Two plants popped up in my small patio bed. I wasn’t totally sure what they were so I let them grow out to reveal themselves. I thought they might be weeds, Gulf Coast Penstemon or Cardinal Flower. Once the plants grew to around 4 inches, it became clear they were Cardinal Flowers, which was my last guess. I promptly dug them up and transplanted the pair to a better location.
More than once, I have mistook weeds for a wanted plant and let them grow. And yes, there is a mix of weeds and seedlings in that bed. I am waiting for them tell me what they are.
Black and Blue Salvia guaranitica.
Black Eyed Susan
Gulf Coast Penstemon
These plants are the backbone of my garden. I can count on them every year. Many have been transplanted from my former house nearly 20 years ago and others are passalongs. They have faithfully grown and multiplied for years and should continue to do so.
So I came up with a plan to do stealth planting, strategically putting the Primrose among plants rabbits don’t eat. In the middle of the photo is one planted with Shrimp Plants.
In this photo a Primrose is planted with Salvia. I bet you can’t even find it.
Rabbits never touch the Gulf Coast Penstemon and neither do I as they smell bad, but make up for that fact by being pretty.
The Primrose in the front yard are the tall plants that were surrounded by the Penstemon when they were small. They look darn good.
Yup, I was feeling pretty clever thwarting those rabbits. As it turns out, deer like the Primrose too and they start eating at the top. The tall plants in the front yard were just about finished off by the deer (not the rabbits).
I guess I will have to count on the Evening Primrose I planted in pots, in a high planter, in the fenced in backyard.
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.
The Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) was especially prolific this year. The photo does not reflect how good the plant actually looks.
A closer view shows all the tiny bell shaped flowers. They bloom in early spring and reseed easily. Then the spikes can be cut back and a rosette of leaves stay green all winter.
The white insides are striped with purple lines.
Best of all, the bees are enjoying the Penstemon’s nectar.