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.

A Gardener’s Obsession


Obsession is a word that can be applied to gardening.  How many times does a gardener head outside to do a few quick chores and finishes hours later? That was the plan. Finish three quick tasks. First off was to photograph the Butterfly Weed seeds ripening outside the kitchen window.


Next, the potted plants had their daily watering.


Lastly, the porch needed a quick sweep to get the newly hatched Shrimp Bugs cleaned up.  The chores were done in no time.  As part of my daily habit, it was time to take a stroll through the gardens.


It is never that simple. A big branch had to be removed from on top of the Azaleas.


While the branch was being moved, I noticed the Sword Ferns had left their boundary.  The ferns needed to be pulled and there was many more than pictured.


Heading to the backyard, I could see the Rain Lilies were ready to be deadheaded.


Walking up the driveway to admire the gingers, I was pleased to see new sprouts coming up.  They needed to be protected from the rabbits, which led to getting supplies from the highest garage shelf and cutting netting and stakes to the right length.


While working on the Gingers, I found one that had left the bed.  Naturally, it had to be potted up, so I searched for an empty pot and soil for that job.


The hanging upside-down pot caught my attention when I hit my head on it working in the Ginger garden.  It was empty and needed to be filled.  I found some Torenia seedlings and potted them.


And I just couldn’t walk away from the Wax Myrtle runners that were coming up in the Ginger bed.  They had to be cut.

About 3 hours later I finished. And oh yeah, I then decided to photograph everything to make a post.  Add another half hour.