Six on Saturday 15.08.20

You may have seen that Covid-19 has ‘returned’ to New Zealand, and that the country is returning to some sort of lockdown. The Prime Minister announced yesterday that Auckland will remain at Level 3 for at least another 10 days, while the rest of the country will stay at Level 2. It was a big relief that we did not all have to move to Level 3, but it does mean some restrictions (no gatherings of more than 100 for example). So it is back to using tracking systems and hand sanitiser on entering every shop. Still, none of this affects being in the garden, and with it being a glorious sunny day, Saturday, and the prospect of a week off from work, things are not that bad. Anyway, thanks once again to  The Propagator for allowing us to share what is going on in our gardens. Check out the participant guide if you want to join in.

Last week I started with daffodils, and will do so again this week. The jet fire are now looking lovely, and are the first to flower. I have two pots full this year, and am so glad I got more after last year’s success. Spring is here!

Still in the bulb department so to speak, the first of the crocuses (or is it croci?) are appearing. There are about half a dozen in flower so far, all the same variety (I had bought a bag of 50 mixed bulbs). These are really pretty, so I hope the rest will be as good. Anyway, a further sign of spring.

At number 3, the lavender is coming to life. The old and rather shaggy oregano has come to life and looking fresh, the new silver thyme is slowly establishing itself and I am surprised and delighted to see the dill continue to flourish at the moment at least. Most things are beginning to come to life again, except for one of my rosemary plants that is still not looking good. I might give it a trim and feed it – or maybe repot it.

Fourth on the list, this week’s hellebores. No more words necessary I don’t think other than we have a lovely display again this year.

No post would be complete at this time of year without yet more pictures of the camellias around the house. I was going to give them a miss this week, but honestly, they are just everywhere and are beautiful. Below, from top left, we have one of the flowers in front of the house, one of the large blooms at the back of the house, and three pictures of the bush also at the back of the house.

And finally, an update on the magnolia. You can see all the buds below, and a couple of the flowers are beginning to emerge. Hopefully next week we will have some flowers – depending on the weather I guess as much as anything.

So that’s it for me this week. I am off to do a seed audit and tend to my sad rosemary. 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. Every so often we get shown your prime minister on the news here and it’s so refreshing to see a politican capable of making decisions and speaking clearly before we return to Boris bumbling along. Hand washing and gatherings of 100 doesn’t seem too bad. We’re still meant to be limited to meeting with much smaller groups than that. Looking likely we’re going to go through a run of local lock downs across the country over time.
    I like the crocus with the delicate lines coming up. I’m considering planting some more. I added 100 in the lawn and 100 in the front garden but while that sounds like quite a lot it still wasn’t that impactful. I like the hellebores as ever. I’ve got some self seeded plants coming through that I think are hellebores but not certain so watching carefully that they aren’t some form of horrific weed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we have been given quite clear messages. There is an understanding of what the levels mean at least. This time round is harder though as we were used to Level 1, and I am not seeing the same awareness of social distancing going on, though the contact tracing app and hand sanitiser are everywhere. You don’t see crocuses around that much here – my dentist and I had a chat about it the other day – so I am very pleased to have some around the house. Enjoy the hellebores when the season comes around.

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  2. We have seen updates on your situation re the virus – a pity that this recent outbreak arrived as you had been so well to then. Here in Ireland, we have had an upsurge in the past week, associated with workers at meat processing factories. I think both living and working conditions were perfectly conducive to the spread of the virus. Personally, we continue a very restricted lifestyle – no shopping (ordering online and being delivered), no meeting with people, even family, outings only for walks in very quiet areas etc, It is going on a long time and seems set to continue. I have two sons who are schoolteachers and I fear for them as it is planned to open schools at the end of the month.

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  3. I doubt that you’d want to swap Jacinda for Boris! I wonder whether we should also get jealous about your seasonal differences. As we approach our autumn, you’re in your spring. Narcisii, Hellebores, Camellias. I can only look at yours and dream of mine. I won’t dream of Crocus, though. How ever many I add each year, I have yet to get “the look” and wonder if I ever will.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those daffodils are stunning! Unfortunately it is too hot here to grow daffodils successfully, but I do have some Jonquils. Our garden is also slowly awakening again, as the days start getting warmer. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Regret hearing of the Covid-19 return for you, but I’m glad you are all responding quickly. I hope you avoid the mess we are in. As for your six this week, it is great to see that we share some of the same plants. Good luck. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Seeing crocuses, hellebores and lavender is unusual at this season ( and at the same time) Thanks for sharing !
    Good luck with COVID. It comes back everywhere… The worst will be in a month here in France

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did read about NZ and the new outbreak; we have a cluster in Aberdeen that’s causing concern. Hope you don’t have to have any further restrictions.

    The daffodils and crocus are looking good – a sure sign of spring, but for me, the hellebores win every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s been said above… New Zealand is leading the way, Boris is bumbling along (As a child I learned never to call anyone a fool, and I’ll stick with that, although I might think it!) and Ireland is managing reasonably well despite recent serious concerns. Let’s wish one another well in our journey.
    Lovely to see so many lovely signs of spring, Barbara. I’m certainly glad that you chose to include the Camelias.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I do love your hellebores. They are such subtle colours.
    IT is such a shame COVID has returned to NZ. The vaccine can’t come soon enough but I fear it will be years before we see the OLd normal return

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jetfire is on my list after seeing it in so may of the Sixers posts in spring, but I am not buying many bulbs this year after a mammoth purchase last. I want to see how many return. Your spring is looking lovely. I wish we could jump from summer to spring. I dread the winter months and all the rain and gales.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i’ve had a chat with everyone, we’d like to borrow your PM indefinitely. sorry, but there it is. empire has to have some advantages, right? sigh. fab to see the spring colours in your garden, like fast forwarding six months.

    Liked by 1 person

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