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.
Texas Star Hibiscus
Purple Cone Flower
It is that time of year when many of the summer plants are making their seeds. In the Automatic Garden, most seeds are left to nature to drop into the soil for next year’s plants. A few seeds are saved in the event that not enough had germinated on their own. In the spring the seedlings can be relocated to fill in any bare spots.