After the Rains

The Spiral Ginger, Costus barbatus, looked luscious in the morning after an overnight storm.  The rain made the red flower shine.

The Spiral Ginger has not bloomed in awhile, so it was nice to see two of them blooming.  I tried to get a photo showing how the leaves form around the stem in a spiral.

As long as I was taking pictures, I checked out some other bloomers.  The Black Eyed Susan pops up in different locations around the yard.  This one is self-sowed.

The Salvia coccinea also reseeds on its own and is loaded with flowers to the delight of pollinators and hummingbirds.

I was surprised to see the Hyacinth Bean had suddenly flowered.

Another surprise was finding a Resurrection Lily Ginger, Kaempferia rotunda, had bloomed.  The flower comes before the leaves.  It is a pretty little thing.

 

Cuphea ignata which is commonly called Cigar plant has been blooming profusely and is a hummingbird favorite.  I saw that this  plant sold is as an annual up north where it does not get very big with the short growing season.  Mine is a perennial and grows nearly 5 feet tall and spreads easily to make new plants.

The Gardenia is so heavy with delicious scented flowers, it is bent to the ground.

And now a garden mystery, which I love.  I found my Pink Polka Dot plants growing nearly 30 feet from where they were planted.  How did they get there?  Something to ponder.  Of course, I love a volunteer and they will be moved back to the original bed.


Tickled Pink

Spring is always an exciting, but an anxious time in the garden waiting to see what plants have survived the winter.  I was very pleased and tickled pink when the Polka Dot plants appeared.

The pink Hypoestes phllostachya were added last summer and I was not sure if they were hardy enough to come back.  They are growing in a shady bed that is primarily green and the colorful leaves added interest to the area.

The white Polka Dots have been doing well for a couple of years now.  The have even reseeded.  An added plus is that rabbits do not eat them. The Polka Dots are doing so well that I purchased more for a bigger display.  I garden in zone 8b to 9, but these colorful cuties are also great houseplants that could spend the summer outside in a shady area.


The Plant Hunter

The plant hunter would be me.  There is nothing I like more than free reseeding plants.  I find that most seeds prefer to germinate where they land and do better than when I plant them.  A Chocolate Plant (Pseuderanthemun alata) is happily growing in the Moses (Tradescantia spathacea) pot.

A Polka Dot seedling is hiding in the Rex Begonia.

The Clematis pot is an especially popular area for seeds to drop into.  There are a couple of Bartram’s Evening Primrose, a Polka Dot plant, a Jewel of Opar and a Wandering Jew vine.

Moss is host to Hardy Gloxinia seedlings.  There is a proper flower bed right there, but the moss seems to be the place to germinate.

My favorite place to plant hunt is cracks.  Somehow that small space with hardly any soil is a fruitful place to find many different plants.


A Keeper

Last year I needed something white to fill in my bed of mainly white flowers.  I found this Polka Dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya), which I always thought of as a house plant.  It did well outside in the bed until we were hit with a very hard freeze.  Of course I thought, that is that.  But to my surprise the Polka Dot started growing new leaves in the Spring.

And to top that, it reseeded and grew the cutest little babies with Polka Dots on its second set of leaves.  This Hypoestes fits all the criteria for my gardening philosophy and is a keeper for the Automatic Garden.