Six on Saturday 01.05.21

The first of May already…hard to believe. You can really feel it is autumn, with colder mornings and darker evenings, but we have had a decent amount of sun and enough rain to keep the gardens watered. There are a few things to share with you this week, including the fatsia which is in full bloom at the moment and can be seen in the featured image at the top of the post. 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. Let’s look at this week’s six.

At number one, this week’s tecomanthe speciosa or Three Kings Vine update. There are lots more buds and some flowers too which you can see below. They are so pretty and are such a joy in the autumn garden.

At number two, a couple of the mahonia are flowering. Love the bright yellow flowers or loathe them, you can’t deny they are an interesting plant. They seem to thrive in this spot beside the house as well.

The last of the violas are still looking wonderful and cheery. I have had a great display this year and will be growing more again come the season. Every one is just slightly different, all of them bring a smile to the face.

Spotted today, this camellia. Strictly speaking this plant has its roots in our neighbours’ garden, but the flower is right beside our path, so I think it fine to feature today. The buds below are on the big (possibly a bit overgrown) plant at the front of our house. There’ll be more in the weeks to come I am sure.

Over in the herb corner, the cinnamon basil flowers are still looking stunning, though as I mentioned before, the leaves are a little disappointing. The pineapple sage and variegated sage are both looking fine, but my other sage plant and the tarragon are not looking so good. The parsley plants have done remarkably well this year, and I have had plentiful supplies for months. Both oregano plants are in need of a bit of tender loving care, and as for the curry plants…well, I really must re-pot them before too much longer.

Finally, yet another dahlia picture, because I can’t resist. I also got hold of Discovering Dahlias by Erin Benzakein which I am hoping will inform and inspire me. Since I am limited to growing in pots, any suggestions of ones to try next season are welcome.

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. Always great to see the tecomanthe flowers coming and I think I may have at last learnt how to spell it without referring back to your text! Beautiful dahlia, they are wonderful plants and so many varieties to chose from. Have you tried any of the “Bishops” dark leaves and single bright flowers? You just can’t beat a viola. Happy autumn to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a good tip from off the edge, the Bishops dahlias have wonderful dark foliage and single flowers which the bees appreciate. Am going to try a few cactus varieties this season, including chat noir which would look good with your sophisticated creamy-white one. Great that your herbs are still giving, mine are getting going now. Curry plant is a favourite for its fantastic silver foliage.

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  3. So your camellias flower in autumn there at the same time as ours in spring? Amazing. I’m a Mahonia lover by the way – the insects love the nectar and it’s hard to dislike something wth such a great smell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May is like November in the Northern Hemisphere. I don’t think you can really do comparable seasons – at least I tried to when we first moved here but the weather patterns are just so different.


  4. So odd to see “autumn” and “May” in reference to each other. But a fun reminder of how different the seasons are in other part of the world. Truly, one of the joys of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post inspired me to look up 3 Kings Vine – what an interesting story, as I understand it – the species saved from extinction through cuttings taken from the last surviving vine. Yours looks very robust!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is an interesting story. It took a bit of time to find out what the plant was, but a colleague at work confirmed our suspicions, Then I found two in the Botanic Gardens which confirmed it. Such a great plant – I wonder which previous owner planted it as it is very well established.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s really fun to see the autumn abundance and beauty of your garden in contrast to the spring emerging in my garden (US central plains). Your parsley looks fantastic. I’ve not been able to get curry plants started. I think I might have weeded them out when I put seeds outside. Maybe I will try starting them in a pot so I don’t pull them out.

    I have a new dahlia to plant this year — Miss Eileen. Supposed to be a peachy color of orange. I don’t know how big the flowers will be. I put mine in the ground, but I have to lift them in the fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bought my curry plants from the garden centre which might have helped! Think pots to start would be a good idea. Look forward to seeing your dahlia later in the year!


  7. Your herb garden is lovely. I am inspired by your success with basils to try again, though last year mine made a sad showing. After seeing your pineapple sage, I finally got one for myself and potted it up with another tender perennial (lantana) that is putting out a few reluctant buds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you should definitely try again. I find basil rather temperamental, but would you believe the best plants have been those ones you buy in supermarkets to use for cooking!


  8. I have never grown dahlias before this year, and mine are in pots too. I don’t want something I have to dig up, so I can just move the containers. Violas are so lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that even though it is a little chilly & damp there is still so much colour around. The Mahonia is tricky looking but the yellow is stunning. I am just learning about Dahlias imagine a ute load like that in your backyard pots everywhere. Fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It seems you are quite lucky to have a Tecomanthe growing in your garden (I also did a little research). It will be interesting watching the new flowers open. I can’t believe you still have violas as ours stopped flowering months ago, sadly. Such heroic little plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we are indeed. I wonder when it was planted and by whom? I had fun watching a giant bee trying to get some pollen from the violas this morning. He was so big the poor little flowers bent over every time he came near.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The ‘Bishop’ dahlias are really lovely and I would recommend them too, particularly for growing in pots. Another great dahlia is David Howard. It is an orange one with dark leaves that is robust and easy to grow, but may be larger than you want for pots. In the UK you can buy ‘Bishop’s children’ as seed and get a whole garden full of Dahlias for a few pounds.

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