Six on Saturday 18.07.20

Saturday again already – I really don’t know where this week has gone and we seem to be racing through July. The weather remains mild for the time year, though we had some really cold mornings, with low lying mist over the water and frost in some places. I read today that it was New Zealand’s fifth-warmest June on record. According to NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature since January 2017. As they point out, that is a total of 41 consecutive months in which the temperature has not slipped more than 0.5ᵒC below the long-term (1981-2010) average. And of those 41 months, 20 have had above average temperatures and 21 have been near average. I feel like what is happening in our gardens is a reflection of this, as there is even signs of new flowers on the lavender bush already. Anyway, back to Six on Saturday and thanks once again to The Propagator for allowing us to share what is going on in our gardens.

First up, the first hellebore of the season. Our are always a bit behind those in the Botanic Gardens, but this beauty opened its petals on Friday. Looks like there are a lot more to come.

The first hellebore

In the same part of the garden stand the mahonia plants. I have been watching the berries ripen, and then eaten. Hope they are being enjoyed!

Mahonia berries

Next up, is a bulb update. Things are looking good with most pots, as you can see below. When I went to take a picture of one bowl, I noticed the two little mushrooms in the pot too.

Talking about warmer weather than usual, my wild strawberry plant is still producing fruit. Mind you, they do seem to disappear still before I get to eat one!

Wild strawberry time

Over to the herbs, and the tarragon I cut back is coming back with some new growth, the parsley is still giving me some supplies and the broad leaf parsley is really in need of being put into bigger pots. A lot of tidying up needs to be done, so provided the rain holds off, that is my task for tomorrow.

Last but by no means least, the camellias. There are still lots of buds on the bush in front of the house, as well as a nice display in the parts that get the most sun. The steps up to the house are covered in pink petals, so daily sweeping is almost a must. The camellia at the back of the house is now in full bloom and looking magnificent as the picture at the top of the post tries to show – it is not in an easy place to get a good photo, but it is lovely to see the riot of bright pink on getting home on a grey day. I managed to get a close up of one flower at least, and of one of the buds.

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. Global warming? Looking forward to seeing daffs in (our) late summer! My tarragon, in its second year, is huge and setting flower buds. I’m cutting most off since I don’t want baby tarragons everywhere, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the flowers look like, and if pollinators like them as much as the oregano, now starting to bloom right beside the tarragon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t seem to have a lot of luck with tarragon. If you get flowers, do share. I have an old, raggedy oregano plant next to the tarragon that flowers and attracts lots of pollinators. The sea is warmer than usual which I think has affected the climate too. I am no expert though!


  2. I don’t know what I do to my camellias. One has just died after limping on for about 9 years with the occasional bloom and my other one had its first flowerbud which fell off before it had a chance to open. 😡 Anyway, lovely, colourful Six-on-Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They grow really well around here, and can be seen everywhere. There is a whole area in the Botanic Gardens dedicated to them – most are still to flower but I keep watching every day. We must just have the right conditions.


  3. I lost my tarragon this winter so I bought new plants which are doing well in a container. I think I might bring it indoors or at least under some shelter this winter so the rain doesn’t kill it off. No parsley at present though which is the first time in four years, but I am hoping some will self-seed soon!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny thing about the parsley is when I sow it nothing germinates (though it must have the first time) but it self-seeds all over the place in cracks and pots!


  4. That is a really pretty Hellebore! I have only one Hellebore plant, purchased a few moths ago, and it is not showing signs of flowering yet. Our parsley is growing amazingly well too, and it is almost time to harvest and dry some!


  5. That’s a very nice selection, a chara. I do love to see new spring bulbs emerging. Such a small sigh of new growth brings the promise of the new garden year.
    Mine are all tucked away in a shaded corner to die back, but I’ll be showing them when late winter comes along.

    Liked by 1 person

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