I have been a bit worried about whether or not my perennials and reseeders would come back this year after all the harsh weather. Butterflies and Hummingbirds are starting to arrive and there was not much for them to feed on as the freeze took most of the flowers. I have been relieved the past week or so to see my plants returning. The following photos are of plants that have faithfully grown in the Automatic Garden for years.
I have a large collection of Amaryllis, but they have not bloomed over the last few years. I was thrilled to find this one blooming.
This little Coreopsis has started to put out a few flowers.
Clematis do not enjoy our climate, but this one is in a pot on the shaded patio. It really liked the cold spell and has put out several blooms.
The White Soldiers (Drimiopsis maculata) have been a prolific and are planted throughout the gardens. This patch sat in water for days.
Old faithful, my red Saliva (Coccinea), was completely mowed down from the freeze and is just starting to come back.
This small shrub was started by seed. The original Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Brunfeisia) was accidentally cut down recently.
The red Canna was a passalong and I don’t think any amount of bad weather could kill it.
For nearly 20 years the Back Eyed Susan has been reseeding itself.
Bees and hummers are happy to see the Gulf Coast Penstemon flowers. This plant is also a passalong and does so well that it needs to be thinned every year.
The Columbine aquilegia has not done well lately, so it was good to see several plants blooming this year.
Speaking of faithful, the rabbits are back and appear when I am out in the yard to remind me to put some seed down for them.
Of course no good deed goes unpunished and the rabbits ate my new Coneflower down to the ground.
When I looked out of the window this morning, all I saw was blue. The usual Blue Jays were feeding and a beautiful visitor (left side of photo) stopped by for breakfast. This first photo was taken quickly through a window, so it is not very sharp.
The visitor is a male Indigo Bunting. He probably has flown up from Mexico or Central America on his way to his breeding grounds. The Indigo Bunting is not really blue at all. The Buntings and Blue Jays are actually black and refracted sunlight makes them appear blue.
To continue with the blue theme, I snapped a couple of blue flowers. This was one of my winter selections that waited until spring to bloom. I think the plant is some kind of Delphinium.
Diana’s Delight Clematis is having a very good year with the most blooms I’ve seen on it. Yes, it was advertised as “blue” although I’m not totally sure, but today I’m calling it blue.
The Clematis took a bad spill when a raccoon tried to get the hummingbird feeder down. It turned out to be a lucky accident as the Clematis is very happy in its new pot and soil.
This past winter has been one of the coldest we have had on the Gulf Coast in awhile. As it turns out, many plants enjoyed the cold and actually thrived and improved. Of course, some did not make it through the freezes.
This White by the Gate camellia put on a spectacular show this spring. It was just filled with blooms. A couple of weeks later it bloomed again. Not quite as full as the first cycle, but a nice surprise. As spring continued with cool temperatures and low humidity, the camellia sporadically opened a few flowers each week. It seems that the cold temperatures and lack of rain kept away the fungus that makes the buds drop, giving a beautiful full bloom cycle for the camellia.
This Black and Blue Salvia was on its last leg and did not even bloom last year. Apparently, it liked being frozen to the ground. It came back stronger than ever and is producing flowers. Notice how black the buds look. They will turn blue when they open.
Another benefit of cold weather, is the lack of spider mites. This Oxalis is usually lacking its bright purple colors due to the mites sucking on it. (There is still a little pine pollen on it.)
The Clematis had spectacular blooms. Clematis is hard to grow in this climate and the cold temperatures really encouraged blooms.
The Hinckley’s Columbine has barely bloomed for the last two years, but this spring the flowers were so prolific the stems could not hold it them up.
Diana’s Delight Clematis
Dijon Mustard Rose
A red Salvia
G. Nabonnand an antique rose
All of the flowers in this post are currently blooming in the Automatic Garden. The Clematis was added last year as a replacement and the petunia was a impulse purchase because of its unusual color combination. The nasturtium was started from seed last year and reseeded itself for this spring. The iris came to the garden in a load of mulch and happily lived here for more than 10 years. The rest of the plants are old friends of the Automatic Garden returning year after year.