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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, May 14, 2018

March 2018 Garden Scrapbook


Bulbs of Leucojum aestivum AKA Snowflakes showed up in Costco a few autumns back. Adding a bag to the cart turned out to be a brilliant decision. They get fuller and more beautiful every spring.

Late freezes often kill the buds of Texas Mountain Laurels before they ever open – this year we were lucky and the purple, scented blooms were abundant. Hot spells often ruin the blossoms soon after they open – this year we were lucky and moderate weather let them bloom for the longest time I can remember.


The bluebonnet seedlings began to bloom in the second week of March. Bloom was helped by some hand-watering - late winter and spring were dryer than normal.


The entire top half of the Meyer’s Improved Lemon tree had frozen back and was definitely dead. When my daughter came to visit she picked up the big loppers.


The other half of the tree should be OK. The branches releafed but no flower buds appeared.


I first saw this unusually colored bird in January and managed to catch a photo in March. The knowledgeable birders on Twitter confirmed my guess that it is a partially leucistic chickadee.  



This was a good spring for all types of iris. Some heirlooms that had barely bloomed in 2017 were lovely in 2018. I’ve had this fragrant peach iris since 2001 and have shared divisions with Divas of the Dirt friends and fellow Austin bloggers. It’s fun to see it blooming in their photos!


We put this bench near the Magnolia figo. For a few weeks at the end of March and beginning of April it’s a pleasure to sit and smell the banana magnolia flowers


Before the pecans leaf out the back yard has sun. Many of the plants under the canopy rush into bloom before the shadows descend. 


This post, March 2018 Garden Scrapbook was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

January-February 2018 Garden Scrapbook


The indoor plants showed color in January – the garden was green and brown.

I’m glad I took this photo of the violas on the windowsill. That green bowl planter was a favorite and it’s gone now. After it went out in spring, some critter (cat? squirrel? raccoon?)  pushed it off the table to shatter on the concrete patio.



Can we still call it a Christmas cactus if it blooms in mid-January?


By the end of the month the self-seeded bluebonnets were growing. This one spouted in the joint of a wooden step where it would be both noticed and trod upon


We had some very cold days in January – down to 15°F early one morning. The Meyer’s Improved Lemon was not improved by this freeze. Looks like another year without lemons.


But a hardy little self-seeded violet bloomed at the end of the month.


A few days later the February camellia gave a preview of coming glory.


By mid-February the Loropetalum frills were out.


By the end of February what was left of the Carolina Jessamine showed buds. Poor thing was once gorgeous, but its corner of the garden is now too shady.


Also by the end of February the earliest camellia flower were falling apart while new buds kept opening.


The Spring show is just a few weeks ahead!

This post “January-February 2018 Garden Scrapbook” was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for September 2017


GARDEN BLOGGERS BLOOM DAY for SEPTEMBER 2017

By AnnieinAustin for her Transplantable Rose Blog http://annieinaustin.blogspot.com/

Do you see what I see? That patch of red School House lilies means that the hours of daylight are reduced in number and the chance of a 100F day is almost zero.


Whether you call them School House Lilies, Oxblood Lilies or Rhodophiala bifida, they’re beautiful and welcome.


Only one Hurricane Lily has popped up so far – they’re planted in 6 or 7 places in my garden but they don’t bloom every year. [AKA Red Spider lilies/ Lycoris radiata.


The School House lilies and Hurricane Lilies bloom only once in late summer or early fall but other plants have kept color in the garden for months:

Alyssum, prostrate rosemary and basil keep bees happy with small white flowers in the herb troughs.


Two really deep freezes in an otherwise warm winter knocked off many container plants. Those empty pots were depressing! When guests were expected in March I picked up a few big-box store begonias as temporary replacements for frozen Calibrachoas. To  my surprise they have thrived and bloomed all summer. 
 

With hummingbirds in mind, we moved one of the obelisks from the shady back bed to the sunny triangle and planted Cypress vine at the base, where Salvia coccinea in coral and red and Salvia greggii in lavender and white already grew. Adding a punch or orange is some self-seeded milkweed.
 

A mystery plant showed up on the edge of the patio in spring – probably the seed was dropped by a bird. I watched it grow all summer, topping out at 7 feet, then forming seedheads.


At one point I thought it was Frostweed, but the tiny, fringed, flowers have no collar of petals like Frostweed. A friend made a tentative ID of Eupatorium odoratum. There is a definite pleasant fragrance so that sounds right to me. Butterflies and bees love it!


Staying low and gently spreading on the edge of the patio is Cobweb Spiderwort, once kept in a container. Last year I flipped a few broken-off stems onto the gravel and put small rocks over the ends. Tradescantia sillamontana loved the gravel, rooted and grew beautifully. When the cold weather killed most of the original plant, only the tips of this clump were damaged and it repaired itself speedily.


You won’t see much of a show today from the Blue Butterfly flower (AKA Rotheca myricoides, formerly Clerodondrum ugandense). A few bleached blooms remain on the plant in the triangle bed and the other big plant has only buds.


The daisy-shape in this little scene used to come from native perennial Blackfoot Daisies but they were barely annual here, not perennial. This year I put in the very similar looking Zinnia angustifolia. Only a few cosmos sprouted this year and I am glad to have them.


Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to all of you and to Carol at May Dreams, ringmaster of this monthly floral circus. http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/2017/09/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-september-2017.html

By AnnieinAustin for her Transplantable Rose Blog http://annieinaustin.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Oh Please, Dear March, Don't Turn Into a Lion

In early March 2015 late deep freezes blasted the Texas Mountain Laurels and I wrote this lament.


This year March arrived sweetly, and everything has been pretty peachy so far - but crazy early.

The oldest Texas Mountain Laurel bloomed unfrozen for the first time in years. It's fading now but wonderful to see.



The fig, Forest Pansy redbud and dwarf pomegranate have leaves.


A few Bluebonnets have opened with Blackfoot daisies.


and the white-flowered, passalong Cemetery iris have started, too.


A bag of Leucojum/Snowflake bulbs were an impulse buy last fall - oh, how glad I am this spring that I gave in to temptation!


Closeup of the snowflakes - we can't have snowdrops and we can't have Lily of the Valley, but by gum we can have Leucojum 'Gravetye Giant'.


Yesterday the Lady Banks rose began to pop.


And the peach iris began to stretch their flower stalks up to the sun.


Tonight Austin is under a watch for thunderstorms with possible hail so as usual it's fingers crossed for no bad surprises.

Annie in Austin, writing at the Transplantable Rose blog