Rain Lilies Everywhere

The recent rains brought Rain Lily blooms. Rain Lilies have made their way all around my yard. They reproduce by seeds and offsets from the bulbs. The ones in the foreground seeded themselves. The odd thing about Rain Lilies is that they can tell nature’s rain from sprinkler rain and only bloom after rain falls from the sky.

Nature Knows Best

The Japanese Jack-in-the-Pulpit has been full of surprises. After I bought the plant it seemed to be dying, but it came back the next year better than ever and made some baby plants.

This year the Jack made quite a few flowers and when I was poking around this is what I saw. The seed pods fell to the ground face down to drop their seeds perfectly and directly onto the soil. The oval white seeds are from the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The pods rotted away quickly. Nature designed this plant to hit the mark when planting its seeds.

Flowers Are Finally Blooming

Heat and rain have brought flowers to the Automatic Garden. The blooming had been a bit delayed this year as the plants froze and had to come back from their roots. They have not disappointed. Above is a Mexican Hat, Ratibida columifera. I have been surprised that it has not reseeded over the years. The original has only made one other plant.

Shrimp plants, Justicia brandegeena, were the flowers that blew my mind when I moved to Texas. I was at someone’s house for a party and the host had a big vase full of them. It was many years before I could grow my own, but I never forgot them. This one is from my mother-in-law.

I have added other varieties to my garden. Muted Yellow is the name of this variety, but somehow in my mind, it is green. I guess you see what you want to see.

Fruit Cocktail makes a fun flower and is doing well this year. I also have one more Shrimp Plant that is dark pink, but not yet in bloom.

This Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, has found its happy place when it somehow planted itself into a bed far from the others.

The Salvia guaranitca has put out flower stalks making the hummingbirds very happy.

I have had this Black-Eyed Susan for so long that I don’t know the variety or where I got it. It is a self-seeding annual that rambles here and there around the garden.

The Mexican Sunflower or Tithonia is blooming early from last year’s seed.

I always have a little panic every year that maybe my flowers will not return, but as in years before the plants came back and gifted me with their flowers.

Crawly Creatures

I found this Two Stripe Spider in my water can. It is a very big spider about 2 inches long and for some reason was not bothered by me watering plants or filling the can back up.

The gigantic spider even made a web to catch bugs. Finding a spider in my watering can was bad enough, but I had no idea how many bugs were visiting it.

While weeding, a saw an interesting seed that moved a bit as I pulled weeds. I gave it a poke and it moved on its own and I realized it was an insect. It is sitting on a salvia leaf that is about an inch long. I have looked through insect pictures and could not find it, so if anyone can identify it let me know. (Try to ignore the pine needle under the bug.)

In the spring, mites get on plants which is a bonus for ladybugs.

One of my favorite creatures is the Rosy Wolf Snail. This mature one was looking for food which is other snails and slugs.

And again while weeding I found a baby Rosy Wolf Snail. I put it beside one of the mature empty shells had I found.


We had to have our roof replaced. I have dreaded that day as many of my beds are close to the house.

My plants endured two days of shingles thrown on them from the very high roof.

The plants had the sun blocked from them by being covered by heavy tarps.

And then men trampled the poor babies. The carnage!

I could not bring myself outside until everything was removed from the beds and the men had left. It was not quite as bad as I thought it would be. I spent some hours fluffing the plants back up and trimming broken stems. Most of my plants were selected to return from their roots, and I know my “automatic” garden won’t disappoint me.

The Fertilizer Wagon

It was time to pull out the fertilizer wagon once again. Our azaleas and camellias require three rounds of fertilizer in the spring. I use general azalea fertilizer and one that is systemic to protect against insects for the ailing azaleas and camellias. While I was at it, I hit the other shrubs. The wagon was bought for the kids years ago and I think I have gotten the most use out of it and utilize it for anything I have to haul around the yard.

A Wild Flower Find

I found a Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) growing on the greenbelt behind my house.

I did not realize they grew in the wild here. The flower is green and not colorful like the ones I see up North. They require the right kind of conditions to grow. This year it made only one flower, but there are several smaller plants around it from previous years.

Just a few yards away a Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium ) has been growing for several years. They are related to the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. This plant can make flowers, but after checking it several times I haven’t seen any flowers yet. The plants are not abundant in this area, especially growing next to the greenbelts that are mowed and blown. It was exciting to find both plants near each other and I’ll be watching to see how they do next year.

Around the Garden

The yard turtle that I call Hole in Its Shell got stuck in one of my little fences. I don’t know how long it was there, but it had dug a bit of a hole with its front legs trying to get loose. Now I check my fences twice a day.

Plants always find a way. This ginger just poked through a leaf as it headed toward the sun.

These burrows were made by land mudbugs which can also be called crayfish or crawfish. There are 300 species and you can eat them. I will pass on that.

A Poppy finally bloomed. I planted lots of seeds, but most did not come up. The Green Shrimp plant has been blooming well.

I bumped into another visitor while pulling some weeds. I met this frog last year under the same circumstances. For some reason, the frog does not try to get away and I was able to take many photos.

A native American Holly tree (Ilex opaca ) grows in my wooded area. It is in full bloom and has a pleasant scent. The tree is buzzing with all kinds of pollinators. I was able to get a shot with a bee and Ladybug. American Holly Trees can grow 50 feet tall and I think mine is there. It is 50 feet of flowers for feasting insects.

Sweet Magnolias

The Little Gem Magnolia is bursting with buds and flowers. A light breeze was sending the flowers’ sweet scent to the front porch. A perfect Southern morning.

First Snake Sighting of the Year

I had my first snake sighting for the year. This is a baby Copperhead.

I had been weeding an enclosed area around the Dancing Lady Gingers. I started weeding on the opposite side and the snake never moved. I was glad I had my gloves on as I was very close to the snake before it let me know it was there. Of course, I had to stop weeding for a photo session. I find that Copperheads usually just stay still and watch,