Now is the time to come and visit the spectacular Rhododendron Gardens located at the back of the Deer Park Hotel. The origin of these gardens date back to around 1850 when the idea of a Rhododendron Garden was born. To achieve this, earth and peat were carried up the cliff face and put into holes in the rocky surface. The original plants were mainly the common purple rhododendron "Ponticum". The Howth collection is certainly the best general one in Ireland. The total number of named plants would be around 1,500 including species, crosses and hybrids plus a large number of un-named plants that now have flourished on the rocky slopes.