Rhododendron Day

Sue Wootton and Doug Lilly

2017_10_15 Botanical Gardens 01

Tick tock, tick tock. Ours is a busy culture built on clock time. With so much to do and only 24 hours a day in which to do it, no wonder sleeplessness, anxiety and overwhelm are some of the signature complaints of, well, our times. But there are other ways of living in time. There is seasonal time, for example.

Thus I could tell you it’s October in Dunedin, or I can throw a blanket over that clockwork time-bird ticking in its cage and go outside. What’s the time? Here it is: it’s seven-tui-in-the-kōwhai. It’s the time of the full-blown orange poppies, the time of pear-blossom-like-snow, the moment of wisteria-begins-to-purple. It’s the era of the slightly tattered tulips and the wind-blown dilapidated daffodils.

And most vividly of all, it is the time of the rhododendrons, a city-wide seasonal blaze of beauty, celebrated annually at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens (home of the world-renowned Rhododendron Dell) as Rhododendron Day. Season’s tidings, then, from the colour-full, spring-full south.


Sue Wootton is co-editor of Corpus.  Images by Doug Lilly, Corpus tech guy.

Read about Dunedin’s winter solstice celebrations here.

4 thoughts on “Rhododendron Day”

  1. My ‘seasonal time’ is waiting for the return of the Shining Cuckoos on Signal Hill. For the past couple of years I have heard them between 13-16 October but nothing so far this year.

      1. 25 October 2017
        Margery Blackman of Braeview Crescent, Maori Hill, heard a shining cuckoo during the day of 6 October 2017, earlier than usual. She has heard it several times since.

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