I’ve decided to take a walk every lunchtime to make sure I have a break otherwise I just eat at my desk. The gardens really are beautiful now with all the trees and flowers bursting into colour. The scents are amazing and the birdsong is fantastic. I took lots of photos but I think the Kowhai is my favourite. I couldn’t get a good photo of the Tui or the Wax Eyes feeding but I watched as they flitted from flower to flower.
It is said that the Kowhai sprung from the shreds of the cloak of tohunga Ngatoro-I-rangi of the Te Arawa waka on its arrival to Aotearoa. The legend says that a young tohunga asks a girl to marry him while they sit under the bare branches of a Kowhai tree in the month of August. She replies that she will only marry him if he can perform some brilliant act. “I will show you what I can do. I will cause this tree to spring instantly into flower before your eyes.” He uses all his powers and the tree bursts into bloom, his final touch causing a ring of yellow blossoms to appear around the dark hair of the girl. Ever since, say Te Arawa, the Kowhai has flowered on bare and leafless branches