A visit to the Botanical Gardens under a rare blue sky probably requires visual representation rather than verbal so thankfully a photographer tagged along for this tour. Along with our usual special guests from the Balseskin Reception Centre, our group featured Serve the City International founder Carlton Deal and Dublin director Alan McElwee. Looking back, we couldn’t have been luckier to pair such wonderful weather, in such inspiring surroundings, with such great company.

The fact that I cannot recall the actual names of any tree/plant/turtle is no measure of our tour guide’s abilities, whose name I also cannot recall (there’s a pattern developing here). He led us through the grounds enthusiastically, and provided some really engaging context to the clashes of colour and the not-so-random patterns and shapes. The trail culminated in a visit to the recreated Viking dwelling, a thatched hut that could easily compete with the standard of some listings on daft.ie.

As always, the volunteers and participants sat down for lunch, this time generously provided for by Alan. A tour’s success can generally be judged on the hum of indistinguishable conversations and this occasion’s was up there. A huge thank you has to be issued to everyone involved but especially our photographer, Alan and Carlton. Saturday’s outing was the perfect preamble to Tour the City’s upcoming 1 year anniversary.

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