Six on Saturday Anzac Day

In New Zealand and Australia it is Anzac Day. But this year there were no dawn services: the first time services have been cancelled since 1915. We happened to be awake at 6am (thanks to our cat wanting to go out), and stood outside and listened to someone in the neighbourhood play The Last Post. It was quite moving. Anyway, to the garden, and again there really isn’t much new to report this week, though I did get around to ordering bulbs, which will take a couple of weeks to get here but will arrive eventually I hope. Thanks once again to The Propagator for allowing us to share what is going on in our gardens.

First up, New Zealand will be dropping to Level 3 on our Covid-19 lockdown scheme at midnight on Monday. This means I will be able to place an order at one of the local garden centres and pick up some things I need. I know where I will be going next weekend!

So to the garden itself, and there are still a few cornflowers adding a beautiful pop of bright blue in amongst all the green. They have been a big success this year, so will definitely go for more next year.

Another cornflower

Next up, the mahonia. All the plants are now in full flower, and looking quite gorgeous. Most of the plants are at the side of the house, but there is one rogue one beside the steps (the one on the right below).

Nothing much new to report from the pots of herbs. The red basil is entering its last days, but I am getting lots of lovely thyme and mint still. The chocolate mint is also doing really well this year.

A little corner of chocolate mint

I’ve been checking each day on the magnolia seedpods. The big picture below was taken this morning and the bottom right one on Tuesday. I am monitoring the progress with interest.

Finally, there are suddenly lots of spider webs visible – or it is just that I am noticing a lot more about my environment now I am at home all the time. Charlie sometimes comes home covered with bits of web after he has been running about through the bush.

Spiders have been busy

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. Goodness, those magnolia seeds look almost prehistoric, and certainly and interesting combination of colours. Is it your plan to propagate some of them?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those magnolia seedpods are getting better and better, love them! I sowed some cornflowers this week, inspired by you. I must say that I am so impressed by Jacinda Ardern, she seems like a wonderful woman. Enjoy your week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wouldn’t be able to resist collecting and sowing the magnolia seeds, even though I’d have no use for the plants if they grew. I’m wondering if you have the same Mahonia varieties we do or a locally bred range; it looks to be a cracker.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How funny after restrictions are eased you’ll be heading to a nursery! That’s my plan too but here in the UK I don’t think that’s ready to happen or anywhere near about to

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The cornflower never fails to impress, and my goodness those magnolia seed pods are quite amazing. I agree with you about the mahonias – they’re gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cornflower blue is incredibly striking when you come across it in the garden. I’m hoping I have a few in the bed mix I sowed. I’ve also noticed a lot of spiders webs around the garden over the past few weeks. Mind you there are definitely more insects about at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I popped my head outside our front door just after 6ish and no one was out there, was a bit disappointed.


  8. mahonia would be such a great plant if only the flowers were a different colour! I have an allergic response to that forsythia shade of yellow. no sign of our garden centres opening just yet.our local big shed DIY place is open, sort of, but big queues to get in (90+ mins) as they are only letting a few people in then it’s one out, one in. I don’t need anything badly enough to bother. well, compost, I could really do with some compost….


    1. I’ll be honest and the first time I saw mahonia I thought…no…but they have grown on me (oops!) over the years. Seems like there is a click and collect thing going on at one of the local garden centres. Compost is what I need too.


  9. Those mahonia are stunning. Are they Charity? and I do like the cornflower, haven’t grown those for many a year and not really got anywhere to grow them here now either, although… The magnolia seeds are amazing, I love photographing things like that close-up, so unusual. I am glad you are taking lots of photos of them. Have a great weekend, I suspect nothing much is going to change around here, but I might get off my butt and go and empty out a couple of planters ready for some cosmos seedlings.


    1. Oh I don’t know which variety the mahonia are unfortunately as they were there when we moved in to the house. They do look very like the ones you suggest though, and I seem to be finding that what grows in Cornwall grows here. The magnolia seeds…well, see today’s post later on….


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