Rainy Day

We have had several days of rain in the area and today was our big day.  So far we have had about 3 inches, but other parts of the city received at least 8 inches.  I went out to clear a clog.

We have a French drain that carries the rainwater across the yard, down a drain to a pipe and out to the street.  It doesn’t take much to clog it.

The birds were hungry on this wet day and while I was taking care of them, I noticed how pretty my gingers were glistening with rain.  The gingers are Hedychium coccineum.


Oxalis

The Automatic Garden always provides new plants, just not where I necessarily want them.  I found these Purple Oxalis Triangularis growing in the lawn that had somehow survived many mowings.

The closest Purple Oxalis is growing in pots on the back porch.  It is yet another plant mystery of how they ended up quite far from the pots.

I transplanted the newly found Oxalis to the colony that I started in the wooded area.  They don’t look so happy now, but the Purple Oxalis bloomed nicely in the early spring.  I have the plants protected by broken pots and bricks, as an armadillo has been plowing them up.  When the roots get a good grip or the armadillo moves, I’ll remove the barriers.


Revealed

Two plants popped up in my small patio bed.  I wasn’t totally sure what they were so I let them grow out to reveal themselves.  I thought they might be weeds, Gulf Coast Penstemon or Cardinal Flower.  Once the plants grew to around 4 inches, it became clear they were Cardinal Flowers, which was my last guess.  I promptly dug them up and transplanted the pair to a better location.

More than once, I have mistook weeds for a wanted plant and let them grow.  And yes, there is a mix of weeds and seedlings in that bed.  I am waiting for them tell me what they are.


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.


Angel Trumpet

The Angel Trumpet, Burgmansia, has put on quite the show this Spring.  It has made at least 50 flowers.

It went for years without blooming and recently started making a few flowers in the Fall.  I am hoping it will now bloom on and off throughout the season.

For more information about Angel Trumpets check out this previous post.


Kisses in the Morning, the Walking Iris

I had a nice crop of white chocolate Hershey Kisses this year.  My Walking Iris, Neomarica gracillis, took a hit from two years of freezes and it has finally recuperated.  It is originally from Brazil and can be grown as a houseplant, which explains why it didn’t like the cold.

In the morning the flower starts out in a Kiss shape.  Here it is starting to open slightly and the flower’s colors are showing.

The Walking Iris opens bit by bit revealing the flower inside.  I have seen videos on the internet of it opening, but I don’t have the patience to sit and wait.  I was able to catch the flowers in various stages of opening during one shoot.

The Iris’s flowers only last for one day, but it will continue to open in a secession of new blooms.  Mine has been blooming since Easter and I think it might go for two more weeks. After the flowers bloom, little plantlets form making the stem heavy enough to bend to ground for the plantlets to root.  This how it was named Walking Iris.


A Good Place to Land

I’ve had a pot with a Four O’Clock sitting next to a bed from last Fall until now.  Quite a variety of seeds found the pot to be a good place to land and germinate.

The pot contains the Four O’CLock, a couple of weeds and five kinds of plants that can be transplanted.  There is a Salvia,  two Jewel of Opar, Hardy Gloxinia, Moses and Wild Trailing Bean. Could gardening be any easier?


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.


Caterpillar Relocation

The Monarch caterpillars are doing so well that they ate all the leaves from some of the Butterfly Weed plants.  I gently collected these big fat ones for relocation.

The caterpillar got right to work munching on the new leaves.  Having too many Monarch caterpillars is definitely a good sign for the population.


Close Is Not Close Enough

My philosophy in the Automatic Garden is to get plants to reproduce on their own either by seed or roots.  I have been trying to get Bartram’s Oenothera grandiflora Evening Primrose to naturalize for years.   I have been sowing the seeds in four different locations hoping for some success.

The Evening Primrose has finally started some plants by seed. Instead of doing it in the perfectly fine garden bed, all the seeds germinated in the grass close to the bed.  I was glad I spotted the plants before the mower got to them.  They have been transplanted, but the Evening Primroses would have a better chance if they did not have to be moved.