Plain Gardening: Bill Finch shares some ‘strange plants’

MOBILE, Alabama (WKRG) –

It’s spring, and almost everything is in bloom! Except Gardening Expert Bill Finch says spring is long past for the Gulf Coast and we’re well into American Summer—that time of year here where it feels like summer does in most of America.

Whatever you call this time of year, there’s no debating that it’s lovely, with Mexican sunflower and black-eyed Susan and many more local favorites in colorful bloom. Bill says there are also some weird but beautiful blooming plants to consider for your Gulf Coast garden.

Clematis is one. Most people think of this as a dinner-plate sized bloom, but Bill says there is a whole collection of clematis will small, bell-shaped blooms. He has a purple on on his fence, but there are lots of varieties of clematis in this part of the world, including one that grows wild in the Mobile River Delta with delicate blue blooms.

Another great eye-catcher is Brazilain tiger iris. This is a spectacular and tall plant with blooms that look like they’re gift-wrapped! This called a tiger iris because of the stripes. These bloom in the morning and stay open until early afternoon, then the flowers fold up in the heat of the day. Oh, and Bill says they’re incredibly easy to grow.

Finally, we look at the voodoo lily. It’s a weird-looking plant that also grows very well on the Gulf Coast. The stalks have a snakeskin-like appearance and the bloom has a collar that will fold back, revealing a stunning pink flower. Bill says some versions of this plant have an odor, but this variety does not.

The idea here is to intersperse some of these weird plants with your Gulf Coast favorites; they’re beautiful, fun to grow, and you’ll have surprising things to show your friends.

Learn more by calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11 on 106.5FM or email

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