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IGPS member and hertiage plant expert Stephen Butler will retire on the 30 June after 34 years as curator of the gardens at the Zoo. Come along and walk with him as he guides us through his years of work and how he has transformed the Zoo for both visitor and animal.
As Stephen explains, “Over the past 30 years Dublin Zoo has, like many older zoos, undergone a radical change to how animals are kept, completely changing the old style approach that had no sign of interdependence or co-evolution, and had no attempt at creating a natural habitat for the animals. Our inspiration for new developments always comes from the wild, and we try to imitate the natural habitat to stimulate not just the animals, but the zoo visitors as well, immersing them in landscaped surroundings where our design hides buildings and fences, and our planting palette reflects the wild. Many of the plants used will be familiar to gardeners, but maybe we use them differently! There are also challenges selecting plants that the animals will not eat to make their habitat more interesting.”
While the general public may visit a zoo to see and learn about the animals, Dublin Zoo has a deserved reputation as a garden in its own right attracting garden tours and horticulturalists from around the world. It is the home of Libertia Butlerii – named, as you can probebly guess, for Stephen.
The Leinster Committee hope to see as many of you as possible for this visit.
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