Six on Saturday 09.01.20

You know what it is like when you go on holiday, you either come back to a garden decimated by slugs, snails and sleet or one bursting with life, colour and flowers. We got back from a short trip to Dunedin, and in those few days a lot seems to have gone on while we have had our backs turned. 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. 

I’ll start with what I finished with last week, and that is the Peruvian Lilies or alstroemerias, which were the first thing we saw when we got home. The bright spots of colour were a lovely welcome home. There are still lots of them too.

At number two, we came home to a flowering salvia blue black. I bought this plant in December 2019 at the Thorndon Fair and it did well last year and seems to be doing so again. It is such a pretty colour and gorgeous shape.

Now for some things that are not looking so good…first up, working from the top left below, this should be a dahlia. The other dahlia is looking healthy enough, if showing no signs of flowers. Quite frankly, it looks as if something has had a feast on it. Neither begonia is looking good either. I don’t know what I have done wrong here, whether the weather was wrong when they were first planted or what I am not sure. My mother always grew begonias indoors – I don’t seem to have the same way with these plants. At the bottom left, this thyme plant, is now just twigs. It was repotted recently as it was looking sad but now it is looking even sadder. I have cut it right back and will see if there is any new life in a few weeks. Of course, the dill has bolted, as I expected.

However at number four, doing well are the variegated sage, the mint, the chocolate mint (which I keep featuring I know), the supermarket basil which is doing well since I put it outside and there are flowers on the lemon balm.

At number five, the hostas are still flowering and looking such a strong colourful contrast against the alstroemerias. They are slightly dominated by those yellow blooms beside them, but still look quite stunning.

Finally, the echinacea, which you can also see in the featured image at the top of the post. It is absolutely stunning in real life, and there are more flowers to come. My current obsession in the garden!

So that is me for now from Wellington. 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. Welcome back… to your garden, that is.
    I know the feeling of trepidation & excitement.
    Your Begonia… Well, I had lots that rotted while I was trying to overwinter them last year. About twenty survived but interestingly some of these just got to single leaf stage and no further. Bummer really.


  2. I’m not surprised you are obsessed with your echinaea, it is a beauty and I bet even more lovely in real life. Glad you had a nice few days away and even more glad that NZ are Covid free, long may it last.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if one of those Aussie possums visited your garden in your absence?
    I love the Echinacea too. I’ve tried several times to grow them here but have had no luck. Yours is a beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, the joys of Dahlia growing. I find it a constant battle keeping some safe from the slimy ones, planting them, digging them up again, planting them… The blue of that Salvia is stunning. I really must get an alstroemeria – that one is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah… here’s the news from the southern hemisphere… sun and warm weather for a few minutes! This morning, while taking a walk in the garden where it was -3°, I took pictures of my ice mint. Both literally and figuratively!

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  6. Something’s feasted on your poor dahlia for sure. It’s not too late for it to reshoot though – hopefully it’ll come back strongly and we can see some flowers on it. I love seeing how your herbs are doing each week – they look so healthy!

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  7. I can’t get enough of your alstroemerias, keep them coming! I like them so much, I might have to invesigate getting hold of some for summer. The blue salvia is eye-catching, and of course the echinacea. I featured a few of my herbs this week and re thyme, I find it’s not longlasting so I am going to try to take cuttings more often (so I keep telling myself!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The alstroemeria will keep going for a couple more weeks. I have a pizza thyme and chicken thyme that have done well, but the lemon thyme and this one have never done so well. Anyway, it is a good excuse to go to the garden centre…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am enjoying seeing all these blooms! It is winter where I am, though a few intrepid dandelions bloom close to the ground near their rosettes. The daffodils shoots are up several inches, and we should see some blooms there by the end of January, out by the old south facing garage, warmest sport in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The colour of that echinacea is a gorgeous, rich tone and I love it. I would make a bee line for it if I had been on holiday too. Are you not tempted to cut it and bring it indoors?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had almost given up hope on the echinacea and am very pleasantly surprised it is doing so well this year. We are watching the news from the UK and it all looks so bad – state of emergency in London and so on. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely plants and colours, the Peruvian Lilies just jump out of the screen! And the same with Echinacea. I have always wanted to grow Echinacea, no luck so far, but seeing it in New Zealand, everything flourishes in your climate, so we’ll just have to come over and enjoy a few more holidays in New Zealand. Happy gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We’ve had so many sunny days here perfect for getting out in the garden. I’ve planted the green sage with my roses and am waiting for my echinacea plants to flower.

    Liked by 1 person

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