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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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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Promises of Spring

My book review of Two Gardeners is in progress, and it's been perfect weather for digging – today's post will be photos and short notes:
To prove that spring is coming, here’s a White-winged Dove perched among the swelling buds of my neighbor’s Saucer Magnolia. I didn't touch the color in the photo - the sky really was that blue today.

Mrs Quad posted photos of a fun Mardi Gras dinner at a restaurant on her blog – mine may not have been quite so authentic as hers, but our homemade version of Chicken Gumbo tasted fine, the Sweet Potato pie [infused with Southern Comfort] was pretty darned good, and a few of the camellia buds were open, so I floated them in a bowl on the table.

Northern gardeners have been asking for flower photos –
before their gardens thaw out and we are taunted with a zillion pictures of lovely, unattainable tulips -
my small bunch of Ice Follies daffodils are now open!

Amy Stewart managed to avoid the ice and arrive with the daffodils… I’m planning on going down to Book People this Friday night and hope to meet her. Flower Confidential has been getting great reviews everywhere. More information can be found on Amy's Garden Blog.
Of course I have nothing to wear.


  1. That blue is so blue it almost hurts my eyes! Today the snow started to melt here "in earnest" and we are seeing the ground again in places. Soon, we'll have flowers to show, but in the meantime, I appreciate seeing what others have blooming... I'm looking forward to your "Two Gardeners" review.

  2. It's nice to see the daffodils open every spring. Mine grew about 4 inches and then got covered by a blanket of ice and snow. Your picture may be the only blooms I see this year.

  3. I like your dove and magnolia photo, and I'm envious of your daffodils. Mine are just starting to bud, though some hyacinths are blooming now.

  4. The white winged Dove is a beauty against that blue sky! My rose bush is blooming and I can see and feel spring in the air. YAY!

  5. Great photo of the dove in the budding magnolia. I debated planting a saucer magnolia but I thought it was too showy and common. I vicariously enjoy the many planted in the neighborhood and don't have to do the cleanup when all the petals fall!

    The only time I saw skies that blue was on a mountain top about 12,000 feet high in Colorado...we have too much pollution here in NJ.

  6. Beautiful daffodils - mine don't even have buds yet!

  7. I love those Ice Follies. I think I'll force those this year.

    They look so much better coming out of the earth.


  8. I've also been reading the reviews of Amy Stewart's new book. Somehow, I've missed her garden blog, but I used to read her chicken blog - Humboldt Hens. And I always enjoy her gardening column in Bird Watcher's Digest

    I think my Ice Follies have buds, but the flowers are about 3 weeks away.

  9. Our seasons are so similar - I think it's just our soils that different so much! What an incredible blue sky.

    Dinner looked yummy! It was strange - just this week I got a call from a colleague/friend that lives in New Orleans, and he's just moving back into his newly repaired home (post-Katrina) during Mardi-Gras. I hope he had a dinner as good as yours looks in celebration!

    Happy spring to you.

  10. Bugs, Potatoes, corn, beads and Zydeco music. It was good times all around. Can I start planting seeds yet???

  11. Annie, you have to publish some photos of that magnolia when the blooms open up. What a thoughtful neighbour to grow one of them near you!

  12. Hi Carol, your photos will show flowers that we can't grow, so I'm looking forward to them.

    Anthony don't give up yet! Our Illinois daffodils sometimes opened in spite of the ice.

    Pam/Digging do you have any recommendations for hyacinths here? I want to plant some this fall.

    Mary, your bird photos are so wonderful - this may be the pinnacle of my bird art!

    Ki - what do you mean, showy & common? It's spring! Rejoice!
    I let the petals mix in with the mulch in the border below, but do rake any off the grass.

    Steph did you plant them or were they already in the yard? Daffodils seem to take a few years before they settle into a schedule... especially the first year.

    County Clerk, maybe some inside for forcing and some outside, too?

    Entangled sometimes I watch the Hen cams for a few minutes!

    Pam, I should be used to alkaline soil, since we had it in Illinois, too, but have always been attracted to stuff that prefers more acidic woodlands like your camellias!

    Mrs Quad, you look good in beads! Are you thinking of flowers or vegetables?

    Stu I will give it a try - some years we get a storm or a freeze right after the flowers open. And a bunch of buds dropped after the ice, so there would have been even more.
    The first year we came, I went over and thanked my neighbor for planting it!


  13. That's such a lovely sky blue behind the bird's silhouette. How wonderful to have a magnolia to look at, right next door! I would've thanked my neighbor too. You're sweet Annie :)
    I like that cheerful red and white tablecloth and the food sounds delicious. Perhaps we should celebrate Mardi Gras up here, to brighten ourselves up!
    Thank you for the glimpse of what we have to look forward to...daffodils! I love them!
    What fun...a chance to meet Amy Stewart! I hope you wear something!
    As usual you leave me chuckling :)

  14. The last time I made sweet potato pie, I accidentally read the recipe wrong and added way too much booze. I made it for a progressive dinner. It went faster than any other dessert. People couldn't stop talking about it, or slurring about it. I was too embarrassed to give out the recipe.


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