latest weather data and updates for the area.
We hope you enjoy your virtual visit to this unique and beautiful place.
This web site is kept up to date with scientific data and information for the general enthusiast. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see in greater detail, please contact .
Please note that the garden is not currently open to the public, and that there will be no formal garden tours around Earlscliffe in the foreseeable future. For further details, please contact
- Have extensively updated the history section for each of the Earlscliffe residents.
We welcome your feedback on either the Robinson Garden at Earlscliffe or on this web site. Please contact .
This page was last updated on 08-Sep-2023.
Weather at Earlscliffe
See our weather site for Earlscliffe, Howth, Ireland and the world at weather.earlscliffe.com