Six on Saturday 11.04.20

How is everyone doing out there? New Zealand is still in lockdown, and we are getting used to living in our ‘bubbles’. It is all a bit strange, but I keep thinking how lucky we are to have the Botanic Gardens to walk in and have our own little terrace and patch of garden to go outside and breathe in when it all gets too much. Not a lot new to report this week as we head into autumn, but anyway, thanks once again to The Propagator for allowing us to share what is going on in our gardens.

First up, the Japanese anemones are heading towards their last days. Petals are dropping and turning brown, but are still giving a nice display, and brighten up our days.

Japanese anemone with an evil lace moth

Over at the herbs, both the Thai basil and cinnamon basil are flowering, and I am just letting them go ahead as they look pretty as I am not going to use them in the kitchen. The cinnamon basil is hugely disappointing, but very pretty to look at, so I will just treat it as ‘an ornamental’ so to speak.

Nasturtium seeds have established themselves in odd places…yet another one is flowering where I least expected in one of the big pots on the terrace. Apart from a few cornflowers still blooming, there isn’t a lot of colour out at the front of the house right now, so this pop of orange-red catches one’s attention.

Never ending nasturtiums

Over at the side of the house, the mahonia plants are flowering. It was a bit tricky to get a decent picture do to awkward angles, but at least you get the idea. The plant on the left was easy to photograph, hence the picture.

As I have mentioned before, we have several kawakawa shrubs around the house. The one below is one of the ones at the back terrace, but there are some all round the property. As you can see, the leaves are often covered with holes which are mainly caused by the kawakawa looper moth caterpillar. The plant is used in traditional medicine, and is a cure for many things – you can read more here.

A close up of the leaves

Finally, today we were visited by this rather lovely kererū or New Zealand pigeon. It is the only pigeon endemic to New Zealand, and you know one is near due to the distinctive noisy wingbeats. They also fly low, so you need to watch out! I just happened to be outside when he decided to visit.

A kererū visits

That is all from me this week. As usual, I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s beautiful gardens in other parts of the world. Take care out there! Kia kaha.

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. When you say that the cinnamon basil is disappointing, is that the taste is not good? You just use it as a decorative plant then..?
    I do like your photos of nasturtium and mahonia


  2. We don’t get many kawakawa looper moth caterpillars here….surprisingly!! Are your pigeons as much of a nuisance to you as are the ones we have here? Yours look more stunning. Interesting Six-on-Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GREAT SIX and AWESOME photos! It is a bit strange for sure having to stay home for some but I never went much of anywhere anyway. Many businesses are temporarily closed and restaurants are drive-up or carry out only. Churches are having services online. It is spring here so perennials are coming up and the early wildflowers are blooming. Now beins the weekly yard mowing… Take care and be safe!


    1. Thank you! Garden centres are closed here as non-essential which is a bit of a pain, but really if we can keep all this in control so much the better. We will get through all of this. Kia kaha as we say here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not sure if the four local Amish greenhoses are closed here are not. I haven’t checked since the restrictions were put in force on April 6. People are coming down here from the city to go shopping at their bulk food stores. Even the local hardware store people are driving all the way here to shop. Social distancing doesn’t mean driving about an hour away to shop. Kia kaha to you, too!


        1. There was a report that people were driving over the hills to buy flour. I don’t believe it as there is flour in the shops, but guess they used it as an excuse when stopped by the police! And yes an hour’s drive is not shopping local!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The state I live in had only three positives COVID-19 cases not long ago. Now there are 4,160. Most are closer to the cities but hardly any county doesn’t have at least one case. Random testing proves many people have no symptoms and they are spreading it because they don’t think they have it. Rediculous!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes it is a problem that people with the virus don’t know they have it – even more reason to stay in your ‘bubble’ as we say here. People were arrested for going to the beach at the weekend – not those who live a few minutes away but those who had clearly travelled. Let’s hope people stay sensible.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so interesting to see the garden in different parts of the world, especially plants that are months away from flowering in the UK – fabulous anemone!


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