Six on Saturday 10.07.21

June 2021 was the hottest on record here in New Zealand. The average temperature for the month was 2C above average. Equally, in late June, a polar blast from Antarctica brought strong winds, high seas and snow to low levels across the country, and there was snow in Taranaki for the first time in 10 years. In other words, June was a very mixed month in terms of weather. Today started wet, but the skies are doing their best to be a hazy winter bright. 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.

To start this week, a round up of the camellias, which are really so beautiful at the moment. I so wish I could get close to the bush with the big pink flowers for a decent photo, and as I only use my iPhone with no additional lenses, it is sometimes a bit difficult to get the pictures I want. I really must remedy this situation soon – quick question – has anyone used additional lenses with their phone and are they worth it? Anyway, below you can see flowers from four different bushes.

At number two, surprise corner. I confess that the agapanthus is not exactly in the garden, but at the bottom of the steps up to our house (you can see a camellia in the background). I would also say it hasn’t just flowered but has been like this for weeks. You see the occasional bee enjoying it as well. I know we are in a sheltered spot, but it is the middle of winter. The echinacea continues to grow. I bought this plant in spring I think last year, but it certainly seems to like the spot it is in. And I have more flowers on the salvia blue black which I was not expecting. I bought this plant at Thorndon Christmas Fair in 2019 and it has done better than I thought.

In third place, the mahonia is finally showing berries. Last year, some of these were already ripening, so the mahonia is one plant that is at least a little bit behind!

Coming in at number four, the things that keep on going: the tecomanthe speciosa or Three Kings Vine which has flowered really well this year; the chicken thyme, which of the four thyme plants I have, continues to thrive; the parsley bough last year when lockdown was lifted and which was almost the only herb in the garden centre; and the very final dahlia.

And so to the penultimate plant of the week. No laughter please, but I am going to feature a spider plant. I have a couple indoors, and you know what they are like, spreading everywhere. Every now and again I take a few of the ‘babies’ as my mother called them, and put them outside and sort of ignore them. Anyway, one at the side of the house, in the gloomy corner is really doing well and entwining itself around one of the old rosemary plants. I hadn’t really noticed it until today either.

Finally, signs of spring – bulbs peeping and hellebores. The days are getting longer now, and spring is on the horizon. The magnolia is covered in buds (some are already flowering in the Botanic Gardens – ours is always later), and I will try not to get anything from the seed catalogue (except for nasturtiums and cornflowers….oh and more violas…).

That is it for me for now. 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. You have an Agapanthud flowering? Mine are just about to start at the other side of the world! It was so interesting reading what is coming up in your garden ready for spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still amazed by how you have flowers in the winter, but how striking they are! Weird weather here, too. Two weeks ago, our weather was nearly 100. Yesterday it was in the 60s, with torrential rainfall. Unfortunately, weird is the new normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We tend to call the spider plant ‘hen and chickens’ in South Africa 🙂 I have a small patch of pansies, petunias, phlox and calendulas making a brave show in my garden – a really small patch!

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  4. It’s always a joy to see how your garden is doing. The weather here in the UK has been very mixed. We had gorgeous sunshine at the start of June and it’s been quite cloudy and wet on and off ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely to see your bulbs almost up, ours are about the same. I like the spider plant, I always think they look pretty in a cheery sort of way. We lived in a flat in Sydney and I had one on the window ledge and it stayed alive regardless of the weather, indoor heater, or occasional lack of water.
    Your Agapanthus is certainly getting ready for summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is just one agapanthus, and I think it is a late flowering from autumn rather than early flowering. The dahlia is the last one. You can’t plot the seasons here in the same way 🙂


  6. Agapanthus in winter? It’s a mighty fine bloom too! Hurrah.
    Seed catalogues? Surely you’ll consider a dahlia or two? Very easy from seed, but even though they flower first year, they do need a further year to mature fully.
    Lovely to see that your spring plants are peeping up.
    Have you put the spider plant in sunny spot or shade, Barbara? I am going to adopt your strategy. No laughing matter indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The agapanthus is a rogue flower that I think may have bloomed in autumn as a latecomer. Agapanthus are weeds here, so it doesn’t bring me as much joy as it should! I have ordered more dahlias – fingers crossed! The spider plant above is in shade that gets a bit of sun if that makes any sense. I think it is doing well due to benign neglect!

      Liked by 1 person

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