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.
The left half of our back yard had an open area in the middle that was mainly grass until this spring. This space is irregular, approximately 22’ X 25’ at the widest points. You walk through it every time you enter the gate, or exit the house, or go over to the mixed border and the vegetable garden. We cross through that area many times a day and also see it from the breakfast room, from the patio and from the shady bench under the peach tree.
Because this middle area was so sunny, the grass needed regular watering, unlike the grass in shadier areas. If I’m going to water, I want something more than grass! Last year we planted a ‘Little Gem’ Magnolia at one end of this space, adding the gloss of dark green leaves and a few fragrant white flowers, but at barely five feet, it will take a few years for this tree to make any vertical impact or cast shade. This spring, we made a new long bed that includes the magnolia, a Texas Mountain Laurel, salvias, Lemon verbena and other plants.
In April, we added instant height to the bed when Philo and I found a 7 and ½ foot-tall obelisk at Howard Nursery on Koenig Lane. Howard’s has been a great source for shrubs, flowers and fun gift items. Although the new structure is taller than anything else on that side of the yard, it was rapidly climbed and entwined by the second Snail Vine.
When we bought the obelisk in April, we passed up some tempting roses. Now I really regret that lost opportunity. Our most recent trip to Howard’s was for their closing sale, where I bought a one-gallon Weigela as a sort of souvenir. It will have to be in a container for now, but it may live and someday bloom, reminding me of a loved-and-lost Austin nursery.