Six on Saturday 25.06.22

Yesterday in New Zealand, Matariki was celebrated for the first time as a national public holiday. Matariki signals the start of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar, and is timed with the first sighting of the Pleiades star cluster. It is supposed to be a time of reflection and a time to share food with friends and family, though as this is the first year it is a public holiday, I think a lot of people are still finding out what Matariki means. Anyway, today it is time for Six on Saturday when The Propagator 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.

Matariki also signals a time to start planning and preparing for the spring garden. Well, there are all sorts of ‘mixed messages’ going on in our winter garden, with some parts still thinking it is autumn, and some spring already. At least the mahonia is showing its seasonal berries, though not quite that distinctive blue colour yet.

Other seasonal berries are appearing on the well established bushes at the side and front of the house. These dots of bright red really say ‘winter’ to me as I guess I think of holly when I see them.

However, other parts of the garden don’t seem to know what season it is, such as this little dahlia bloom. Luckily where we live we don’t get winter frosts, but I don’t expect it will last long, even though it is lovely to see of course. I guess too the weather has not been that cold, other than a very chilly snap earlier in the week. Even so, I did not expect to see this.

After saying the nasturtiums were at an end…at least twice…these two popped up. Again, lovely to see and I won’t pull up the plants just yet as who knows what may come.

And so to the camellias, with the small white flower bush looking gorgeous, and lots of flowers still on the pink bush in front of the house. I wish I knew who planted these as they are quite lovely.

Meanwhile at the back of the house, the camellia with the big, blousy flowers is covered with blooms and buds. As I only have my iPhone to take pictures I can’t get that close to give you a better idea of just how gorgeous these are. If you look closely at the middle picture below, you will see two large white flowers that have just bloomed this week. Hopefully there will be some more I can try and get a better picture next week, but at the moment that is the best I can do. You will see in the last picture below the buds on the magnolia (again, look carefully). The featured image at the top of the post is what we see when we arrive home – a glorious sight I am sure you agree.

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. Planning for the spring garden is one of my favorite parts of the whole process. The mahonia berries are lovely, as are the emerging nasturtium blossoms – I haven’t seen one so dark before. Everything is looking very lush.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful nasturtiums! I hope to have some to show soon. Mine are Tip Top Alaska, with variegated leaves. Happy Matariki!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a feeling I’ve been here before but the small white Camellia looks a lot like ‘Scentuous’, which as the name implies, is scented. It also has attractive reddish new leaves. Does that fit?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went outside to have a sniff….no smell…Every year I think I need to plan a walk around all the camellias in the Botanic Gardens and every year I miss the main display to see what I can identify.


  4. I’m delighted to learn about Matariki. The emphasis on reflection and sharing food with friends and family sounds perfect, especially for you.

    Your homecoming view is splendid. (A lovely starting point for reflection!) And I celebrate all your wintertime blooms. Flowers and candles too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After a VERY SLOW START to Summer, and a Spring that was mostly MIA, our garden has been very confused as well. Fingers crossed that Summer is finally here — and that it chooses to stay a while. Beautiful photos (as always)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for explaining Matariki! My family emigrated to New Zealand when I was very young, but they got home sick and we all went back to England. I often wonder what life would have been like if they had put down some new roots!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your winters look much milder than ours. I love the showy camellias. The black nasturtium has a unique look. Thanks for sharing your garden. I don’t have that much flowering in my summer garden!

    Liked by 1 person

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