Attentive Gardening

With rain, you get Rain Lilies and this year’s display was spectacular. The couple of bulbs I bought years ago that just sat around doing nothing, have come alive and planted themselves all over the yard. (click on a photo for slideshow)

Aristolochia fimbriata, is the third kind of Dutchman’s Pipe that I grow.  It has tiny flowers and the nurseryman said it would attract butterflies.  I’ll wait and see.

I had to add another photo of the spiral ginger.  The flower is hidden behind the leaves and I enjoy peeking in everyday to see its progress.

My sweet little Peter Pan Agapnathus has made several flower heads this year.


After two years of hard winters, the Shell Ginger finally bloomed.

The African Blood Lily has done extremely well and seems to like our gumbo soil.  It makes huge blooms every year and has even multiplied. A mild winter and an attentive gardener (me staying home) has resulted in a late Spring full of blooms.

Some Like the Rain

The huge amount of rain we received was welcomed by some plants.  The Rain Lilies enjoyed all the moisture and poked out of the ground with blooms.  All the water has drained and the raised beds were in need of a watering.  We are all anxiously waiting for Fall weather when the temperatures drop down to the high 80’s.

Tulip Envy

I have been seeing so many beautiful photos of tulips, I have become quite envious.

But my Rain Lilies helped me get over it by putting on a spectacular show after the rain.

The Rain Lilies are not quite tulips, but they certainly can brighten the day.

Undaunted and Determined


Plants are amazing.  They take every opportunity to spread and grow wherever they can.  It was surprising to see this pretty pink Rain Lily determinedly sticking out of a hole in full bloom.  This hole was originally a tree stump that rotted away.  I put a piece of concrete over it, but a backkyard critter dug the hole bigger.  The shot wasn’t easy to get and I finally stuck my cell phone down the hole to show its deepness and the pot above the ground.

Around the Garden

Here are some photos of flowers currently blooming around the garden.  The first batch is from the wildflower bed.  They represent plants from farther west that grow in drier terrain.


The next few shots are the exotics.  These plants enjoy wet weather and are from the tropics.  The shiny pearl buds are from Variegated Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet).


Hot colors make this ginger, Costus barbatus, really stand out.  The red bracts and yellow flowers are waxy to the touch.  I had to look up its name, as the plant had traveled away from its marker.


This intriguing plant is the Blood Lily.  Its head is actually nearly 200 individual flowers. Happily the bulb has reproduced and there are more each year. Read more at this previous post.


An interesting flower is that of the Split Leaf Philodendron.  At night it scents the air very pleasantly.  When it is done blooming, the flower rots on the plant.  A fun fact is that there are over 489 species of Philodendron.  You can’t go wrong calling a leafy tropical plant a Philodendron!


Lastly is a garden favorite, the Rain Lily.  Magically, these sweet pink lilies bloom only after a rainfall.  Yes, they can tell the difference between real rainwater and sprinkler water.

Autumn Rains


The Fall rains have returned after being gone for several years.  These Fall blooming Rain Lilies are enjoying rain every few days and are blooming better than ever.

A drought and warmer weather has been over us for a few years and has changed our gardening habits.  Plants were switched to ones that liked dry soil and our zone was “extended” by the warmer weather to include more tropicals as they were making it through the winter.

This year was different.  Winter was cold and the rains have come.  The hardiest plants are still in the Automatic Garden and others were just a passing fancy.

When It Rains…You Get Rain Lilies


Day two after a rain shower.


Day three and they are in full bloom.


Rain Lilies (Zephyranthes) are in the Amaryllis family.  They are so interesting as they almost always bloom three days after it rains.  Rain Lilies can tell the difference between sprinkler water and rain water.  Only water from Mother Nature will make them bloom. This one blooms in the spring although some are fall bloomers. Rain Lilies also come in yellow and white.  There are wild ones that grow here on the Gulf Coast and have a wonderful scent.  They reproduce by seeds and offsets.  If the flowers are snapped off before going to seed, they will continue to bloom several more times.  Their leaves are evergreen and look nice all year, which is just perfect for the Automatic Garden.

Fall Blooms

Dutchman’s Pipe is a host for butterfly caterpillars.

Blue Salvia is a favorite of bees and hummingbirds.

White Rain Lilies are delightful in this time of year.

Wild Trailing Bean (Strophostyles helvula) attracts bees.

Clerodendrum a beautiful blue fall bloomer.

Torenia  reseeded from the spring and provided fall blooms that  brightened up the garden.

Camellias are a wonderful fall and winter flowers that hummingbirds  feed on in the winter.

Philippine Violet is a perennial that also reseeds.


One advantage of living on the Gulf Coast is that the garden  doesn’t stop at the changing of the seasons.  Planning is essential to the Automatic Garden.  Choose perennials or reseeding annuals that begin their blooming times when the summer plants are coming to the end of their season.