Six on Saturday 24.07.21

After last Saturday’s stormy and very wet weather, which had me at one point running out to move some pots that were flooded with water (and getting soaked in the process which took 5 minutes), the weather has calmed down again, and yesterday and today we have been treated to winter sun. Daytime temperatures hover around 14C, which for someone who grew up in Northern Europe is fine for winter (the locals shiver….). Meanwhile, the travel bubble with Australia is closed again, this time for 8 weeks as cases of you-know-what are on the rise in some states. I think we are all living on a knife’s edge over here, wondering if the same thing could happen in New Zealand, and with so few people vaccinated still, it is kind of worrying. Anyway, we have gardens and we have The Propagator who encourages us to share what is going on in our gardens in all parts of the world. Check out the participant guide if you want to join in.

First up, hellebores. There are loads out in parts of the Botanic Gardens already, and mine are also beginning to flower. There are loads of buds, so hopefully I will get a good display of this gorgeous flower this year.

At number two, the ‘herb garden’ section of the garden, where all three rosemary plants (two in pots and one in what I call ‘the forgotten corner’ on one side of the house) are doing well. I have the signs of two echinacea flowers and the old and rather woody lavender is flowering again. It is one of those plants that keeps springing back to life.

Next up, bulb progress. I think there are going to be a decent display this year – I certainly hope so at least. Daffodils, croci and the new tulips are all showing signs of life all over the place, so fingers crossed.

At number four, the mahonia berries are ripening bit by bit. There are not nearly as many as last year, but still enough for a nice display – if you like mahonia and if you like mahonia berries that is.

At number five, these gorgeous seasonal berries. The top picture is of the small bush to the side of the house and the bottom one of the bush that sits under the tecomanthe speciosa. If anyone can identify the plant, please let me know (and apologies if I asked before and have forgotten). Both plants are very well established.

And to end, as we began with the featured image at the top of the post, this week’s camellias. The white bush took a battering last week, but there are still buds and flowers. The big blousy bush as I call it is still looking wonderful (the only flower I could get close to was on its last legs but you get the idea I am sure!). The bush at the back of the house is now flowering too, and I noticed a good number of buds on the magnolia when I popped out for photos this afternoon. In fact, some of the magnolia in the Botanic Gardens are already flowering.

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. Sorry to hear that Covid is rearing its ugly head again in your part of the world. Wish it would just go away. That plant with the attractive berries looks very similar to my Sarcococca confusa, especially the leaves and the flowers (they are normally highly scented), though mine has black berries.


  2. Nice to see the Hellebores are out (and very nice looking, too!). I agree with Sel, the mystery shrub looks like a Sarcococca of some description.

    I hope Covid doesn’t become too much of a problem for you (and the country as a whole), stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with the others – it looks like Sarcococca. The berries start off that colour on mine and turn black over time. Here are some pictures: number 3 (crimson berries: and number 1 (black berries: That Hellebore is a beauty. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have one lonely Hellebore which survived our summer and our winter, so hopefully it will send out some flower buds this year. I had better go and check on it! Your herbs are looking great. Today I converted an old cement pot into an herb ‘garden’. It’s much easier to harvest if the herbs are all together near the kitchen. Hopefully they will do well. The camellias are both very pretty. The COVID situation is quite worrying here, but as you say, we have our gardens to retreat to!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Some of our bulbs look to be at the same stage as yours, and the Hellebores too. It is still raining here, and although I hate really hot weather, I just wish we could get a bit of sunshine!
    Yes, Lockdowns are happening again here, but Sydney is the worst hit, and it will take a while for their Lockdown to end. The vaccine roll out is very patchy here!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lovely camellias. I hope the Covid stays away while everyone gets vaccinated there. Meanwhile, having wrecked the nasturtiums, the blackfly are attacking my runner beans now. 😲😱😡

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, yes. Covid. My Kiwi d-i-l’s mum is over in Brisbane visiting them and now stuck there until the end of September! I’m sure she’ll love that. More time with the grandies. We’ve obviously gone beyond any hope of getting infections down to zero, now it’s pretty much a free for all. I only hope the vaccines are as good as they think they are. Your winter garden is looking lovely. And your winter temperature is not much lower than ours today (17C) after a week of rather too hot weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the flowers – they definitely are a bright spark! I hear you about the anxiety of Covid – I feel like Aus and NZ thought they could eliminate it but the only way to do that is to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Hopefully, you don’t end up like us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are so right re Aus and NZ’s strategy. I think the isolation was fine to begin with, but now people want to move about and see family. Let’s see if and when we get our vaccinations..something both countries have been very slow about.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My vote goes to the Hellebores. Stunning!
    14°C is pleasant indeed, but to get out to make the most of it, the oul virus yoke would need taming. Fingers crossed for you all.

    Liked by 1 person

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