Winter can be short on the Gulf Coast. Yes, those temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s make us shiver and when temperatures reach the 30’s, we really complain and bundle up. But as far as the plants are concerned, only a short winter nap is needed. The Snowflake bulbs have begun to emerge.
Self- sowing seedlings of the Swamp Sunflower have already made quite a few leaves.
A new stalk on the spiral ginger has grown nearly two feet and is ready to open its first leaf.
Salvia coccinea regrows from it roots and this one has made flowers. There is a downside to all this new growth. If we get a freezing front from the north, all that tender growth will die back and will need to begin again.
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 Gingers prefer to bloom in the fall. Planting spring, summer and fall blooming gingers will provide a long season. Gingers are a great addition to the Automatic Garden as they are easy to care for and reproduce every year.
Costus pictus, a spiral ginger blooms one flower at a time. That means it will be blooming for awhile, but having more than just one would make a better display.
This Hedychium Hybrid, Anne Bishop, was a surprise late bloomer.
New to the Automatic Garden is the very cute Globba Globulifer, Purple Globe, that was plucked up at a plant exchange. It has already bloomed three times and is making bulbils for next year.
This is a Globba Schomburgkii or Yellow Dancing Lady at the end of its season. It forms bulbils where the flowers were, but the interesting part is the bulbils that form inside the stem.
Butterfly ginger (Hedychium) caught in the early morning sunlight.
Pink Dancing Lady (Globba)
Shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) before it ripens.
Shampoo ginger is now nice and red.
Curcuma ginger with tiny flowers of a different color emerging from the cone.
Emerald Choco ginger (curcuma)
Spiral Crepe ginger (Costus). The plant grows a red stem in a spiral twist. When the white flowers are finished, a red cone stays behind.
Curcuma garnet, a hot combination.
Gingers are such an interesting group of plants. Their leaves are beautiful and the flowers are multifaceted. Some bloom in the spring and others bloom in the autumn. The ones pictured on this post are currently blooming. Several are blooming for a second time since fall has arrived. Highly scented ones, like the butterfly gingers, can have their flowers brought inside for potpourri.