The garden of the Chester Beatty Library is divided into a series of different surfaces: stone, hardwood, gravel and ornamental grasses. These lead from the door of the garden to a high point where a large silver birch becomes the focal point. The timber trellises around the garden's perimeter heighten the feeling of enclosure and reduce the sense of exposure we normally associate with a rooftop.
They also provide a frame on which the climbing plants grow. When the garden has matured, the climbing plants will eventually provide a lush green wall enveloping the garden and giving the space of a soft edge. Windows break through the trellis in places to allow views of Dublin Castle and the city skyline. The south side of the garden is planted with scented herbs, trees and shrubs. In atmosphere and character, the garden is calm.
It was designed as a contemporary Irish garden using natural and indigenous materials in a straightforward and refined manner. It does not attempt to mimic a historic garden from any particular culture. Although visitors may see occasional hints at other traditions of garden design, these are not intentional, as much of the planting and indeed the use of gravel is part of the international grammar of garden design today. Amongst the plantings you will find heather, silver birch, wisteria, honeysuckle, various aromatic herbs, clematis, box and bamboo.
The garden is occasionally used for library functions but its principal purpose is to provide an oasis of peace. We invite you to rest for a while and enjoy its tranquillity.