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.
Today’s flashback highlights flashy gingers. The exotic plants sport vibrant colors and wonderful scents. Enjoy!
And so cute after ridding the garden bed of plants.
And really cute after eating the beloved Dancing Lady Ginger.
Update: The cute baby bunny has finished off the the blooming ginger since it was first photographed.
The Gingers spend the winter underground. They are one of the last to emerge in garden. Rain and heat encourages the Gingers to sprout. I am prone to checking the areas they are planted in daily. I worry that maybe they have rotted or an animal has dug them up. Maybe they will just give up. But so far, as long as the Gingers have resided in this garden, they have return. Yes, I have got to have more faith.
Salvias are reliable plants in the Automatic Garden. Some are hardy and most will reseed. They rest for the hot months of summer and start to rebloom when the earth begins to tilt away from the sun.
The Gingers are putting out their last flowers of the season.
Pentas are in full bloom, providing nectar for bees,hummingbirds and butterflies, although the past several years have seen few butterflies in this area. The white Pentas reseeded this year on their own.
The Ageratum, Rudbeckia, and Torenia are blooming nicely. The Ageratum is wild and planted itself in the garden. The Rudbeckia was a pass-along and willingly reseeds. Torenia spreads its seeds all over the garden, especially in cracks and rocks. They can be bought in the nursery in the spring, but the reseeding ones will not bloom until the fall.