The People's Flower Gardens, established in 1840 as promenade grounds, were formally laid out and enclosed as a 22 acre Victorian People's Flower Gardens in 1864. They are a beautiful example of Victorian horticulture. Located between the Parkgate Street entrance and the North Circular Road Gate entrance to the park, they were easily accessed by Dubliners of all classes and were particularly popular on Sundays.
In 1870, a statue of George William Frederick Howard, the 7th Earl of Carlisle was erected in the gardens. Frederick had contributed financially towards the People’s Garden and had a vision of the gardens being a place for “the recreation and instruction of the poor of Dublin". Today, only the statue's pedestal remains, as on July 28th, 1958, an IRA bomb destroyed the statue.
A statue of Sean Heuston, one of the sixteen men executed for their role in leading the 1916 uprising, stands proudly to the west end of the gardens. He also lends his name to nearby Heuston Station.
Five beautiful original late Victorian benches are dotted along the main path through the upper green. An ornamental drinking fountain, dating from the early 1900's, stands as a punctuation point between the two main diverging pathways of the gardens.
The gardens are home to two lakes situated on the northern end. There is also a playground, a park lodge dating from 1867, picnic areas and beautiful Victorian bedding schemes. The gardens are still as popular today as they were over a hundred years ago and draw a big crowd on a sunny afternoon.