Spring Clean-up

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A killing freeze descended on this part of the country and for the Automatic Garden, it was a blessing in disguise.  I had been away from the garden quite a bit last year and many chores went undone.  The Automatic Garden did what it was designed to do and kept on growing, propagating and reseeding, resulting in a interwoven tangle of plants.

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The freeze gave clarity to what needed to be pulled, transplanted and cut back.  I have been spending hours everyday getting the garden in shape.

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Other chores included filling in a hole dug over the winter by some animal, which was probably an armadillo.  It was much more work than it looks and the dirt is heavy clay. The extremely strong gingers were able to push their way through the pile of clay and the dirt had to be carefully removed.

Volunteers had to be rounded up and replanted into their places in the garden. There were many, but free plants are a good thing.

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A scant few flowers have begun to bloom in the garden.  Most years have flowers blooming all year around, but the freeze knocked back almost all of the winter flowering plants. This red canna is a welcome sight.

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Drimiopsis maculata unfurled its spotted leaves and sent out flowers in no time.  The plant is a great substitute for hostas in the South.

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The climbing rose is blooming and dripping from a tree.

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Pink Flamingo Celosia  usually stands three feet tall before blooming, but this one couldn’t wait.

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The Shrimp plant came back from its roots and the few blooms were welcomed by the Buff-bellied Hummingbird that has wintered here.

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The Bottlebrush has perfect timing providing food for the arriving Ruby Throated Hummers and the honey bees that are living near by.

Bit by bit I am seeing my hard labor paying off and I have high hopes for a beautiful garden this summer.


Never Met a Volunteer I Didn’t Like

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What is it with plants growing in cracks and in between rocks?  Balsam Impatiens seeds made it down the garden path and planted themselves in the rocks.  There is hardly any soil and nothing to retain moisture, and yet they are some of the more robust of the Balsams in the garden.

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How this Pink Flamingo Feather Celosia landed here is a mystery as the other ones are far away and have been struggling to survive.  It may have had help from a bird.  The plant might be more successful with reproduction in this spot.

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In the middle of the Pentas, this Cockscomb Celosia came up.  The Pentas were purchased new this year and I believe the Celosia was mixed in at the greenhouse.

I find the habits of plants to be fascinating and their ability to reproduce and even move to new locations amazing.  All volunteers are welcome…even if they don’t match the other flowers in the bed!