Foraging for Volunteers

The Automatic Garden is full of plants that multiply in one way or another. The offspring does not always land in a bed.  A Polka Dot plant came up in the cobble stones among leaves and Elm tree seedlings.

I love to forage around my yard looking for volunteers.  This Black-eyed Susan is growing happily between the patio and grass.

It is always amazing how little soil is needed for a plant to germinate. A Columbine and Hardy Gloxinia are growing on this moss rock.

The Oenothera grandiflora preferred to grow in the grass and managed to survive several mowings.

I find plants cannot resist germinating in cracks.  There are at least 3 different kinds plants started here.  Over the last few weeks, I have been popping them up and replanting them where they belong.


Some Like It Cold

This past winter has been one of the coldest we have had on the Gulf Coast in awhile.  As it turns out, many plants enjoyed the cold and actually thrived and improved.  Of course, some did not make it through the freezes.DSC_0038

This White by the Gate camellia put on a spectacular show this spring.  It was just filled with blooms.  A couple of weeks later it bloomed again.  Not quite as full as the first cycle, but a nice surprise.  As spring continued with cool temperatures and low humidity, the camellia sporadically opened a few flowers each week.  It seems that the cold temperatures and lack of rain kept away the fungus that makes the buds drop, giving a beautiful full bloom cycle for the camellia.

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This Black and Blue Salvia was on its last leg and did not even bloom last year.  Apparently, it liked being frozen to the ground.  It came back stronger than ever and is producing flowers.  Notice how black the buds look.  They will turn blue when they open.

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Another benefit of  cold weather, is the lack of spider mites.  This Oxalis is usually lacking  its bright purple colors due to the mites sucking on it.  (There is still a little pine pollen on it.)

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The Clematis had spectacular blooms.  Clematis is hard to grow in this climate and the cold temperatures really encouraged blooms.

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The Hinckley’s Columbine has barely bloomed for the last two years, but this spring the flowers were so prolific the stems could not hold it them up.