Spring Clean-up


A killing freeze descended on this part of the country and for the Automatic Garden, it was a blessing in disguise.  I had been away from the garden quite a bit last year and many chores went undone.  The Automatic Garden did what it was designed to do and kept on growing, propagating and reseeding, resulting in a interwoven tangle of plants.


The freeze gave clarity to what needed to be pulled, transplanted and cut back.  I have been spending hours everyday getting the garden in shape.


Other chores included filling in a hole dug over the winter by some animal, which was probably an armadillo.  It was much more work than it looks and the dirt is heavy clay. The extremely strong gingers were able to push their way through the pile of clay and the dirt had to be carefully removed.

Volunteers had to be rounded up and replanted into their places in the garden. There were many, but free plants are a good thing.



A scant few flowers have begun to bloom in the garden.  Most years have flowers blooming all year around, but the freeze knocked back almost all of the winter flowering plants. This red canna is a welcome sight.


Drimiopsis maculata unfurled its spotted leaves and sent out flowers in no time.  The plant is a great substitute for hostas in the South.


The climbing rose is blooming and dripping from a tree.


Pink Flamingo Celosia  usually stands three feet tall before blooming, but this one couldn’t wait.


The Shrimp plant came back from its roots and the few blooms were welcomed by the Buff-bellied Hummingbird that has wintered here.


The Bottlebrush has perfect timing providing food for the arriving Ruby Throated Hummers and the honey bees that are living near by.

Bit by bit I am seeing my hard labor paying off and I have high hopes for a beautiful garden this summer.

17 Comments on “Spring Clean-up”

  1. shoreacres says:

    I have a friend in Bellaire who’s decided she’d like some native plants and some raised beds for — well, for whatever. The last time I talked to her, she was aghast. “Oh, my,” she said. “It turns out you can’t just plunk these plants in the ground. There’s some real work involved.”

    Why, yes. Yes, there is. 🙂

  2. FlowerAlley says:

    Love that Drimiopsis maculata. Never seen it. Put it on my list of “Look For.” Bottle brush is beautiful.

  3. A good rain and a lot of hard work? Things look promising for a good gardening year.

  4. Deb says:

    Love the bottlebrush! Yep.. the gardening times time but it does pay off!!

  5. Sheryl says:

    My flower garden looks much like your first picture. Now that it’s beginning to get a little warmer up here, I need to get out and remove all the dead stalks and leaves.

  6. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m glad the frost had a good result. And I think your garden is beautiful.

  7. Tina says:

    I never mind a good, hard freeze or two (or more) during winter and I think it’s a good thing when the garden is rendered to its most hardy. You certainly have lots of pretties in your garden, it’s hard to pick a fav, but wow!, that Bottle brush is gorgeous!

  8. Christina says:

    Ah! that spring time clean up is so satisfying, isn’t it? I know your heavy clay is hard to work with but it does help the plants in summer; my free draining soil just doesn’t retain any water at all!

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