Surprise Fall Bloomers

This Fall I had some plants decide to bloom after many years of being flowerless.  I’m not sure what could have caused this.  Maybe it was the two hard freezes we had last winter.  The Ligularia has been nothing but big green leaves for years. But, this year put out several stems of cheery yellow flowers.

The Pink Japanese Anemone, which is a butterfly favorite, has only put out a few sad flowers in the past.  This Fall there was a record breaking 12 stems that have bloomed for weeks.

The most surprising is my Angel Trumpet.  It is in its second blooming and started while temperatures were in the 30’s.

Will the flowers last and be Christmas Angels?

 

 


Second Spring in the Garden

I came across this baby Copperhead that seems to be going through a difficult molt. This photo was taken in the morning.

I checked on the snake late in afternoon and it was still on the same rock.  Its tail is in a new position, so I knew it was alive.  No, I did not poke it to check.  Molting or the preferred description, shedding or the scientific word ecdysis, seems to be hard work.  I did some research and it said a snake in captivity can be helped by its owner.  With a Copperhead, I decided to let nature take its course.  It seems late in the year for babies, but…

there are lots of baby lizards, anoles and geckos, around.  This green anole greets me every morning from its home on a potted plant by my door.

The garden has been full of these yellow Cloudless Sulphur butterflies.  There were at least 7 flying around. They were not very interested in posing for photos, so this is the best shot I was able to get.

Quite a few Gulf Fritillary butterflies have been visiting. They had been gone from the garden for a few years and just started coming back last Fall. The Bottle Brush decided to put out a few flowers attracting the butterflies and bees.

My Japanese Anemone has been struggling all year, but has finally bloomed.

My Confederate Rose is still blooming and giving me joy every day.  With the cooler weather, it is skipping the light pink color and going directly to dark rose.  Here in the Gulf Coast area, this time of year is often called our second Spring and it certainly seems that way with baby animals and newly blooming flowers.

 


After the Rains

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While away, the remnants of Hurricane Patricia blew through and dropped over 8 inches of rain on the garden.  It was surprising to see the Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) had retained its buds and was still blooming.

I was able to document the flowers’ color changes.  The Confederate Rose begins the morning white and goes through shades of pink until finally turning to a rosy color. (click to enlarge)

Other bloomers that survived the rain are Japanese Anemone and Camellia Sasanqua.  The Anemone grows on long graceful stems and this type of Camellia has a wonderful scent.

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And surprisingly, the Hedychium thyrsiforme “x maximum” Ginger was not knocked over and had a full bloom on it.

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Of course, not all went well with the high winds and rain.  A large branch came down and a bed of flowers were flatten (too ugly to show). But all in all, the garden held up well.


November Pinks

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Pink is not usually a color associated with November and I was surprised to see how many pinks were in bloom this month.  The garden favorite, Confederate Rose, begins the show.  She only blooms in the fall.

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Wendy’s Wish salvia will bloom in the spring, but it does bloom nicely in the fall and into the winter if the weather stays mild.

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Pam’s Pink Turks Cap has continued blooming from late summer.

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Camellias begin their bloom time in the fall.  This one starts by Halloween.

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Ancore Azaleas bloom on and off all year-round.

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The Japanese Anemone is beginning to wind down after a couple of months of blooming.

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The cutest little pom-poms develop on the Mexican Knot Weed.

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This pink Wishbone had reseeded from last year’s plant.

 

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Believe it or not, no pink Pentas were ever planted in the garden.  There are white and red Pentas.  Maybe they got together.

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The Pink Salvia has been with me for a long time.  Many years ago, a neighbor let me dig it up from her garden.  I have moved since then and so has she.

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Even though this is named Pink Flamingo Feather Celosia, it looks a tad purplish.

 

 


More Autumn Flowers

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Japanese Anemones love the Automatic Garden and are a perfect residents as they are hardy through heat and cold and they like to spread, making many more plants.  This plant was actually a passalong from a fellow gardener. Recently on blogs I follow, I have seen this plant (or similar) growing in Australia and Canada.  In both parts of the world, this Anemone bloomed regularly in the Autumn just as it does on the Gulf Coast.

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When growing Coleus, the advice is to pinch off the blooms.  As it turns out, Coleus flowers attract bees and humming birds.  Many of the seeds will also germinate for next summer. So let them grow out at the end of the season to reseed and feed.

Nature’s timing is perfect in providing Autumn blooming plants in this part of the world, giving sustenance for the migrating creatures to continue on their journeys.


Pretty and Pink

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This Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis) is new to the Automatic Garden.  It is a passalong plant, which usually means it will grow well.

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The leaves are an attractive glossy green.  The Japanese Anemone is a spreading perennial that can be separated and shared.

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The Japanese Anemone’s flowers began to open early in October.  The stems are long and may need to be supported.  This plant is a welcome addition to the Automatic Garden adding blooming flowers throughout the autumn season.