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East meets West at Dunedin Botanic Garden

This article was first published on 05 Mar 2021.

The North Asian Border

The North Asian Border

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

The delicate and harmonious beauty of Northeast Asian gardens evolved over thousands of years. With the guidance of ancient Chinese philosophers, landowners were encouraged to embrace the beauty of nature rather than focus on the influence of humankind on nature.

This relationship was an important approach to a sustainable future. People were inspired by nature’s principles to create moral ways of living with nature. Chinese chose to grow plants around their homes inspired by the colours, shapes and scents of nature to create a natural balance between nature and humankind.

Although the physical distance and cultural differences between New Zealand and China are vast, we can experience a garden similar to those influenced by ancient Chinese philosophers right here in Dunedin Botanic Garden. A leisurely stroll through the North Asian borders located at the northern tip of the botanic garden will transport you to another world. No matter what season you visit, you will discover it is always a dynamic and energetic place.

Take in the Deutzia gracilis and Weigela praecox blossoms that signify spring is nigh, enjoy the delicate fragrance of Osmanthus delavayi with their jasmine-like flowers in spring and delight in the splashes of colour from Hypericum hookerianum and Hydrangea paniculata that contrast with the lush green canopy around you in summer.

The North Asian borders are an enchanting place all enjoy year-round, whether you wish to find a peaceful place to meditate or a quiet place to catch your breath.