Six on Saturday 21.08.21

So here we are – a SoS Level 4 lockdown post – I had hoped never to have to type that again. Yes folks, all of New Zealand is at our most severe lockdown level after cases of you-know-what in Auckland. Some of the foreign media failed to understand how we can have a lockdown after one case. Well, there are now, Saturday, 51 confirmed cases in the community, including six here in Wellington (all people who had travelled down from Auckland). And all I will say is – look at New South Wales to see why the government came in hard and fast.

Anyway, to the weather which, to say the least, has been mixed. From strong winds and rain to sunshine there has been a bit of everything this week. We’ve had to cut a branch off the large fern in front of the house, sweep up twigs and branches, but also spend a bit of time in the early spring sun. A few of these pictures were taken on Wednesday afternoon, the rest today. Anyway, thanks to 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. Photos taken on Wednesday and today.

As last week, I’m starting with the hellebores because they are looking magnificent right now and their gorgeous shapes and colours bring a smile to my face.

The echinacea got a little battered in the wind, but is still coming along nicely at least. The lavender continues to flower, and I can see new leaves on the dahlia (thank goodness!). Garden centres are closed at Level 4, so no chance at the moment to get anything new – probably just as well! I can order seeds (strictly limited to miniature sunflowers, violas and cornflowers this year), but they can’t be dispatched until, I believe, Level 3.

Still with flowers, and to the camellias, this week featuring one from in front of the house and one we ‘share’ with our neighbour. There is a white bush beside the ‘up steps’ but I can’t get to a decent place to get a good picture. With being at home now, if I get a chance to try again, I will for next week.

Also doing fine are a few random crocuses (or should I write croci?) These two cheeky fellows, nestling in the wild strawberry, are really pretty, and I can see a lot more to come around the place. No sign of any more iris, no sign of muscari or anemones, and one pot of some unlabelled bulbs has now been so badly filled with rain water twice, I think that whatever was in there is now completely sodden. The tulips though are coming on a pace. I think if they are successful, I will get more for next year and abandon anemones.

On crocus – has anyone ever been successful with autumn crocus? Mine just grew leaves and had no flowers.

In penultimate place this week is our magnolia which is now flowering as you can see. I need a step ladder or my tall husband to get a decent picture, but you get the idea. You can also see one of the camellia bushes.

Finally, daffodils. Every day I am seeing more golden blooms when I look out of the window. I particularly like the double headed one, and of course the joy of Jetfire. I brought one pot of miniature ones indoors when the weather was particularly bad, and they seem to be doing fine as well. Expect more next week!

That is it for me for now – I hope to have something new to show you next 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 @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your lockdown, and I promised everyone good tidings. How is the general feeling about it all? You must all be really fed up. Small mercy is that it is spring and you have all that has to offer to help lift the spirits. But still, very small mercy. And your photos are wonderful on this dismal day, lovely daffs and the hellebores are beautiful. Stay safe and well x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are in Lockdown too here in the ACT and we are very much at the mercy of New South Wales…which is very frustrating as I’m sure you feel too. However, hope New Zealand gets ahead of the number of cases so that you are not Lockdown for too long.
    Your flowers look lovely and regarding crocuses, I have not had much success with them, autumn or spring, and unfortunately the ones that started to grow were lopped off by the cockatoos… at least you don’t have to contend with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We keep watching what is happening in your neck of the woods as you an imagine. We are at lockdown Level 4 until Tuesday midnight at least. I can see it going on longer though. Ah well….at least it is spring, my husband and I can work from home, and we have both had our first vaccination.

      Oh those white cockatoos with the yellow crest? Noisy ones? My husband was woken by them every morning when he was at ANU for a month.


        1. We’ve just had an invasion by kaka, a large brown and read parrot….suddenly at least 6, maybe 8, just swooped down into the garden! A first for us.


        2. Wow, we didn’t see any of them in NZ ..I hope they are not like our Cockatoos who are a menace in flowering trees…lopping off flowers and branches

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear, sorry to hear you are in lockdown again, but at least your government is acting quickly rather than “waiting to see” what happens. That beautiful, blue sky with the magnolias and camellias is so uplifting. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our lockdown levels keep changing as the you-know-what tide ebbs and flows around the country, so we are resigned to the restrictions placed on us and rejoice in the odd freedoms that come our way. Spring is slow here, but I see lots of green swellings that will soon turn into leaves, daisies and calendulas have started breaking out and some birds are already feeding their offspring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear about the lockdown, it always amuses me when you guys go into lockdown with one case (which has happened several times to my son in Brisbane) when we are experiencing 27,000 each day! No way were we ever going to reach that zero infection level with our government. I think we are pretty much resigned now to living with this virus and hoping the vaccine keeps us safe. At least your lockdowns are short and sharp and you are entering spring which brings not only hope, but lovely flowers. Stay safe xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh it’s hellebore season in my favourite land. Would be my favourite place if I could get there 🙂
    Spring has sprung good to see something cheerful for you in new Zealand. Hope the Covid cases drop soon for you all to enjoy your best of the season. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I so admire NZs response to Covid, living in the disease epicenter of the US, Florida, coping with a clueless group of state leaders. I got my second vaccination in April and fully vaccinated friends in masks are catching the virus at the grocery store. Stay home. I love the tracery of your Magnolia aand the Hellebores are fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess we have to learn to live with Covid, but here more people need to get vaccinated before we can even think about it. I know lots of people getting Delta even though they are vaccinated. In the meantime, I will enjoy my magnolia and hellebores!


      1. Wow.. same here. Hospitalizations are 90 to 95 percent unvaccinated here. The recommendation is for a booster shot 8 months after the second. Stay home and safe and enjoy spring. I got my second shot in April.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I do hope That it won’t be too long until you are out of lockdown. It is lucky that both you and your husband can work from home. As usual, your hellebores are looking great, and the daffodils are so bright and cheerful – just what you need to brighten your lockdown days. Stay safe.


  9. Gorgeous flowers, beautiful photos. I join everyone in wishing you and all Kiwis well during this lockdown. (And well-wishes to us all!) Your spring delights — ah, hellebores and daffodils! — remind me that autumn is in the offing here. Like you, I’ll savor every day.


  10. Good luck with lock down – hope you and yours all stay safe. With any luck the garden will help keep you sane.

    Nice to see Hellebores in there – they’re all looking rather sorry here in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

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