Happy Fall! Many are posting photos of colorful leaves.
The leaves here will not change for a long time.
Instead, our Fall color comes from blooming plants that have woke up from their summer “sleep”, when it was just too hot to make a flower.
We don’t have flaming foliage, so these flaming tropicals will have to do.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
Here are a snapshots taken with my cell phone while working in the garden this Autumn. The Green Rose (Rosa chinensis viridiflora) is blooming. The bush was suffering, but is now having a comeback. The flowers smell like pepper.
Big bees are everywhere. Here is one on a Confederate Rose. They are so busy that it is easy to photograph and watch them.
I was finishing another chore, when I glanced down and saw all the seeds scattered from the wild ageratum. Those were only the seeds that fell outside of the bed! I guess that is why wildflowers/weeds do so well. At least this blue ageratum is pretty.
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.
The Gingers are putting out their last flowers of the season.
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.
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.
Regret Number Two: Plants that grow so well they become invasive.
Katie’s ruellia (Ruellia brittoniana). This beautiful little bloomer was not planted in its current location. It reseeds and grows long tuber-like roots that can withstand herbicide. It multiplied and grew in these rocks along the edge of a bed that is about twenty feet long.
Variegated Vinca Vine. It caught a ride with another plant and really took off in its new home.
There is about four times more of it than is seen in this photograph.
Agave. A wonderful grower that sends out pups. All is fine until it needs thinned. The plant is covered in thorns!
Wedelia trilobata. There is no way to get rid of it. Peace must be made.
Sword Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia). This started out as two little ferns that just stayed the same for a couple of years and then it took off! Now it has it be pulled out several times a year to keep it in its place.
Arrowhead houseplant. Who knew a house plant could freeze and come back better than ever?
Wild Ageratum (Eupatorium coelestinum). An incredible bloomer that planted itself right on the edge of a garden bed to perfectly cascade over the rocks. Who could say no to that? The plant attracts butterflies, but its a prolific reseeder that causes extra work keeping it under control.
There is nothing more wonderful in an Automatic Garden than plants that reproduce filling in empty spaces and always providing next year’s plants. Sometimes in the quest to find the strongest and hardiest plants, mistakes are made. One cute little plant can sometimes become a monster that cannot be controlled.
Pentas ((Pentas lanceolata) had a lazy summer, but perked up for fall.
Wild ageratum (Eupatorium coelestinum) planted itself in the garden and is now in full bloom.
Firecracker (Russelia equisetiformis) growing in a pot low to the ground doesn’t stop hummers from visiting.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is blooming in time for Monarchs and hummingbirds.
Cigar plant (Cuphea micropetala) is hugely attractive to hummingbirds.
Pam’s Pink turk’s cap provides plenty of fuel.
Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia patens) is the number one favorite of hummingbirds.
Salvias. Bees need fuel too.
Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) This tree just re-bloomed and is buzzing with hummers.
A hummingbird sitting still for a moment.
Fall is a great time of the year to be on the Gulf Coast. Hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies are passing through on their way to warmer winters. Today the garden was humming with six little Ruby Throats vying for fuel for the long trip ahead. Nature is in sync with the migration as many flowers re-bloom for the season.