Unexpected Blooms

dsc_0082

I have only seen this Dutchman’s Pipe bloom in the spring, but it decided put on some unexpected flowers at the end of this summer.    The vine wasn’t doing well and I have been giving it some extra attention which definitely worked.

dsc_0073

Torenias are great little plants that grow really well in our hot summers.  Unfortunately, the rabbits also love them.  Somehow this one reseeded in the cobble rock between a sprinkler head and the corner of the garage.  The rabbits don’t seem to travel in this area and the Torenia kept its flowers.

dsc_0078

In this part of the country the Torenia is often called summer pansy.  I guess it is the closest plant to a colorful pansy that will grow in our heat.


Harvest Time for Seeds

DSC_0465

It is time to start collecting seeds to keep the Automatic Gardening growing. Autumn is the end of the  flowering season for many plants, but also the beginning of next season in the promise of seeds.

As it turns out, Four O’Clocks, originally from Mexico, love it here and are very prolific.  The seeds need to be collected to stop an over abundance of plants.

DSC_0448

Bartram’s Evening Primrose no longer needs to be watched and coddled as it has come into its own.  It has reseeded itself and made thousands, if not millions of tiny black seeds this year.  An Automatic Garden success!

DSC_0449

Balsam Impatients, otherwise known as poppers, have the habit of popping open and flinging their seeds as far as they can.  It is always a good idea to collect some to plant where the human gardener desires.  These came from George Washington garden.  They were probably shared among many of the early colonists.

DSC_0451

Wish Bone flowers make extremely small tan seeds that are difficult to collect.  They are left to do their own thing and after the seeds germinate the seedlings are moved to beds.

DSC_0560

These wonderful seed pods belong to the Philippine Lily.  Each pod is stuffed full of flat seeds and are released as the wind blows.

DSC_0471

Salvias are old garden friends.  They are totally left on their own and never fail to reproduce and provide for the bees and hummingbirds each year.

DSC_0535

Some seeds need to be collected to prevent reproduction.  This wild and lovely little bean made it way into the garden.  As with all wild things in a garden, it needs to be controlled, so as many seed pods as possible are collected.  The pods twist open when ripe and send their seeds as far as they can.

 


Fall Bloomers in the Automatic Garden

DSC_0284 DSC_0240 DSC_0256 DSC_0259 DSC_0261 DSC_0251

Salvias are reliable plants in the Automatic Garden.  Some are hardy and most will reseed.  They rest for the hot months of summer and start to rebloom when the earth begins to tilt away from the sun.

 

DSC_0186 DSC_0234 DSC_0236

The Gingers are putting out their last flowers of the season.

DSC_0294 DSC_0295

Pentas are in full bloom, providing nectar for bees,hummingbirds and butterflies, although the past several years have seen few butterflies in this area. The white Pentas reseeded this year on their own.

DSC_0280 DSC_0307 DSC_0306

The Ageratum, Rudbeckia, and Torenia are blooming nicely.  The Ageratum is wild and planted itself in the garden.  The Rudbeckia was a pass-along and willingly reseeds.  Torenia spreads its seeds all over the garden, especially in cracks and rocks.  They can be bought in the nursery in the spring, but the reseeding ones will not bloom until the fall.

 

 


Reseeding

DSC_0244

In the Automatic Garden the plants are allowed to reseed for the next season.  William Bartram’s Evening Primrose (Oenothera grandiflora) prolifically reseeded this year and the plants need to be thinned, transplanted and shared.  It is important not to disturb the soil once plants have dropped their seeds.

DSC_0246

The Swamp Sunflower has reseeded outside the wire fencing, but enough are in the bed so these can be removed.

DSC_0247

Rocks are a favorite germination site for seeds.  These Salvias will be returned to their bed.

DSC_0252

Some plants seem to be able to reseed in just the right places as these Johnny- Jump-Ups did.   Allowing plants to reseed on their own is an easy way to have a continuous supple of annuals for the garden.  A few are pictured here, but the Automatic Garden reseeds zinnias, mealy blue sage, black-eyed Susans, wishbone plants, blanket flowers, ornamental peppers, dancing lady gingers, columbine, and cleome just to name a few.


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.


Auto-Fill for Next Year

Wishbone/Torenia

Coleus

Black-Eyed Susan

Balsam Impatiens

Texas Star Hibiscus

Cannas

Blanket Flower

Purple Cone Flower

*****************************************

It is that time of year when many of the summer plants are making their seeds.  In the Automatic Garden, most seeds are left to nature to drop into the soil for next year’s plants.  A few seeds are saved in the event that not enough had germinated on their own.  In the spring the seedlings can be relocated to fill in any bare spots.