Autumn Rain

Been looking forward to today’s visit to Dunedin Botanic Garden but I didn’t get much time before grey sky turned rainy sky. I still took around 170 photos though! Once it got too wet outside I transferred into the conservatory. For this post I’ve chosen pics that although not my best, hold some kind of interest for me.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

My first photo is one that I took after returning to our motel. It’s a view down onto the botanic garden carpark and is taken from the motel balcony (one level above ground level). The bright autumn colours attracted my attention.

I’d wandered through to the botanic garden from just to the left of the scene above. Once you walk from the carpark road into the garden proper there’s this wonderful big horse chestnut tree. I spent quite some time here. I took this photo for the incredibly long writhing branch that snakes out over the ground.

Horse chestnut or Aesculus hippocastanum. I like the contrast of the bare branches and bright foliage.

Horse chestnut leaf detail against distant bare branches.

So I was standing under the horse chestnut taking pics and this strong blast of wind came through and leaves were hurtling down, some of them hurled at my face and camera. I did my best to take shots but this was the only one that offered a few glimpses of the windblown leaves – look carefully for the blurry bits of brown!

Not very far away, Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) leaf, wet from earlier rain.

Leaf litter and berries under a Sorbus domestica (service tree).

And I finish with another photo taken at our motel. In the shelter of our building is this massive lemon verbena. I’ve never seen one this big! Again it’s taken from our balcony, a level above ground level. That’s the roof of the next door single-storey house behind it. Lemon verbena is a wonderful herb that exudes a powerful lemon fragrance from its foliage and is native to Peru and Argentina. I chatted to a motel lady about how wonderful it is and a plumber with us stopped and looked and then exclaimed at the lemon smell coming from the tree. I was pleased he could smell it too, I’d noticed earlier that the windblown foliage was releasing a strong lemon aroma! Aloysia triphylla.

Here’s a link to an interesting New Zealand article about lemon verbena from Jenny Somervell in Christchurch. It’s a good article but she can’t have ever seen this particular plant in Dunedin because she says: “In its native Peru and Argentina, lemon verbena will grow to a grand height of five metres, but it definitely wonโ€™t do that here in Canterbury.” Well hehe, Dunedin’s south of Canterbury and it looks like it can do it here so I’d question that use of “definitely”!!!

Link to the lemon verbena article

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

13 thoughts on “Autumn Rain

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  1. The horse chestnut makes me think of Medusa! I love the scent of lemon verbena – used to be able to get toiletries with it in, but haven’t seen any for a while. Must see if I can find some! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Mike, Liz, that horse chestnut tree is fabulous. I had a small giggle picturing you under the tree with the leaves swirling around you.

    We had one (much smaller) in our previous backyard and I so enjoyed it through the seasons; we even got a few chestnuts some years. I was quite saddened to learn the new owners cut it down to put up a swing set ๐Ÿ˜ข.

    I hope you wake up to a better weather day and get to explore more of the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your photos are wonderful, Liz–I love that enormous horse chestnut tree and the tulip tree leaf (the tulip trees are flowering now where I live, but mostly I see the flowers on the ground and not in the tree since they seem to bloom up high). I was particularly intrigued by your photos and comments about lemon verbena. I had no idea how it grew. Several years ago I stayed in a hotel that had lemon verbena soap and shampoo and it was wonderful. The only scent that I have enjoyed even more was sandalwood. I read the article you linked and was fascinated to learn you can use lemon verbena in cooking and as a tea. I smile when I read about how it works as a tea in “relieving indigestion and excess wind.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wonderful to get your response just before I sign off for the night! So glad you enjoyed the photos Mike and that the lemon verbena got your attention. We had no idea it could grow this big here in NZ so this plant at the motel is a big surprise to us. Your quote is funny and I also liked “It is also said to be good for lethargy and depression, stimulating and reviving the spirits, and can be drunk several times a day.” All those amazing kick-starts I could get if I had lemon verbena growing in my garden ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

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