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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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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Annie, Unplugged

Back in 2004, I began writing what I originally thought was poetry, musings on how it felt to be a gardener from Illinois who’d been plunked down in the heart of Texas. I soon realized that these words weren't poetry - they were lyrics. Our son Ted took the verses about missing Lilac time up North, set them to music, and copyrighted our collaboration. “Texas In May” has been a favorite when performed for friends and family, and some day it may be recorded.

Ted’s example inspired me, and soon I had more than half-a-dozen songs under copyright. Together, they tell a story – a sort of musical play. Although the situation - that transplantation from Illinois to Austin - was my own experience, in the story the leading lady is quite a different person, who comes to Austin for very different reasons.

One of the songs is called “The Transplantable Rose”, also used as the name for this blog last June. I’m no singer, but it’s my song, now on YouTube, along with the previously recorded theme for the Divas of the Dirt. Friend Nick recorded the sound, and played the acoustic guitar for “The Transplantable Rose” and Philo made the video.

Station kaefka is a joint effort by Philo & me, [reachable when you double click on the YouTube screen] and 'age 40' refers to how many years we’ve been together. At station kaefka you’ll see links to other favorite videos, including Ted playing his concertina and videos by Ted’s wife, our darling Diane Marie, who is a professional musician in the Chicago area.

When I was nine years old my ambition was to be a writer and a singer – half-a-century later the folks at Google have given me that chance. Thank you.


  1. I hope soon there will be a "Texas in May" video.

    I admire how much you've learned about gardening in Texas which seems/is quite different than gardening in the midwest. If I were plucked from Indiana and dropped into Texas, I would be lost, horticulturally. No familiar bloom times, no lilacs! It sounds like you've made the transition quite well.

    (Also, I checked out your favorite videos and it led me to all of the 1920's video's, I may one day add links to those from my grandma's diary blog.)

  2. Thank you for the kind comments, Chuck, Christopher and Kim. Carol, the twenties video was useful to me as an amateur genealogist, too!

    This is a rather sentimental song [so is the Texas in May one] and there isn't even any latin in it! The other songs revel in plant-nerd humor, with lines like "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me!", "Murder! I'm Guilty of Crepe Murder" and "Arizona Ash, dropping trash in my yard".


  3. Well done Annie. My computer here doesn't have a sound card so I can't hear what's going on but your post was explanation enough.

    Where would we be without Google, eh?

  4. Annie, you may have transplanted yourself, but your lovely voice has not become a Texas transplant! Very nice indeed. I thought that "We are the Divas of the Dirt" was clever, but you've outdone yourself.

    Now, when are you going to record the rest of your "poems"?

  5. Nicely done!

    This is fantastic!

    (I bet it was a delight to do.)


  6. You are many talented and fun loving. I enjoyed both of the YouTube videos.

  7. This is wonderful! What fun - I'll have to listen to it again. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. I wish I could listen to this, but with a very slow dial-up connection, I have found YouTube and Google Earth, etc, not as easily accessible. Google Earth had also, as yet, not mapped my part of the world in as great detail as other places might be.

    Congratulations and keep on having fun with this. Your having fun is a gift to others, obviously!

  9. Well done. It reminds me a bit of the Original Carter Family. The photos on the Video were excellent too.

  10. You are a wonderful writer Annie! I love to read what you write :)
    Merry Christmas to you dear friend. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. xox

  11. I've been away from TX [and my computer] for over a week, and have a lot of catching up to do, both domestically, and in reading what you've been posting.

    Thanks to all the commenters - being a part of the garden blogger community has been way too much fun!


  12. Annie, you are so very talented! I really enjoyed listening to that.

  13. Annie, I just had a chance to listen to your song and loved it (I just zipped in to say Merry Christmas, and zipped out on Christmas Eve).
    What fun to put your words to music and then record them! I'm so glad you shared that fun with us. As Kati said, it's a gift to us. I always enjoy your fun-loving personality :)
    Your son helped make your dream of becoming a writer and singer come true. How sweet.
    Keep writing, singing, enjoying and sharing!


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.