About Me
My Photo
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.
View my complete profile

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nothing Could Be Finer Than...

The out-of-state kids arrived safely from 3 states, but they didn’t fly to Texas. These seashells, farmstand tomatoes & Carolina peaches are souvenirs we brought back from a combined family reunion, vacation & anniversary celebration held on the Carolina Coast.

Philo & I drove east on Interstate 10 to meet with our four children and their families at a town where we’ve stayed 8 times over the past 30 years. We were last there in 1994 - it was always a magical place, and thank heavens, things have not changed much!

While our family jumped in the surf, made sandcastles, played beach volleyball, watched pelicans and dolphins, enjoyed seafood dinners and witnessed hatchling Loggerhead turtles make their way to the ocean, back in Austin our wonderful friends, neighbors and Divas watered our plants & kept our containers, young trees, shrubs and perennials alive.

Since we came home, instead of leaning over to pick up seashells on the beach, I’ve been picking up pecans by the bucketful from the ground under the pecan trees. Some nuts were undeveloped, shed by the trees in response to the drought, some were bitten, half-eaten and thrown around by the squirrels. I don’t think the trees themselves are in danger, since the leaves are green. These trees did the same thing last September - in the middle of the night we were wakened over and over by a hearing a thunk on the roof, followed by a rolling sound, then a thud as the nut hit the ground. It was unnerving at first, but it eventually became one of those comfortable, usual, recognizable sounds – your brain just says, ‘Pecan falling’ and lets you stay sleep.

One very nice and totally unexpected surprise was that this crinum-type lily put up a flower stalk which is just starting to show pink buds. It might be Amarcrinum 'Fred Howard' bought in March 2001 from Plant Delights Nursery, or it might be an unnamed crinum bought at an Austin Men's Garden Club sale in Spring 2000. Both lilies grew for years in large deck pots, where they developed into multiple bulbs. Once we moved here, the bulbs were planted in the ground, but the tags were lost and the individual bulbs were mixed up. Whatever the name, I'm thrilled to see it bloom!


  1. Welcome back, Annie. I've missed reading your blog and your frequent comments on mine!

    I was just reading about crinum lilies in the book "HGTV Flower Gardening." It said crinums are great plants but frequently overlooked these days because they are perceived as being too old-fashioned. However, since you're lucky enough to have one, enjoy it and take care of it. The article also mentioned that a single bulb can cost as much as $100 because "it takes 3 to 4 years to grow a viable bulb from seed."

  2. I love the story of the pecan nuts on the roof. At least once a day, when I'm home, I hear a bird thump into the window by the bird feeder. I just think "crazy bird" and keep on doing whatever it was I was doing.

    Nice to see a new post, thanks for all your comments on my blogs!

  3. Welcome back. I've missed your comments on my blog and elsewhere. I wish my squirrels would leave some pecans on my trees untouched. I see people down the street gathering pecans even into November. But my trees are stripped bare by squirrels before the husks open to release the pecans. I suspect the squirrels are eating the husks to get moisture more than searching for nuts.

  4. Welcome back Annie. I hope Austin has cooled off for you for your return. Your trip sounds exactly like my families get togethers in St. Augustine Beach, Florida for Labor Day.

    Crinums are tough tough plants that can take drought, ocean front living and heat and still bloom when they are in the mood.

  5. I'll take pecans on the roof over the black walnuts I get. LOL

    It is nice to hear that you had a good time on your trip.

    I have not heard of crinums before. Old fashioned means they are probabably a good plant to grow. I must look into these. :)

  6. So glad to see you back, Annie, we've missed you! Sounds like you had a lovely reunion on the Carolina coast. And how nice to come back to an unusual (and apparently expensive!) plant. Very nice.

  7. We can usually get a reasonable harvest from our pecan trees. The squirrels get a few, but there are usually a few buckets left over. I don't know if this is common or not, but our dogs like pecans. I can toss them a handful, and they go wild. Even the little one enjoys them.

  8. Thank you for the comments - I did miss reading your garden blogs, but we would not have had time, even if we had a computer!

    Pam, Christopher, Hanna and Lost Roses, I'm going to post a photo of the opened Amarcrinum flower in another post, with purchase information.

    R Sorrell, MMS & Carol,we have never had ONE SINGLE edible pecan from these trees. In fall 2004 & 2005 I cracked open any that weren't chewed up, and the insides were either wormy, dried up, or not formed. On Saturday, I cracked a bunch out of that bucket with no success. I can no longer see any nuts on the tree.

    Oh, well, there's an farm in Bastrop that sells lovely pecans!


  9. I'm so glad you had what sounded like the perfect vacation to me! I do miss the beach!! How nice to have good friends who will care for your garden while you're away.
    I'd like the sound of the pecans on the roof :) Too bad you don't get any that are edible.
    I'm looking forward to seeing your crinum lily.

  10. I'm glad to see someone enjoy our side of the world - although today, it might not be as fun, with Ernesto on our doorstep. Nonethelss, the garden will get a good rain! I've got a number of crinum's in my garden - and they are all wonderful! Congrat's on the blooms!

  11. Kerri, I'm not a boogie-boarder like my kids, but it was heaven to walk barefoot on the edge of the sand where the waves break. We only know the ocean as visitors - it must be hard to leave if you grew up near to it.

    Hi Pam from SC - as newlyweds we lived in your state, developing a taste for peaches and magnolias that has never diminished. May Ernesto turn out less powerful than it could be, just giving your garden [and the crinums] a nice watering!

  12. Something we share: I love the Carolina Coast! We usually go in the late spring and we see the loggerhead nests, but I haven't gottne to see the babies make their way to the sea. Maybe another year:)

    The idea of gardening where so many lovely things grow sound swonderful, since you are from Illini land you know what cold does to our choices here... I grow only the hardiest rose I can find now.

    I saw you have all your blogroll members marked with their state- what a great idea. If I ever get to work on my own blogroll I might borrow your idea :) ..at least to put it in the descriptions.

  13. Welcome back Annie! It's nice to read your entries again. I've been busy preparing for work after summer and I surely will be busy for few weeks more but I'll try my best to post an entry once/twice a week and jot down my comments to you and other gardener bloggers. By the way, I loved your Crinum, lovely pink eh! Aloha!:-)


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.