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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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Thursday, August 10, 2006

View From My Window

Here's the view, taken from the breakfast room. We placed the herb bed directly in front of the window where we could see it from the table. Those shiny leaves among the herbs are from the Meyer lemon in a large pot. The yard isn’t that deep, so it’s just a few big steps forward to the tall flowers, with the vegetable garden just out of sight on the left. [From Philo’s chair, he can see the sunflowers and what’s left of his tomato plants.]

The Blue River II Hibiscus, from the first post back in June, are still opening white flowers, one or two a day since the end of May. Last year the hibiscus leaves wilted pathetically, but as the plants become established, they need less water. You might be able to see one Texas Star Hibiscus flower in the middle, with a sprawling Cuphea at its feet.
This is the red & violet “bat-faced Cuphea” that so many Austin gardeners have adopted, partly because it’s so pretty, partly for civic pride. A huge bat colony living under the Congress Avenue Bridge has become a tourist attraction, with a small park for bat-watching. All sorts of doodads decorated in bat designs are sold as souvenirs around town.
The blue flowers keep coming on the Salvia guaranitica at the back fence but the Pineapple sage/Salvia elegans, is ‘resting’ right now. Sometimes that concrete birdbath has 6 or 8 white wing doves on the edge. They are one of the goofiest looking birds I’ve ever seen – like cartoon birds.

Along the fence behind the birdbath we’ve planted evergreen Viburnum and a Michelia, hoping they’ll grow and eventually give some winter privacy… and maybe block out the reflection of our neighbors’ metal pool slide. The mini-lights hang around the patio area all year; right now there is a Cypress vine growing along them, planted just for the hummingbirds.

No more blogging for a week – our out-of-state kids will be enduring the hassle of boarding planes so they can be with us for a while – we can’t wait to see them!


  1. I guess the book meme is only fair (and fun) since I "View from my Window" memed you first. That's two meme's. You may miss a third during your break with the kids. Things always come in threes.

    That is a pretty green lawn for the way you Austin gardeners talk. It also reminds me of the backyards of homes in North Florida, a private quiet retreat from the world out front.

  2. What a lovely view from your window! And I can just imagine the White-winged doves crowding into that birdbath.

    Have a great time with your kids, I'm sure they'll be ready for some fun after the trip there!

  3. What a pleasant view to begin the day. I think we made a mistake in the kitchen remodel having a larger window. Now we're so used to having our coffee in front of our computers while reading the newspaper online that it probably doesn't matter. Your yard's looking pretty green. I was shocked to glance out the window and notice the yaupon holly turning brown. I've had it several years and thought it was pretty well established. If my drought-tolerant plants can't take it, I'm tempted to give up the garden and move into a high-rise downtown.

  4. Wow. My yard looks like crap right now, and that's putting it nicely. Yours is doing well, considering the weather we've had latley. Oh, and the only birds I see in my birdbath are grackles.

  5. You must surely enjoy your lush, green view, Annie. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Annie:
    It's nice you can sit and watch your garden at meals. I envy you the hibiscus, and the doves. Hope you have a good visit with your kids. ml of Full Fath. F.

  7. You're being featured as the Blog of the Week at Gardening for Dummies, Annie. Nice publicity for your great blog!

  8. That's a lovely view, Annie--and I'm glad to hear that Austinites are "adopting" the local bat colony! Up here I get sideways glances for professing my desire for a bathouse. :-P

    Hope that you have a wonderful visit with the kids this week!

  9. Hello everyone, and thank you for the comments! I had no computer access while we were gone, and think I've missed out on a lot more than heat & drought! I'm trying to catch up with all the previous posts on other garden blogs.

    Christopher, this is the fifth house we've owned but the first yard with a privacy fence, and it does feel like a secluded retreat most of the year, although once the leaves fall we are much more exposed to the neighbors whose two-story porch overlooks our patio.

    I love that window, and like it even better at dinnertime, when the sun has moved around the house and the hummingbirds come. There's much more browned grass in back since the photo was taken, but filling the bird baths at least twice every day means there are a few very green circles!

    Stuart named me blog of the week? Wow, that's cool, but what happened to his site? My link won't work anymore.



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