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Follow your Nose through Dunedin Botanic Garden

This article was first published on 29 Sep 2020.

Podalyria calyptrata

Podalyria calyptrata

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

Many of us have a favourite time of year in the garden, be it spring, summer, autumn or for some even winter. However, it’s hard to underestimate the power of spring. Spring is a time of fresh foliage and flowers signalling the longer days and even has a characteristic fresh invigorating smell.

Daffodils are an iconic spring flower, but so do trees and shrubs burst into bloom, adding to the heavy scent in the air. Dunedin Botanic Garden is a great place to explore for spring flowers and venturing up the hill to the geographic plant collection can fill those olfactory desires.

On the way up you will pass the arboretum with its mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees. Standing out in the middle is a group of Amelanchier canadensis, with white flowers opening before the leaves, being as good as any flowering cherry.

In the Southern African garden, Podalyria calyptrata or as its commonly known, the sweetpea bush, fills the air on calm days with sweetly scented perfume from the mauve/pink flowers.

Then north in the Asian border viburnums abound, with Viburnum bitchiuense a sure winner with its rose/pink clusters of flowers steeped in strong perfume.

The list could go on.  The only way to find your spring delight is to get out into the garden with nose held high and eyes peeled, looking for those gems that enlighten our souls.