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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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Monday, April 16, 2007

Mouse & Trowel

A week ago, Philo and I rented the Christopher Guest comedy, For Your Consideration, in which actors in an independent film become entranced with the idea that they might be nominated for academy awards. As I watched Harry Shearer, Catharine O’Hara and Parker Posey, I realized that my bonds to their characters were not just cinematical.

Colleen of In The Garden Online thought Garden Blogging needed recognition, and her idea for the Mouse &Trowel awards was immediately accepted. Since the day another garden blogger told me she had nominated me as the Blogger You’d Like as a Neighbor, I‘d let myself hope for that Mousie nomination.

My hope came true! And I was given a second nomination for writing! To be placed in such company is a real honor for which I thank you.

And who are the other nominees for 'Neighbor'? Pam/Digging, Carol of May Dreams and A Study In Contrast’s Blackswamp Kim.

Well, here’s where I got the giggles, imagining the four of us living in some imaginary town [with perfect weather, of course] trading plants and livening up the street.

In our own individual neighborhoods, each of us is the neighbor with the landscape that doesn’t quite fit in: on Pam’s street, her stunning front courtyard with abundant native plants stops cars in their tracks; Carol may be more discreet in the front garden, but her beautiful, fenced vegetable garden breaks the mold for her neighborhood. Kim contrasts unusual colors, textures and blossoms with glee, under the gaze of statuary lions. And I’ve opened my garden gate, come out to the front with tools in hand and dug flowerbeds in the lawn.

Sometimes our neighbors in the bricks-and-sticks world don’t appreciate anything but manicured lawn and precision-cut shrubbery, and they are not fond of our horticultural experiments. So it’s especially wonderful to be selected as neighbors by you plant and nature lovers from the world of garden blogging. Thank you.


  1. Annie, if you don't get an Academy Award, oops, I mean the Mouse & Trowel award for your way with words, I'll be sorely disappointed! Good for you!

  2. Dear Annie,

    Your nominations are so very well deserved! And thanks for the heads up, I wasn't even aware I was nominated too. :-)

    That would be a rather spectacular neighbourhood to live in with such gardeners as you, Carol, Pam and Kim. Never a dull moment on the gardening front! ;-)

    And there would be music and hoes galore. Who wouldn't want to live there?

  3. Annie...I chuckled about what it would be like for us to all be neighbors. We'd either be trading plants like wild and helping each other out, or competiting like mad to have the best gardens. Either way, it would be quite a row of gardens! Congratulations on your nominations in this category and best writing! And I love the peak through the gate. What is around that bend?

  4. Thanks for doing what you do, Annie. And Lost Roses is right---you do deserve to win for Best Writing.

  5. Good luck, Annie and to help you along the way I've already cast my vote for you in both categories.

  6. Annie — Congratulations again. You are certainly deserving of both Mousies (I just love that; last night I saw Kim/Blackswap Girl refer to the awards as Mousies and it made me smile.)

  7. Your 'imaginary town' sounds delightful - and shouldn't you be off writing your acceptance speech on a tiny slip of paper? :)

  8. Annie, I would love to have you as a neighbor! And you write very well and easily as if I were on the phone with you.

    You go, girl! No doubt, you are very deserving. And your garden loves you for it, too.

  9. Congratulations, Annie! I was so excited when I realized you were a finalist in both categories. Both nominations are well deserved!

    Good luck....and living in that "neighborhood" with you, Carol, Pam, and Kim would be as close to paradise as I could imagine :-)

  10. Hi! Great blog. It would be fun to live in a neighborhood entirely populated with great garden bloggers, instead of the formula landscaping and competitive mowing you see most places. Congrats on your nomination and hope you win a mousie.

  11. Congrats for the nomination. And now, I have to choose?? Can I pick all 4?
    Love the garden gate pic, very inviting.

  12. Congratulations! How fun ... and what an honor. Go you!

    Melissa (Incandragon)

  13. can I vote 4 times? You all deserve to win.

    prairie point

  14. Congratulations! And I'd like to be put on the waiting list to buy a home in that imaginary town with perfect weather where the 4 of you are neighbors. :)

  15. Annie, oh the trouble we could find--er, make--in that neighborhood! *grin* I am imagining all of us going over to help Carol figure out what to put in place of those spireas that were bothering her a few weeks ago... wandering around other garden blogger's yards to figure out who has something that needs to be moved or divided anyway... what fun that would be!

  16. Ooh - I want to move into this imaginary neighbourhood too! Sounds like great fun.

    Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination.

  17. I nominated you in both categories, writer and neighbor. I'm glad you made the finals. Your writing is sometimes lyrical and sometimes humorous but always penetrating and insightful.

    As for neighbor...I didn't have to use my imagination. I consider myself lucky to have you as my gardening neighbor. Not my next-door-neighbor, but my neighbor nonetheless.

    mss @ Zanthan Gardens

  18. I love the garden gate picture. You are richly deserving of nominations in both categories ...

    I think it would be wonderful to have a tour of all your gardens. They would each be testaments to your individuality and creativity.

    And I'm still hooting about the Greener House.

    BTW - you are right on. My son can handle me so well, I usually don't even realize I've been handled!!

    The bouquet was really pretty.

  19. Since I'd love to have you as a neighbor, I think the nomination is very well-deserved - congratulations!

    P.S. I'll try to keep the cats from pooping in your yard.

  20. How can anyone pick between you and Kim and Pam? I'm certainly not going to.

  21. Annie... your garden is beautifula nd your blog a delight!

  22. What more can I add? Thanks for being a good friend and primo plant IDer. Everywhere I wander in the garden blogosphere, you've already been there with encouragement and interesting comments. You've even suggested blogs I was never aware of. Your award is richly deserved.

  23. LostRoses, the nomination part is so cool, that I’m very satisfied already.

    Thank you, Yolanda Elizabet, and I'm not one bit surprised at your nomination.

    But “Music and hoes galore” ....now what kind of google searches will this phrase bring ;-]

    Carol, wouldn't it be fun! Pam is a close enough neighbor already for the plant trading, but I wouldn't think of trying to compete with her front courtyard! It rules!

    Once through the gate, if you turn right, the Pink climbing rose is right there... if you turn left, you're in the trash can enclosure. Very exciting, huh.

    Pam/Digging, you're nominated in the same category. And the other nominated blog belongs to the 4 professional writers who have banded together for GardenRant. So just being in the same category with five such wonderful writers is an enormous thrill for me.

    Carolyn Gail, wow! Thank you very much. I enjoy your garden blog and hope the spring blooms will soon be abundant in your Chicago garden. You’ve had enough winter.

    Susan, thank you - it would look awfully cute to have - "Mousie nominee, 2007" - on a resume wouldn't it!

    Pam, you're too funny! Not gonna do it.

    Mary, it would be some neighborhood, wouldn't it. Actually, I am much more coherent on paper - in person I do the hormone-connected middle age woman thing: start the sentence...pause....try to retrieve noun...run through alphabet to remember the word... then try to remember what I was talking about, etc., making Philo say, "Will you please finish a sentence once in awhile!!"

    Colleen, you can't fool me - you're just hoping for some chunks off that purple iris ;-] Thanks for making the Mousies happen.

    Thank you for coming over, Meresy g, I'm so glad Kim sent me to your blog! Maybe our virtual neighborhood would be closer to the wonderful Buffalo neighborhoods that EAL talks about at Gardening While Intoxicated, with house after house surrounded by flowers... but I’d prefer a warmer climate than Buffalo.

    Salix Tree, thank you! Is it like choosing your favorite Beatle? That’s a choice I was totally NOT able to make!

    Hi Melissa, thank you for taking time to come. I've been enjoying your relocation adventures, and hope your first spring there is lovely. We have close family in Seattle and have been there often enough that I can picture some of the places you talk about.

    Bill, just hearing you say that is enough for me. Thank you.

    Anthony, it would be interesting to see a subdivision where the word "Gardens" in the name actually means people who buy a house have to make Gardens. Usually the covenants prevent Gardens!

    Hello dear Blackswamp Kim, I once lived in a place where a few of us acted just like that... a short-lived paradise, but remembered fondly. We could be so bad together!

    Hi Andrea - at first I thought this was Andrea from Once More, With Feeling - but now think it's the Mousie nominee Andrea from Heavy Petal, right? Hi and congratulations! You would certainly fit in!

    Well I nominated you for writing, M Sinclair Stevens, which is not one bit surprising, since you are my blogging inspiration as well as being a fellow Austin gardener who is totally delightful in person.

    Hello Kate, thank you. My garden is still such a work in progress - we moved here in July 2004 and started laying out new beds in early 2005. It's not really tour-worthy yet, so I just show parts of everything. Carol shows all her vegetables, Kim is fairly selective, and Pam has given us the whole picture.

    Thanks for enjoying the video!

    It did kind of feel like the hall monitor showed up at high school LOL!

    Beth, thank you so much! We have some cats that come to visit and leave tokens behind, so I’m already used to that… I’d be more worried about the poison ivy! I hope you get more nice flowers showing up at your new home.

    ChuckB, from my female perspective, it would be impossible to pick between you and Christopher and Ki and Hank! You would all be so much fun!! You could wear the new pink Sloggers while we wander around with trowels, trading plant divisions and spouting botanical latin.

    Clerk Hank, thank you very much. If you do a Naked Gardening photo with your new black? green? red? Sloggers, I will be happy to link to that post.

    This has been great fun, but I need to leave the virtual world and get something done in the bricks-and-sticks world.


  24. I wish you were MY neighbor! Then I could foist off some of my extra crinum on you..

    Hey, we DO live in the same town!

  25. Ki, thank you for coming over - I think of you as my friend, too, but don't worry - I won't get upset if you vote for one of my girlfriends.

    Martha Chick, as a newbie in that line, the very idea of extra crinum is mind blowing!

    I wish you were my neighbor because I've got what I think is a good song, not a comedy one, that needs someone who can rock. Wanna be in a garage band?


  26. Well deserved on both counts Annie. If Colleen had a category for best commenter I think you would win that one hands down as well.

    Love reading your posts (and your comments).

  27. Hi Annie: You are a big part of what makes this gardening blog world go round! How many of us have found each other's blogs through you?? Lots, I bet!

    Thanks for all you do (and link!)!

    Hey, does under your gate get muddy?? I have very similar ones under my gate...lol! It does help! Great picture, makes you want to step inside!

    Mucho good luck!

  28. Annie,
    Congratulations. Your blog is certainly deserving. I wish you the best of luck.

  29. *grin* Annie, it was easy to choose my favorite Beatle! George!

  30. Congratulations Annie! Who doesn't love an award?!

  31. Sincere congratulations Annie! I'd dearly love to have you for a neighbor!
    You are among very good company for that nomination :)
    I love the photo of your gate. Such a pretty, sunlit scene.
    Did you enjoy the movie?
    Your roses are beautiful!
    I'm so pleased to see that all seven of ours seem to be alive (we planted 3 new ones in the fall).

  32. Hello Stu - thank you. I really do enjoy visiting all over and chatting - with the result that my own blog is updated less often. So be it.

    Gotta Garden, the gardening world was doing fine without me - but I'm glad the links are fun for you!

    Thank you Zoey, I think I've used up the luck to get the nomination, so I'm just enjoying this part!

    SalixTree, I should have guessed that one!

    Rosemarie, the nomination was so cool - can't imagine the award could be better!

    Kerri, first we'd have to agree on a location!
    I did like the movie, but thought Best In Show was better. I'll be looking forward to seeing photos of your new roses as they come into bloom!



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