International travel

Sunday in the Garden of Dunedin

The following is a journal entry from my recent trip to New Zealand.

Sunday, March 3, 2013; Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

The day began with a wonderful, meditative visit to Dunedin Botanic Gardens, the most beautiful garden I have ever seen.

Sunday morning at Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand
Winter Garden Glasshouse, Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand, 3-3-13

It’s the oldest in New Zealand – just celebrated 150 years – and in my estimation the most beautiful and varied. (At one point I found myself comparing it to Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. There’s really no comparison, as they are very different in type, size and memory.)

After quietly wandering for nearly an hour – we had been dropped off at 8:00 a.m. – I found a beautiful, quietly secluded place to sit and meditate and write.

Those thoughts follow …

Upper Garden
Meditation in the Rhododendron Dell

The Botanic Gardens in Dunedin.

 If we had another full day here I would come in the morning (with a picnic lunch) and spend the entire day here.

If I lived in Dunedin, I would come here once a week. It would take years to see all of it; even longer to truly know it.

The sounds of traffic and humans is faintly in the background.

View from the upper garden
Many benches, encouraging visitors to stop and enjoy the view.

More noticeable are the morning greetings of various birds,

the quiet rustle of a rabbit and other birds in the undergrowth,

the wind in the leaves of the trees,

 the gravel crunching under my shoes,

Upper Garden
Gravel, and varying slopes, might make this difficult for wheelchair users

and the quiet, frequent sound of my chuckles of delight at what I see.

Agapantha, and a view from below the Italian garden
Agapantha, and a view from below the Italian garden

All shades of greens and browns and yellows;

Walking from lower to upper gardens
Bridge across Lindsay Creek


Lower Garden
Alstroemeria and baby’s breath – a floral bouquet!

 trees (tall and short),

Rhododendron Dell
The quiet rustle of leaves

herbs and roses and protea and others.

Upper Garden

Bold and delicate; coming into bloom or fading at the end of cycle.

Lower Garden
Bold and delicate

As I walk, the scents change from musty to pungent, boldly sweet, lightly scented.

Lower Garden
Herb Garden

 At the herb garden I was given permission (which, to me, is encouragement) to take a small piece to smell as I walk.

Lavender and rosemary, of course.

Herb Garden, Lower Garden
“You are welcome to pick small samples …”

And the roses! Oh, my! Even in their late-summer decline they are fragrant and lovely!

Rose Garden, Lower Garden
Beautiful purple roses!

The threat of rain ended my writing. Covered with rain gear, umbrella at the ready, I walked back to the “lower garden” and enjoyed the knot garden,

Lower Garden
Knot Garden

brilliantly colored borders,

Lower garden
Brilliantly colored borders

the Pergola Garden

Lower garden
Pergola garden

(and the pied shag just on the other side of the shelter);

Lower Garden
Nesting shags

and many more delights too numerous to remember!

Lower Garden
Lower garden, fountain and knot garden

Upper Garden

Southern African Garden

Upper Garden
There were a few places that were not wheelchair accessible.
Lower Garden
Dunedin Botanic Garden – 150 years old!

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, writer, photographer, former wedding officiant, mother, friend, explorer and new Texian ... that's just a little about me!

One reply on “Sunday in the Garden of Dunedin”

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