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.
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.