Six on Saturday 28.08.21

A second Six on Saturday from Level 4 lockdown here in New Zealand. As of 1pm today, there are now 429 cases of people who have tested positive for Covid, the vast majority in Auckland (and I mean vast majority – only 14 of the cases are in Wellington, none anywhere else so far). Apart from Auckland and Northland, the rest of the country will move into Level 3 on Wednesday. Vaccination rates seem to be good, though it looks like the country will run out of vaccine, and the next delivery is not due until October. Ah well…. it is how it is. 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 usual for this time of year, the weather is quite changeable. Wednesday was a lovely sunny day, and I managed to get a picture of the magnolia at the back of the house. It doesn’t really do justice to this beautiful tree, but I am sure you get the idea. There are some magnificent magnolia in flower in the Botanic Gardens where I go for my ‘isolation walks’, with more to come judging by the wealth of buds. They certainly lift the spirits.

Today, of course, it is raining. There was a bit of a respite in the afternoon, which saw all the neighbourhood cats take their constitutionals, and I just saw some blue sky. It has been an indoors day with no weeding or tidying outside, just a book, a pot of tea and dreams of better days. Anyway, here are some of the daffodils in the rain.

A week can’t go by at this time of year without mention of the camellias. Due to the weather, this week you are only getting buds from the bush outside the house!

Meanwhile, the echinacea is coming on well, the rosemary is still in bloom, the lavender plants are both flowering, the tulips are about the same stage as the ones in the Botanic Gardens (which is good news), and I have plentiful chives, parsley and sage. The tarragon is making a slow recovery, but both my mint plants seem to have given up at the moment. It may be time to get more once lockdown is lifted and we can once again get to a garden centre.

Moving indoors, I spotted a flower on a ‘I thought it was past its best’ orchid, which was a pleasant surprise. I also noticed two bright pink flowers on this cactus that need sun to open up. Lovely little finds for a wet day.

Finally, more pictures from when the sun was shining on Wednesday of the hellebores. I’ve picked a couple to brighten up the house as well. Apparently, you should put them in warm water to keep them fresh longer.

I hope next week I am feeling a bit more cheerful. 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. This Covid is a curse. You avoided the worst of if for so long that it is a terrible pity to have it break out in such numbers now. Best wishes. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A huge downer, to be honest. We feel more than a little worn down from it at this stage – perhaps, because we have been inclined to worry too much and have lived a lifestyle which has been too careful/careful/fearful. With a similar population to New Zealand, we have had 1,500 to over 2,000 daily cases for the last fortnight or so. When this happens we feel we have been correct in our approach of staying at home and away from people but it is tiring and trying nonetheless.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you come out of the restrictions sooner rather than later. It seems that New Zealand has acted much more quickly in general, which has worked well so far!

    The Camellia bud with the splash of colour, and decorated with raindrops, looks absolutely lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With such a lovely garden, the lockdown for you means time to “look” at what you do have unfolding. Sometimes we own some thing, in our rather chaotic/busy lives we tend to forget to look at what is just outside our door…

    I’ve restricted my exercise to my long driveway, which goes past another flat. I got permission from the dude to walk past his windows. Then around the back of my unit – then back up to the letterbox, down past U/2 and at each turnaround, stand and look. Nothing earth shattering to be seen as we are a very blank canvas. But next week when he’s back at work (essential worker) I might have a better gander at the back grassed area that backs on to other properties…just for a change.

    Yes the numbers are in my city, but when you think about the population of Auckland – the number is measly v 1.6million others here, including me 🙂

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  4. Very good idea to go to the Botanic gardens for your isolation walks in these difficult times. I wish you stay safe …
    I can’t wait to see the open flower of this cactus! Always very pretty hellebores as always.

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  5. Hope you’re managing alright in the lockdown. Your hellebores are looking stunning as ever. My gardens starting to shift into autumn and starting to think about winter interest again. Need a few more hellebores.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry we sent you the Delta virus. We are in lockdown now as well, and no end in sight. Thank goodness we have our gardens to sustain us, and with spring coming, there’s plenty to enjoy. Your hellebores are lovely. Nice to be able to pick them and bring them inside.

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  7. It is pleasing to know that there are a number of pretty plants to look at while you are housebound. Now, I would love some of your rain … it is a pity that all these months of being restricted by Covid that I cannot get down to ‘real’ gardening because of the drought!

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  8. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the mint. I thought I had ‘lost’ my ginger mint as it was very slow to re-appear, but then it did! Hellebore flower heads, I believe, look very nice floating in a bowl of water so you can see the pretty patterns. Not sure how long they last though.

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  9. Dear friend — I send you and all of New Zealand best wishes and sunshine and (spiritually) whatever you need to weather this latest development. (I wish I could send more vaccines!) Your coming spring brings much joy to me and I hope to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your flowering plants are about the same stage as ours… I do love your Hellebores and that is a good tip to put them in warm water when picked. It is rainy here so we can’t get into the garden, and we can’t go to our favourite nursery to buy plants because we are in lockdown…. so there is only one thing for it, to do some cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry to hear about NZ’s lockdown woes, this dreary thing seems to be going round and round the globe without ever ending. Hope it doesn’t last too long and that more vaccines arrive soon – here they are already vaccinating the 12-16 age group now. Those narcissi do look charming in the rain!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. At least you are allowed out for isolation walks! In our first lockdown, we were not allowed any walks, with dogs or without. It was horrible.
    Those hellebores are beautiful. Hoping that things will improve re the cases, and you can get out to a nursery soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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