Six on Saturday 21.11.20

It is a grey and windy day here (northerlies at least, but still up to 110km/h) so not a day to be out gardening. Parts of the South Island are having some really awful weather, with gale force winds and heavy rain, so we have got away with things lightly. Actually, the weather didn’t matter today as we visited the Beervana beer festival this afternoon – any slight slurring should be excused! Anyway, it is time for Six on Saturday. 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. 

First up, our little lemon tree has flowers. Its health has definitely improved over the last year in fact, and nice to see flowers again this year. One of our neighbours has a fabulous lemon tree of which I am really jealous. Ah well.

Next up, everybody living here knows the Arthropodium cirratum or rengarenga or New Zealand rock lily. It grows everywhere, but is a good low maintenance plant. The plants thrive in shady places and they are often used in mass plantings. The best thing is that they provide effective groundcover, being evergreen and requiring minimal maintenance. We have a few plants in a shady area of the garden, and some in other places, such as awkward to get to slopes. They are flowering just now, so look quite pretty.

And so to the herbs…nothing much to report really, other than I have a good supply of thyme, mint, lemon balm, and still some parsley. Below is the country cream marjoram I have featured before, one of the thymes, the lemon balm, and my echinacea which continues to grow really fast.

At number four, I came home from a walk yesterday to find our cat and our neighbours’ cat sitting together on the steps that lead from our house to her house. They often do this, and can sit together for an hour until eventually one of them gives way and goes home. The picture also gives you an idea of how green things are.

Next up…yes folks it is agapanthus time here. Yes they are lovely, yes they brighten up verges and roadsides, but they are really a bit of an invasive weed. I found this short piece in Stuff (a NZ news website) from 2018 that explains it quite well.

Finally, this week’s camellia…just because we still have a few flowers.

So that is my six for 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. I wouldn’t consider myself a cat fan, and the very cheek of two cats sitting together plotting my downfall would not be tolerated.
    Howeer,on a positive note, the chosen spot is heavenly! Also heavenly is the Camelia. I must find space for one when garden centres reopen fully. Have a great week, Barbara.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was admiring the Arthropodium in the featured photo of your blog and wondering what it was, so I am pleased you mentioned it. It looks so pretty and its growth habit sounds perfect for those hard-to-get-to shady corners of my garden! Your garden is so lush and green, and the little pathway is really pretty. Agapanthus are also considered a weed here in Australia, and there are a number of varieties available. I have always been advised to remove the old flower heads before they form seed, so as to reduce their potential numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have the lemon tree flowers when I’m going to enjoy the fruits soon! I picked the first lemon, grapefruit and calamondin these days.
    Pretty Arthropodium that I didn’t know ( or I didn’t remember if you ever introduced it to us)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely path through your greenery and up the steps to the cats. I haven’t seen our cat with any of the local ones but have had reports of him sitting in other gardens watching other cats from a safe distance. Your sunshine and colourful plants are good to see at this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our cat and this particular cat have a very odd relationship. I can’t make out if they like each other or not. Charlie (our cat) has been found sleeping in our neighbours’ house with their cat in another room. I would love to ask them about their ‘friendship’!

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  5. I must get my pot of Arthropodium under cover for the winter, I’m far from certain it will survive outside here and I don’t want to find out the hard way. I got a few flowers this year but nothing to compare with yours. There’s no danger of our cats sitting quietly near any of the neighbourhood cats, they have zero tolerance for encroachment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love that Anthropodium, the lush greenery and the sociable cats, quite unusual here! Enjoy those herbs, they look great. I was digging up lemon balm earlier this week, it has self sown everywhere in my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anthropodium is a winner. I could do with some of that on the shady banks of my woodland garden. We in the UK can only dream of invasive agapanthus!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a gorgeous path! A perfect place for a cat convention. If two can be a convention. I used to have a cat who would go out each day and his friend from next door would be waiting on the porch. The other cat had many friend who hung around the front lawn, but they never included those two.
    Oh, lemon flowers! They smell so wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Typical Wellington weather then…..
    Does your Rengarenga get attacked by snails? I noticed a lot of them in public gardens when we were in Wellington last year. I planted one, but it was soon demolished.🙁
    Love the view of the cats on the gloriously green woodland path.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the Anthropodium – and that lovely green path where the cat is sitting is to die for! My cat does much the same thing with another around here. Sometimes they are sitting close, sometimes further apart. I have no idea what they are doing, except that we imagine they are ‘frenemies’

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have lemon tree envy too. My daughter in WA has a beauty, laden with lemons. I tried to grow one here, but even overwintering it in the greenhouse, it failed.

    The New Zealand rock lily is very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

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