Unusual Visitor


An unusual creature was hanging out on the Variegated Ginger. It is some kind of toad as its skin is bumpy.  I have never seen one this color.


It is probably a Gulf Coast Toad, although all the ones I have ever seen in the garden are brown.  I have never seen one of the brown toads climb.  Tree Frogs sleep on plants during the day, but are not bumpy.  Is this a sick creature or an unusual visitor?  I couldn’t find much on the internet and I would love help identifying it.



Today’s project was to save the Bulbine frutescens.  The plants are in severe decline this year and have spilled over the rocks that line the bed. The photo is from better days.

DSC_0229Rain Lilies were planted behind the Bulbine and they have also moved toward the edge of the bed.

IMG_3117The Rain Lilies had to be dug up.  There were hundreds or thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands. Or at least it seemed that way as they were transplanted. The bulbs pictured in the tub are only the ones that had to be moved from another bed. The rest were just piled up near where they were dug.

DSC_0504The bulbs were replanted in a long a row and should reproduce and move forward to fill in the bed.

DSC_0499And when I thought I was finished, I found another pile of Rain Lily bulbs to plant.

While working, an unfamiliar bird started calling and popped out of the trees revealing itself as a Brown Thrasher (no photo) arriving for the winter.  Next the Cardinals, Chickadees and Titmouses (wouldn’t pose for photo) came to check out the stranger and then filled up on birdseed.

DSC_0505Finally, I got to my original task of planting the Bulbines back in the soil above the rocks.  They look a little sad right now, but hopefully with a new start, they will rebound.

Flashback Friday


Today’s flashback highlights flashy gingers.  The exotic plants sport vibrant colors and wonderful scents.  Enjoy!

Gingers…Still Pleasing

Night Blooming Cactus

DSC_0369The Night Blooming Cactus (epiphyllum hookeri) has to be one of the most beautiful flowers I grow.

DSC_0370This year, it rewarded me with an especially nice surprise of sending out four buds.  One bloomed on the first day.

And two flowers opened on the second day.

DSC_0421The third day provided another glorious bloom. The cactus bloomed sometime during the night long after my bedtime, but I was able to get the photos early in the morning before they closed.


In a previous post, I was complaining about the unwieldy plant and it has only gotten worse.  Look against the brick wall at the stem it sent out.  It is about 80 inches long and the cactus is so unruly, I couldn’t even photograph the whole thing.

I am ready to put the cactus in the garden and let it grow up a tree, but after doing some research, it seems that the plant does not like freezing temperatures.  So, somehow I will drag it to the corner of the porch for the winter where it will be protected and covered on those cold days.  Hopefully in return, the cactus will continue to reward me with beautiful blooms.

Hummer Madness

Hummingbird madness descended on the Automatic Garden this morning.  The little birds are impossible to count, but there may have been nearly 10 participating in a feeding frenzy.  The little Ruby Throated hummers are also impossible to photograph, but these pictures give an idea of the action.


The sparring was rampant.  Little bodies clashed with thudding sounds and dropped to the ground.  Bees were chased away by screeching hummers using their beaks like swords.


There were moments of rest between fights.

DSC_0451Clever hummingbirds took advantage of the feeders while the rest of the birds chased each other.

This group will probably be here a day or two during their migration, loading up on nectar from Hummingbird Bush, Cigar Plant, Bottlebrush, Salvias, Mist Flowers and good old sugar in the feeders.

I wish them well on their trip south and the garden will be ready for the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds’ return.

Flashback Friday

This week the flashback is the Gluten Free dish Chickpea Salad with the flavor of Provence.  It features fresh herbs or it can be made quickly with dried ones. The Chickpea Salad is a tasty dish to take to any gathering.


A Taste of France – Chickpea Salad with Provencal Herbs


A New Experience


While stopped at a red light, a worker was trimming a bed of Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) right next to my car.  Tiny pieces of the plant stuck all over the car and gave off the strong aroma of garlic, filling the inside of the car with its smell.  I was accompanied on the rest of my errands with the aromatic scent.

Needless to say, my car got a good hosing after returning home.


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