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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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Saturday, October 14, 2006


As the Northern gardeners retreat into their houses, we’ve finally had a few days this week when it was mild enough to turn off the air-conditioning and open the windows. Today’s high was only 83º, a perfect day for the Farmers Market.

The Austin organization called TreeFolks began in 1989 and today, "TreeFolks grows the urban forest of Central Texas through tree planting, education and community partnerships."

The group held their first ever benefit tree sale today at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market. There were all kinds of trees available, and a large crowd took home new additions for their own part of the urban forest. The Treefolks even offered delivery and planting services!

My friend Shanda was part of the sale crew – here she checks out some of the fruit trees. Shanda is a member of Treefolks, and also one of the Divas of the Dirt. After some consideration, we bought a Texas redbud for a spot that needs a hardy native ornamental.

Once the tree was stashed in the car, we strolled the Sunset Valley Farmers Market, buying tomatoes, pecans, cucumbers and oranges. Whenever we come to the Farmers Market, we always go to JimJim’s Water Ice stand [Philo’s favorite is Mango] and I check out the plant vendors. Today I found a Chocolate mint for a couple of bucks. I’ve tried them in containers but August was too brutal -this one will go in the ground, and maybe it will live through the next summer.

Live music is part of the Market, too. Jimmy Natoli is frequently seen and heard, but today there was a group of young violinists sending their music aloft. I hope TreeFolks did well with their sale!


  1. Thanks for the pics of the TreeFolks event. They are a great group.

    I went to the Wildflower Center members' plant sale on Friday. Did you make it this weekend? Lots of great natives were being offered. I think the sale continues tomorrow as well.

  2. What a great organization your TreeFolks is (& to offer delivery & tree planting services, wow). Wish this event had been happening where I am right now, I would have attended. (I grow redbud too, MA-style) We had our first frost this weekend so reading that it was 83 degrees for you is a treat to some of us Northerners who don't relish winter. Chocolate mint, yummy!

  3. Annie, it sounds like a great way to spend a day. I did cringe a bit at you paying $2 for some chocolate mint. I've been weeding it out of one of my beds all summer...

  4. I wish there were TreeFolks here. I have been (was) looking for a good tree and I just can't seem to find one I like. It would be nice to have an orginization that would have a selection of trees that would work well here and wanted to sell me tree that would survive, rather than one that would make them a decent profit.

  5. Speaking for TreeFolks (which I often do) I can say we did do well. VERY well. We sold over three times as many trees as we expected and we had foresters and arborists giving out free advice as well as free saplings. It was a great day for everybody.

    Scott Harris
    Executive Director
    TreeFolks, Inc.

  6. Thanks so much for the note, Scott, and congratulations! Good thing we bought our tree early.

    I wish Judith and Hanna had something like TreeFolks, too.

    Pam, I didn't make the Wildflower sale this year.

    Carol, my mom warned me about mint's escape tendencies from the time I was a kid in the midwest, and I learned she was right!

    But mint has a harder time here. At first I was cautious, keeping it confined in containers, but it all died. It should be okay in the ground - Diva-Buffy grows mint in her flower bed where it spreads at a slow, more easily controlled speed than in Illinois.


  7. Annie, do the TreeFolk grow the trees as well or are these donations from other groups?

    Looks like a great day out.

  8. Annie, oh you folks who are getting weather "mild enough to turn off the air conditioner"! I can only wish. We're getting dumped on with snow tonight and I am envious of your weather, and your redbud tree. Those are so pretty! What a great group and a really nice event.

  9. Unfortuantely, I missed all of the plant sales.

  10. Stuart, I don't know where the trees are grown - you could email the group through their website. Or wait and I'll ask Shanda next time I see her.

    Lost Roses, I'm keeping my eye on the weather page - temperatures in North Texas have dropped dramatically, with a big cool front on the way. It's still 89º now. Redbuds never did well in Illinois, either - lots of winter kill. This one is the native Texas variety, but we've also planted a young Forest Pansy in a shady area.

    Hi RSorrell - glad to hear from you! Next weekend there's a big herb festival and sale at Sunset Valley, so you have another chance.


  11. Hi "Annie in Austin", ;)

    Just posted to
    the quote you were looking for.

    Nice reference btw.

    M. Anthony
    Flower Delivery

  12. Sounds like a really nice event and an interesting organization. Thanks for sharing the photos. It's been fun catching up on your blog Annie. I envy you those temperatures!
    I just saw chocolate mint for the first time at the Cornell Plantations. I hope it behaves for you :)

  13. Kerri, I'm glad you came here, too. I'm having fun with this garden but it's mostly new and not established... your wonderful country place really demands lots of photos, while I need just a few!


  14. Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting the other day. I LOVE your blog. I am always looking for blogs like yours.

    I live in Houston. I am not a fan of hot weather, but I realize that being in a southern climate allows for wonderful year round gardening. In some ways winter is my favorite garden season.

    Hope you have a nice weekend.


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