Gingers have worked out really well in the Automatic Garden. They are happy in the gumbo soil (heavy clay) and are troopers in the heat and cold. Best of all, the plants reproduce on their own. When other flowers are taking their summer rest, Gingers really shine.
White Angel (Curcuma parviflora) is my most reliable bloomer and has never let me down in the many years it has graced the garden. The original plant grows larger every year and has reproduced.
*Run your cursor over the photos for names or click to enlarge photos for the slide show.
We have had several days of rain in the area and today was our big day. So far we have had about 3 inches, but other parts of the city received at least 8 inches. I went out to clear a clog.
We have a French drain that carries the rainwater across the yard, down a drain to a pipe and out to the street. It doesn’t take much to clog it.
The birds were hungry on this wet day and while I was taking care of them, I noticed how pretty my gingers were glistening with rain. The gingers are Hedychium coccineum.
Several years ago we had a new fence installed. I went out and dug up all the gingers that had made their way under the fence.
Boundaries mean nothing to these plants and they continue to head out into the wild greenbelt.
I was in the garden earlier than usual one morning and was pleasantly greeted by the strong scents of my blooming gingers. This one is Hedychium hybred “Pink V.
My most reliable ginger that has been with me for many years is Butterfly Ginger, Hedychium coronarium, which I believe has the strongest scent and can be detected from across the backyard. I had a neighbor that told me she could smell it as she walked by the front of my house. The plants bloom in the Spring and Autumn.
Because it was early morning, I was able to catch the scent of the Four O’Clocks, which bloom in the early evening. These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and are great to plant near a porch or patio. Oddly, I have never seen hummingbirds or bees on them. Maybe some night I will stay up and see what pollinates them.
Another night bloomer, is Evening Primrose, Oenothera grandiflora, and was collected by William Bartram. It has an usual scent that is an acquired taste. I never really saw any pollinators on this Primrose, until I spotted what I believe to be a green bee, which I hope my reader that is a bee expert will let me know. Anyway, the bee was really working on the flowers and when I passed by later, it was still gathering nectar.
I look forward to my morning garden tour and being greeted by a scent, new bloom or a backyard critter.
Well, really my Ginger collection. It does look a lot like corn and a gardening friend told me a funny story about her daughter who was getting married in her mother’s backyard. The daughter stated that she did not want to be married by her mom’s corn field. The mother knew, of course, that the Gingers would be full of beautiful white blooms with a heavenly scent for the wedding. After her wedding day, the daughter changed her opinion on her mother’s corn field.
This year many of the Gingers decided to bloom again in the Fall. Maybe they liked all the rain. This Hedychium hybred “Pink V” has nearly perfect flowers.
The Hedychium coronarium “White Butterfly Ginger” have also been putting on a spectacular showing and sending their scents throughout the garden.
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.
The Gingers have really put on an end of summer show and I think they out did their spring blooms. The Hedychium are sending out fabulous scents that entice me to the back corner of the yard several times a day to inhale their sweet smells.
Hedychium coccineum “Disney”
Hedychium thyrsiforme “x maximum”
Kaempferia pulchra “Bronze” and Curcuma parviflora “White Angel”
Hedychium hybred “Pink V”
Cucuma hybrid “Emerald Chocozebra”
Globba globuliferaG “Purple Globe”
And the one that started my collection, Hedychium coronarium “White Butterfly Ginger”. Thank you Joyce.
In this part of the country, the hot days of summer are often referred to as a second winter. The plants are just too exhausted from the heat to bloom. Luckily, there are some plants that can still look good without flowers. Enjoy this Flashback to Nature’s Paint Brush.