In the famous Curvilinear Conservatory, tropical Rhododendrons were in full bloom. Unlike our native species, these Rhododendrons from southeast Asia grow as epiphytes, rooting in moss on the trunks of trees.
You might not think there would be much active plant life in Ireland this time of year, especially after the hardest, snowiest, coldest winter in Europe in many years. But Dr. Shear found a few examples. The hills around Dublin Bay had some blooming gorse, shown in the photo below. Gorse is an incredibly aggressive, very spiny plant that is native to Ireland but has taken over many acres as forests were reduced.