Gardeners can be seduced by mild weather at this time of year, as the temptation is to sow seeds in open ground, even though the soil is cold and wet.
In April we wrote about the beauty of the ornamental flower buds of the large-leaved rhododendron species, R. falconeri.
As summer becomes a distant memory, consider growing plants that give a Mediterranean feel, transporting you to warm lands if only through a window from the comfort of your favourite armchair.
Early varieties of peas (Dwarf Massey needs no staking) can be sown as soon as the soil surface is dry enough.
Hungry birds have been feasting on the fruits of one of New Zealand's favourite native oddballs, the horoeka, or lancewood.
Now that the soil is warming up, as seen in the growth of weeds, work can begin on sowing for the coming season.
Unlike home gardens, one of the significant roles of a botanic garden is education. This ranges from plant studies by scientists, through to telling visitors plant stories using signs.
Autumn is when many of the old-fashioned roses produce attractive, colourful fruit referred to as hips.