About Me
My Photo
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.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Multi-tasking Garden Blogger

Here's the dilemma:

I met with the Divas of the Dirt on Saturday and wanted to write about it.

I’ve been immersed in a genealogy project and wrote a report.

We had 4 inches of rain last week and I have a push mower.

Philo and I are looking at paint chips. Why do the colors I like always have food names? Like butter, cream or Belgian Waffle?

Hank wrote a wonderful 15,000-word essay centered around Hydrangeas and I read a lot of it. Here's a link to the 15,000 word essay but be aware that downloading his blog entry will take some time.

My book report for the Garden Blogger’s book club is due today.

Sweet Home Chicago Carolyn’s Poetry day is planned for tomorrow.

I decided to knock two things off my list with a rhyme about the book. Here goes:

My Summer in A Garden by Charles Dudley Warner
Is a public, domain-free download from Google.
But a paper book is nicer for relaxing in a corner -
Wish I’d made that choice instead of being frugal.

I viewed the screen and scrolled along as Charlie spun his stories,
Connecticut’s the setting; Eighteen-seventy the time.
For nineteen weeks he hopes for horticultural-type glories,
But deals instead with critters, weeds and clime.

His manner is quite jocular, avuncular and dense.
While making fun of nation, gender, sect.
When sticking to his garden Warner’s words are full of sense
But some parts are not Politic’lly correct.

If you like hoes and vegetables these tales will make you smile
I chuckled at his Devil Grass and produce-swiping folks.
Though Warner’s gone from this world for a very long, long while,
Just search the web – his name lives on in snappy quotes and jokes.

The Divas of the Dirt had a great morning at the Austin Smith & Hawken, enjoying a talk by manager Zach on outdoor entertaining. We later went to brunch and there was shopping involved. That blue cactus mosaic at the top of the page was seen at the new Domain shopping center. Go read about our day, see more new photos and find links at the
Divas of the Dirt blog.
[A bit of clarification, added August 1st:
I'm happy to be a member of two separate groups of Austin gardeners - the Divas of the Dirt, who do garden projects together, and the Austin Garden Bloggers, who write about gardening. I write about them both, but the groups are not connected in any other way.]


  1. What an ingenious solution to the problem of too little time!

    I downloaded and read on the computer too, but I don't really like reading that way. It would have been so much better if read in the hammock (bathtub, whatever).

    Looks like the Divas have a great time, wherever they go.

  2. Oh, forgot to say about the paint colors. We have "Cake Batter" and "Clam Chowder" on the walls here :-)

  3. Very witty, Annie! I don't think I could read an entire book on my computer screen, despite the fact that I read much stuff off it every day.

    LOVE the cactus mosaic! What a clever idea. I could grow one of those in my Fundy garden....hmmmm....hmmmm....

  4. Annie... quite amazing how you got it all done! I love your post and poetry. Thanks for participating in the book club again!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  5. I love that cactus mosaic too. The Domain actually has quite a lot of garden-themed public art among the high-priced stores. The kids and I have had fun just strolling around and looking at it all.

  6. My compliments, Annie, for a multi-tasking job well-done. Thanks for posting on Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. Your poem was really great.

  7. Now you've done it! Everybody will want a blue tiled cactus... :)

  8. Oh sure, Annie, put the rest of us to shame with your rhyme about the book. You are so clever!

  9. Love the rhyme! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate -- including colors with food-names -- but you are such a multi-talented lady I've no doubt you'll conquer all your projects. :-)

  10. Reading a whole book on a computer screen sounds like mild torture to me, Annie. :)

    Now a morning spent listening to outdoor entertaining ideas sounds wonderful! I am going over to the divas to read about it now.

  11. That was some serious multi-tasking going on there Annie. I loved your poem and it was a much nicer, and more creative, way to read a book review.

    BTW you're pic of the mosaic prickly pear is incredible.

  12. Annie,

    You poem, as always, made me smile.

    May I ask, are you a member of Ancestry.com?

    Beware if you are, it can be quite addicting

  13. Entangled, my reading rhythm got thrown off by seeing one page at a time - reading a paper book seems faster.
    And now I remember we had 'Popcorn' and 'Chili Pepper' in IL.

    Carol - you're welcome- it was fun.

    Although the stores are not geared to my lifestyle, Pam, we found 75% off sales- yay! I want to take Philo and show him the garden art. The blue cactus really belongs in your garden!

    Carolyn, thank you. Yours was a poem; mine was verse.

    Rurality, they were pretty cool! I'd like to give the artist credit but don't know who it is.

    Lost Roses, meaningful free verse is beyond me but I can write this stuff.

    Dawn, so far, Belgian Waffle is in the lead! And with the rain stopped and the heat returned, watering the containers is back on the schedule.

    You'll like the Divas, Zoey - they're wonderful women.

    Hello Stuart, I'm glad you were amused! Like Charles Dudley Warner, I can't resist a joke, either.

    Oh yes, Chigiy - my Ancestry.com addiction started in 2002. I love to research and write reports for my own family and for my friends' families. I even met some cousins on the Ancestry boards.

    Thank you,


  14. Annie, a lot on your plate, ey? You have an active group and I envy the fact that you meet up with fellow bloggers. That's very cool.

    So you are not only a musician, singer, gardener, great blogger, but you are a poet, too!

  15. Annie, you are a woman of many talents. I enjoy reading your very interesting blog and hearing about the Divas. What a wonderful and fun group!

  16. Wow Annie, you have it together! I am so unorganized this summer that I've done virtually nothing with my genealogy research. Your prose made me smile. I didn't read the book this month but I have read several at google books. Your Diva's group sounds great; large enough to get things done while having a great time and small enough to have a great time while getting things done.

  17. Annie, what a great job you've done. :) On a purely selfish note, I keep looking at that blue cactus mosaic and trying to figure out what would make sense from a regionality standpoint for me to create a sculptural mosaic of for my garden. That knocks me out!

  18. Your rhyme made quite a lot of reason. ;-)

    That blue cactus mosaic is really great!

    Here we've had more the double the normal amount of rainfall in July so I know all about not being able to mow the grass as it is so water logged.

    Good grief, Hank's been at it again! ;-)

  19. thanks for visiting my blog, it is so exciting having a new comment. i also used to live in illinois, about 10 minutes from O'Hare and moved to austin when i was 19. i miss it so much but it is not time to move back yet. unfortunately, i think our supply of mango blue bell is quickly dwindling but if i were you i would take a little road trip to the factory and fill up a cooler with yummy flavors!! i have also discovered a whole family of brown praying mantis residing in my buddleia-very cool. love your blog! wish i could write as well as you do.

  20. You are one busy lady...I'm tired just reading about your day

  21. This was great - multi-tasking in a creative way. Your verse was fun to read. I love reading about the Divas and what they are up to. The blog is a good read too!

    And I like that blue cactus ... I think it would fit in my garden although look quite odd covered with snow in January!

    Enjoy your weekend ... let me know if you want to try your hand at stenciling clematis -

  22. Annie, I just love the pictures on your blog. I feel as if I am on a stroll through your garden. May I take off my shoes and feel the cool grass?

    I loved your tour of the water gardens. I have always been very partial to water gardens. We had two water gardens in our yard when I was growing up, and we had carp in them and wild water lilies. I still miss them. Thanks for sharing your photos.


  23. Hi Mary - I don't do half of what you do! The Austin bloggers started meeting last year and it's been wonderful. The Divas of the Dirt aren't bloggers but are fellow gardeners and that's wonderful, too!

    I don't think it's poetry - but it does rhyme, like my song lyrics...I just like it better that way.

    Hi Bev, thank you - I enjoy your blog, too. My friends make me look more interesting ;-]

    Apple, after hearing how taxing your summer job has been, and about the trip to the Buffalo Garden Walk - I'm tired!

    Hmmm - let's see, BlackswampGirl -ruby glass to make Red Horsechestnut flowers would be obvious for Ohio, but for you - maybe that same ruby glass to make an Amaranth plant.

    Thank you, Yolanda Elizabet. We have a grass called St Augustine - odd and with broader blades, but I got it done! Our weather is now hot with no more rain - I've had to water the containers at least once a day.
    Hank is a force of nature!

    Hello Laura - how funny that we've both lived in the same places. We once lived in a townhouse very close to O'Hare.

    The Mango disappeared, but the Pecos cantaloupe was in the store today and it's another favorite.

    I enjoyed my visit to your blog and admire your paintings very much.

    Sometimes I'm just a bum, CityFarmer - the busy-ness comes in batches ;-]

    Hi Kate - thank you.. I did check around the internet and think I might be able to grow tangutica here... but I'm liking your idea for an ugly fence around the end of the house.

    Hello Josie - in this garden it's usually pretty safe - but Texas is full of fireants!
    I've never had a water garden yet, but really admire them - maybe we'll each have one someday.

    Thank you,


  24. I'm glad to hear you're seeing some sunshine again...but maybe you're not happy having to water containers again!
    I wish I could multi-task as well as you!
    I love your sense of humor Annie :) The rhyme is a great idea, and very well done. You're talented in many ways.
    The blue cactus seems to be a winner! I like it too.

  25. Oooh... I like that idea, Annie! And maybe some silver/grey glass to make mosaic driftwood for the front to go with my "sea" theme up there, too. *grin*

  26. Oh! I forgot about the gardening poetry thing - your rhyme was a good reminder, and I'll have to go over there and take a look (my good intentions to actually participate are just about always thwarted by...life!).


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.