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.
My garden is in Austin – I’ve been an Austin gardener for years. Why, oh why did I buy this Gardenia jasminoides ‘Veitchii’? I knew it was dumb even before I read ”the infamous gardenia thread”. So why? Well, for one thing, it was on sale at Red Barn, and cost less than an ugly bouquet at the grocery store. And the plant was already budded, ready to pop. There’s even a chance it’ll live, since a fairly large gardenia shrub grows about 6 blocks from here, blooming on the East side of a brick house. Miss Scarlet made me do it. On June 30th, seventy years had passed since Gone With the Wind hit the bookstores, and I decided to reread the book. Although the romance seemed the same, there were aspects I hadn’t noticed when I was younger. Had Margaret Mitchell always talked so much about the landscape? The pages are full of pine trees, peach trees, apple trees, magnolias, oaks, cedars and dogwoods. People gather on porches, rock on verandas, sit in arbors and stroll in rose gardens. Mockingbirds & jays make noise, while Scarlet passes over lawns made of clover and Bermuda grass, and remarks upon daffodils and jonquils, yellow jessamine, Cherokee roses and violets, blackberry brambles, crab apple trees, honeysuckle, sweet shrubs, hills of sweet potatoes, rows of peas & beans, fields of cotton, palmettos, wistaria, crepe myrtles, bald cypress, live oaks covered in moss, ivy, smilax, moss, and grapevines, coleus, geranium, oleander, hydrangea, elephant ear, rubber plants, nasturtiums, hollyhocks, crimson, yellow & white roses, ferns and gladioli. The young women wear fragrant Cape jessamine & pink tea roses in their hair or pinned at the bodice. Most of these plants summoned some sort of mental image, but ‘Cape Jessamine’ was unfamiliar. This turned out to be another name for Gardenia, loved for scented wrist corsages. So when that sale plant beckoned, to own my own fragrant Cape Jessamine was irresistible.