Six on Saturday 11.07.20

This week, there were definitely a couple of days that made you think ‘winter is really here’. There were some quite chilly days, and snow on the hills and mountains of New Zealand. And yet…I still have not worn gloves. Having lived in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Copenhagen I find this very strange, but there you have it. Anyway, it is sunny, it is Saturday, and time to have a peek outside. Thanks once again to The Propagator for allowing us to share what is going on in our gardens.

First up…the camellia bush at the back of the house is now flowering. It is really tricky to get a picture of the flowers, but I hope this gives you some indication of what it looks like. The featured image at the top of the post also gives you an idea of what things are looking like at the back of the house, with a proliferation of buds on the magnolia as well. The camellia at the front of the house is also still full of flowers, and is loved by our visiting tuis.

Camellia flowers in bloom

Sticking with flowers, the hellebores are making progress. I do hope we have as good a display as last year, when we had flowers for several weeks.

So to the pots at the front of the house, where more bulbs are peeking their heads above the soil and the pineapple sage is loving the cooler weather and the wild strawberry plant is still producing flowers and a few tiny berries (that just disappear before I even really notice them). I saw an Instagram post this week from someone who lives up the Kapiti Coast, who had been really surprised to find ripe strawberries in her garden. I wouldn’t say it was abnormally warm for the time of year, but something is going on!

Wild strawberry plan

The house is surrounded by these hedges which are covered right now with these berries and little white flowers. I love the colour contrast as well as the winter feeling they have.

Next up, an update on the mahonia berries. As you can see, one plant is yet to show signs of ripening, while the other…well something is already removing the ripe berries as I have been watching each day.

Mahonia 1
Mahonia 2

Finally, there are some flowers on what I think is some sort of confetti bush. Correct identification welcome! The bush is like a big big ball, and like all the established plants, was there when we moved in.

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. Hope you are all well and enjoying your gardens in whatever the season is with you.

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. Could your mystery plant be a Diosma? Love the camellias and how wonderful the magnolia will be – not long now. Like you we’ve had bitter weather here. Gloves AND sheepskin-lined ankle boots for me. First time ever! Brrr.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You too (like Prue) show us hellebores and you will soon have flowers, the benefits of the southern hemisphere at this time of the year. Very nice photo of camellia with the blue sky behind

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next week is usually the coldest week in New Zealand I just heard on the radio – will probably need some then! I was trying to remember this time last year and of course can’t, but think it is quite normal?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your mahonia looks better than a lot around here, and it’s a native plant, and the Oregon State flower! I think that’s a cheat, calling it a flower, when it’s a pointy shrub!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is the plant on the right in your main photo a New Zealand holly? I have just seen one of these locally covered in daisy-like flowers (Olearia macrodonta) which looked fabulous. I have an Olearia × haastii which is just about to flower. I will keep it a lot smaller than the ones I have seen though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No there is no bush with white flowers in the picture – must be an optical illusion! The NZ holly is lovely though. Look forward to seeing picture of your Olearia haastii.


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