Six on a Saturday

Well I have to confess that most of these pictures were taken on Friday, as, as predicted, it is raining, and not a day to be outside.  The steps will have to wait to be swept, and the cleaning up of the microgreen pots and the sewing of new seeds will have to wait for  another day.  Instead, I am inside with a mug of fruit tea and thinking of sunnier days.

1 The dying cabbage tree and living fern

One of the cabbage trees outside our house is not at all well, as you can see below.  I’ve been reading up about this, and I think it is the ‘cabbage tree virus’ first noticed in the mid 1980s.  All that can be done is to cut it down to ground level and hope it regenerates.  Meanwhile, the fern next to it is putting out more shoots, and seems to be in good health.

Ending and beginning

2 Another fern

Last year this grow so big, it formed an archway for us to walk under.  They need regular cutting back, or otherwise can take over.  I just love seeing them unfurl, their almost primeval look.  In fact, my great nephew, when he first discovered dinosaurs, thought they lived in New Zealand ,as all the pictures in his books showed the animals surrounded by giant ferns, just like the ones he had seen in pictures from New Zealand.


3 The herbs

The sage, lemon balm and mint are all doing really well, I am happy to report.


4 The Wellington Botanic Garden

OK – this is a bit of a cheat – but I thought readers might be interested.  The Botanic Gardens here in Wellington are 150 years old, and the forthcoming summer floral display is slowly being put together.  The plan is to create a floral birthday cake in one of the beds. I will definitely report back on this once summer is here and the flowers are out.

Stage 1
Stage 2

5 Green

From now until autumn, things just grow and grow….

What we call the garden…

6 A cactus

Another cheat, but it is really too wet to get outside.  I used to have a lot of cacti, but since coming to New Zealand have only managed to acquire three.  This is one of them.  I think they are great plants to have, but they do need to be left without water in the autumn and winter, so that you can enjoy watching the new growth in the spring.

Cactus at the window

Thanks to The Propagator for starting Six on Saturday.  Let’s hope the weather is much better next weekend.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. I love cabbage trees. What a shame that yours is unwell. It would be terrible if cabbage trees succumbed to a virus-they’re such iconic trees. We enjoyed visiting the Botanical Gardens when we were in Wellington last time, so I look forward to seeing the flowering birthday cake.


  2. Even tho there’s a sick cabbage tree in your first photo, it’s a great shot. Love that fern. The birthday cake interests me – will they plant the sides as well, do you think? I can’t tell from the photo what the sides are made from, but like yourself, am looking forward to seeing how this grows out.


  3. Love the fern against the blue sky. Look forward to seeing the completed ‘cake’. Sorry to hear about the cabbage tree. I hope it can be saved.


  4. The cordyline disease has been taking its toll on cabbage trees in the UK for a decade or more too. Very sad. One of my most vivid memeories of New Zealand was the massive Cyathea medullaris growing amongst Coast Redwood at Rotorua. Awesome. Will only grow in the mildest gardens here.


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