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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 13, 2007


Garden Blogger Bloom Day and Blog Action Day are rapidly approaching. While I struggle with those large concepts, here's a small post - and small is the appropriate size since what passes for a harvest here is paltry, in spite of 3 years of amending and working the soil, buying good quality plant starts and an abundance of water this summer.

Some plants grew well, but made little fruit - look at that pitiful Bell pepper. The fig tree finally started to grow - these four figs at once are a bonanza! We can't make sauces when one small tomato per week, pre-punctured by some critter, is the norm. This is the first year ever for an edible pecan - and it took nearly 40 inches of rain to get them. I cracked a bucketful to get the nuts on that plate - the rest were empty, not developed, or moldy. If you want to flavor food, we can offer rosemary, English mint, lemon thyme, basil, culinary sage, Mexican oregano, chives, Pineapple sage, parsley and Mexican mint marigold, AKA Texas tarragon, pictured above.
Instead of Bell peppers we can pick fiery Indian peppers or hot-as-blazes Mariachi peppers. Our garden could not sustain us for long - it's not a root cellar - it's more like a refrigerator containing nothing but condiments.


  1. I've cracked a bunch of pecans (there are SO many this year) but I've only found one edible one so far.

    I got one edible tomato out of my two tomato plants.

    The jalapeno pepper has done better and I've made some nice bacon-wrapped jalapeno and cream cheese appetizer from them.

    Looking ahead, the summer squash has begun flowering. Maybe the winter garden will be more productive.

    (Oh, those yellow chilis you gave me were nice. We had them with Thai food.)

  2. You may not have a lot but you have an interesting mix! What variety are the figs? I'm trying to decide how to shoehorn one into my yard and am interested in suggestions!

  3. Thank you for the comment on my blog. Maybe next year will be better or maybe you just need a different variety that will fair better with what austin can give. I've never veggie gardened so I don't know how to make bountiful produce. Your little figs are great though. Better luck next time.

  4. MSS, we used a ladder to reach into the tree and pulled out the pecans from husks that were almost open. But the squirrels are moving fast! I'm glad you liked those peppers.

    Leslie, mine is a 'Celeste', which I'd seen recommended in a couple of Central Texas gardening books. There's a fig forum at GardenWeb - bet they know what does well in your part of California.


  5. Luckily, we don't have to rely on our gardens to survive. How did people survive in Austin in the early days?

    And after seeing your one bell pepper, I am suddenly overcome with guilt becuase I have a bunch of bell peppers and other peppers out in the garden, begging to be picked. I'll pick them tomorrow, I promise.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  6. In an odd way I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one in Texas, this year of the great floods, producing munchkin size red bells, and herbs so tall and wide the Springer lays under them for shade.

  7. Ha ha harvest indeed. Your last sentence had me laughing out loud. All you need are a few chile pequins to round it out with salsa makings. Oh, and cilantro.

  8. Annie, do you cook with your Mexican mint marigold? I planted some this year after reading about it on your blog. It grew fast and fabulous - bloomed all summer, smelled nice - but I haven't a clue how use it in the kitchen.

    The pecans look good - I'm imagining a loaf of pecan bread right now...

  9. Wow, sounds like a rough season. But on the bright side, those herbs look fantastic!

  10. Pecans? That you have a few is great and I am sure that next year will be better. Gardeners are eternal optimists! I also had a poor tomato harvest this year. I need to pay more attention next year. Fish emulsion fertilizer has done the trick in the past and I neglected to give them a dose this year as I was ...blogging...maybe? Oh well at least we had a veggie garden and the arugula is still great as is the swiss chard!

  11. Well, your herbs do look lovely!
    Well rotted animal manure dug in liberally gave me my first vegetables. I actually have to make all my soil from scratch, as the ground is pure coral.

  12. Your last sentence made me laugh. However, if you wanted to live off the land, you could. You definitely have the talent and know-how!

  13. I seem to have done it again. I posted a comment but forgot to do the word verif. twice. Oh well. We planted a green fig one year but when it didn't sprout the next year by the end of May, I thought it was dead so I dug it up only to find that it was still dormant. I guess they need very warm soil before growing. Is yours a brown turkey fig? How nice that you had a pecan harvest.

  14. Funny post...garden frustrations are inevitable, aren't they? Ah well, the pecans look nice! I bet you could at least make one loaf of pecan bread, with figs in it!

  15. I wish I could share our tomatoes with you. Like Carol, I have not peppers, but tomatoes begging to be picked, and I'm giving them away by the bagful. Luckily there are plenty who are happy to receive them (easier than zucchini to share:) I've canned 20 qts and will give most of those away too because I'm the only one who eats tomatoes in this house! Are we crazy, or what?
    Sounds like a lot of work for a few pecans, but they look delicious. Hope you get more figs next year!
    I laughed at your last sentence too :)

  16. Yay! Figs. I hope that you ate them with gusto (and a glass of wine).

  17. Hi Annie,

    I am impressed by the pecans - they are my favourite nut and cost a small fortune here.

    You have an impressive herb collection and what I love, is that your photographs look like mid-summer ... and that makes me smile.

  18. I guess I am not the only one with paltry harvests! :)
    The herbs look great though!


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