Rain Lilies Everywhere

The recent rains brought Rain Lily blooms. Rain Lilies have made their way all around my yard. They reproduce by seeds and offsets from the bulbs. The ones in the foreground seeded themselves. The odd thing about Rain Lilies is that they can tell nature’s rain from sprinkler rain and only bloom after rain falls from the sky.

Nature Knows Best

The Japanese Jack-in-the-Pulpit has been full of surprises. After I bought the plant it seemed to be dying, but it came back the next year better than ever and made some baby plants.

This year the Jack made quite a few flowers and when I was poking around this is what I saw. The seed pods fell to the ground face down to drop their seeds perfectly and directly onto the soil. The oval white seeds are from the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The pods rotted away quickly. Nature designed this plant to hit the mark when planting its seeds.

Flowers Are Finally Blooming

Heat and rain have brought flowers to the Automatic Garden. The blooming had been a bit delayed this year as the plants froze and had to come back from their roots. They have not disappointed. Above is a Mexican Hat, Ratibida columifera. I have been surprised that it has not reseeded over the years. The original has only made one other plant.

Shrimp plants, Justicia brandegeena, were the flowers that blew my mind when I moved to Texas. I was at someone’s house for a party and the host had a big vase full of them. It was many years before I could grow my own, but I never forgot them. This one is from my mother-in-law.

I have added other varieties to my garden. Muted Yellow is the name of this variety, but somehow in my mind, it is green. I guess you see what you want to see.

Fruit Cocktail makes a fun flower and is doing well this year. I also have one more Shrimp Plant that is dark pink, but not yet in bloom.

This Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, has found its happy place when it somehow planted itself into a bed far from the others.

The Salvia guaranitca has put out flower stalks making the hummingbirds very happy.

I have had this Black-Eyed Susan for so long that I don’t know the variety or where I got it. It is a self-seeding annual that rambles here and there around the garden.

The Mexican Sunflower or Tithonia is blooming early from last year’s seed.

I always have a little panic every year that maybe my flowers will not return, but as in years before the plants came back and gifted me with their flowers.


We had to have our roof replaced. I have dreaded that day as many of my beds are close to the house.

My plants endured two days of shingles thrown on them from the very high roof.

The plants had the sun blocked from them by being covered by heavy tarps.

And then men trampled the poor babies. The carnage!

I could not bring myself outside until everything was removed from the beds and the men had left. It was not quite as bad as I thought it would be. I spent some hours fluffing the plants back up and trimming broken stems. Most of my plants were selected to return from their roots, and I know my “automatic” garden won’t disappoint me.

Pure Hate…

for this weed. I usually do not fill up space in my brain learning the names of weeds, but I hate this one so much that I researched it. The weed’s name is Mulberry Weed, Fatoua villosa. Another name is Hairy Crabweed, which sounds like a mean name and I think I perfer it.

The weed snuck over here from Asia during WWII. It is considered a summer annual, BUT in the South, it is a perennial. I can verify that. It can grow over 2 feet tall and I found one that made it to one foot. Insects do not bother it and animals do not eat it. The only way to control the weed is to hand-pull them with the roots. I have pulled thousands to millions, perhaps even billions.

One article said to get them out before the purple flowers open. What flowers? I had to get my Mag. Light app out to see them. The weed will make seeds when it is three inches tall, but I believe they start earlier. My research showed the seeds can live in the soil for several years. I believe that.

I do like plants that “automatically” come back every year, but the Hairy Crabweed is officially banned from the garden.

At Last

At last, my spring flowers have started to bloom. The fabulously reliable Salvia coccinea that had been frozen to the ground (as all the plants were) came up from its roots loaded with flowers. Its seedlings are growing and will provide even more flowers.

This good old mulch pile Iris has bloomed this year. This is probably its third home and the Iris has lived with me for close to 30 years.

Gulf Coast Penstemon is another tough plant and I have been transplanting all its seedlings into tighter groups for a better display.

I planted Mealy Blue Sage from a pack of seeds and was able to start new plants from the original.

Needless to say, I am relieved my perennials made it back from two brutal winters (brutal for here). The bees are happy and a hummingbird made a fly-by but hasn’t stayed.

Searching for Flowers

It was a hard winter here on the Gulf Coast and one bad freeze froze most of my plants to the roots. A few are starting to come back and I set out to search the garden beds for some blooms. The Cramoisi Superieur lost all of its leaves but made a big comeback with all new leaves and a few red roses.

The Japanese Jack-in-the-Pulpit shot up with vigor, many more stems, and has already made some of its green flowers.

The purple and white Oxalis Triangularis is in full flower and so are the invasive pink ones.

I have seen photos of snowdrops from bloggers up north and my Texas-sized snowflakes are now blooming clumps.

Because the weather has been so crazy and not long after the freeze, temperatures reached the 70s and 80s, the azaleas bloomed nearly a month early.

I love this little Snow Poppy or Eomecon Chionantha. While trying to find its proper name, I saw it listed as a weed. It is doing really well and reproducing. They all die back in the summer.

I have a couple of potted plants in bloom. The Kalanchoe was a gift from my kids many years ago. I stick any broken stems back into the pot and it doesn’t take long for them to root.

The Billbergia nutans have such unusual colors. It is from South America and blooms in the winter here.

I don’t have the usual amount of flowers, but I’m seeing many plants finally starting to grow with this recent heat wave.

A Very Hardy Begonia

I bought this begonia years ago only because it had the word “hardy” on the label. I had lots of garden beds that I needed to fill and only wanted to do it once with tough plants that didn’t need to be replaced.

The small white flowers are not very exciting, but the leaves are big and beautiful. I thought I had lost the plant as it froze back two years in a row. It struggled, but by the end of summer, it was totally back. It really lives up to its name. The temperatures are going from the 80s last week down to 18 degrees this week, which means almost every plant will freeze here. Hopefully, the begonia will be able to take another cold winter.

Same Plant, Two Colors

The pink Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus) has been growing in my yard for years and spent it’s its time at the top of the Weeping Bottle Brush that was killed by the 2021 freeze. This year it is rambling all over the place. The vine is also called Mexican Creeper and is a magnet for bees and hummingbirds.

I am sure it has reseeded over the years, but this year two plants that germinated no more than six feet away had white blooms. It was quite a surprise, but the flowers are very pretty and didn’t make any difference to the pollinators.

Yellow Dancing Ladies

Another plant that I have an abundance of this year is the Yellow Dancing Lady Ginger. Their name comes from the flower that is shaped like a dress and it looks as if it is dancing in the breeze.

The plant reproduces by dropping bulbils that wait until the soil heats up to germinate. The Dancing Lady always seems to keep a spare bulbil in its throat.

I have several areas around the garden where the Dancing Lady has dropped its bulbils and they have all started growing. I checked the internet and found that the plant sells for as high as $13. Maybe I should have a sale. I am not sure what stimulated all the bulbils to grow. I was thinking maybe it was the cold winters or lack of rabbits.

And just as I had that thought, a rabbit popped out of the hole under the fence.

A few days later I saw this juvenile bunny hopping on my back porch. I may be saying goodbye to my bounty of plants.