The summer heat is on and the temperature is rising to 100 degrees or so. My red flowers are undaunted by the heat. Usually, I flee these super hot days for cooler climates, but in this current situation all plans have been canceled, so I’ll be enjoying the red hot plants of summer.
Saliva coccinea is a staple in the Automatic Garden. It survives the heat and the cold.
Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia paten) is a favorite of hummers and all pollinators.
Penta lanceolata will reseed and can make it through the winter, although it will look raggedy. Butterflies love it.
This Encore Azalea is kind of red. This azalea will repeat bloom throughout the year with early spring being its most prolific time.
These are probably the last roses until the weather cools.
The Butterfly Weed (Asclepias curassavica) has come back after being eaten by spring migrating Monarchs’ caterpillars.
Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is the star of the garden. It is big, red and loves the heat.
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.
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.
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.