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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, January 09, 2008

Two-Faced Janus

This post, "Two-Faced Janus", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

The name January comes from the Roman god Janus - usually depicted with two faces- one looking forward and one backward.

Looking Forward: You've all probably heard about Spring Fling, the garden bloggers' celebration to be held here in Austin on the first weekend in April.
Pam/Digging and MSS of Zanthan Garden have planned a memorable meeting. You can find details and links on Pam's blog and I'm already giddy at the idea of meeting some of you. Spring Fling is something to look forward to!

Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008

Looking Backward: I'd like to join other garden bloggers who wrote January retrospectives - taking a glance over our shoulders at the past year -

January 2007 brought an ice storm to Austin, bending the trees to the ground and turning them into glazed sculptures.

When GardenRanter Amy Stewart brought her book tour to Austin in February 2007, some of the Austin Garden Bloggers were there to greet her. On the 15th of the month Carol of MayDreams initiated Garden Bloggers' Bloom day. In addition to listing the blooms, I broke down and answered one of those "5 things about me" memes.

March 2007 meant spring flowers and wildflowers, a face-to-face meeting with Felder Rushing, the arrival of contest prizes from La Gringa, a book report and the Austin garden festival known as Florarama. My song about the demise of our Arizona Ash appeared on YouTube and some photos of my old garden appeared in the County Clerk's crazy gardener meme.

April was a full month - scanning flowers, a tribute to a grandmother, hanging out with Garden Bloggers and Digging With The Divas. An April 5th post about why blogging is so enjoyable is one that many of you liked. It was a thrill to be honored with two Mouse & Trowel nominations - one for writing and one as the blogger you'd like to have for a neighbor. I pondered a life living near my fellow 'neighbor nominees' - Carol, Blackswamp Kim and Pam/Digging.

May the posts told of Passalong Plants, the garden, movies and books. To celebrate the arrival of summer the first tomato appeared on a platter and when the Austin garden bloggers met in person, the event appeared in our Austin newspaper.

A trip to Chicago took place in
June . My mother and I enjoyed the return of the 17-year locusts while Philo stayed in Austin building garden furniture. Flooding rains made slugs happy in Austin, this blog had an anniversary and a post about Passalong Daylilies let me tell you about some generous friends.

Those incredible early summer rains pumped up the flower power for the
July Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. In July a different meme called for answers, I wrote doggerel for Muse Day, reminisced about our last 3 gardens and talked about the Divas of the Dirt. Philo and I went on the Austin Pond Society Tour and we described how an area of boring grass became the Pink Entrance Garden.

August was hot - we stayed inside for much of the month and I wrote about painting the living room, told about movies seen in dark, cool theaters, and our home gained a name.

There was another movie in September, along with books, the peripatetic passionflower, a wonderful visit from Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening, a very floral blooming-day post and a song parody doubling as a Garden Muse post and an entry for Rock Flippin' Day.

The environment, red and purple in the garden, photos from the 1970's and the effect of latitude on day length filled the October posts, but the star of the month was undoubtedly the first [and possibly only] Pecan Harvest here at Circus~Cercis.

November brought Harvest haiku, a pretty spectacular blooming-day, the concept of some plants trying to stop other plants from growing, and a tribute to Aunt Phyl and her Passalong Stapelia. Philo constructed a window shelf for the tender plants that had to be brought inside.

December was just a few weeks ago - and my personal favorite was the post about the "Spinning" music video of my song about the Zilker Christmas tree. But the post that got all the comments began with a rant about a manufactured website's use of garden bloggers' posts - with advice and links to Cold Climate Kathy's Help Blog and Mr Brown Thumb. We hoped it was useful, but regretted the need for this kind of advice.

This retrospective may not count as a real post but it reminded me of how many surprising things happened in 2007 - some good and some not. Bet 2008 will be even more surprising - so hold on... it's going to be a bumpy ride.

This post, "Two-Faced Janus", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Sure this is a real post, Annie in Austin. I enjoyed the look back. I think I'll remember most your new songs. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2008 brings besides a lovely spring trip to Austin for GBSF. (I hope that isn't a tire from your car, that would be quite the ride.)

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. I'm sure the Spring Fling will be a blast..what a great idea!
    You've had a memorable year Annie, and documented it very creatively. Your garden and words have been an inspiration to me.
    I'm glad to be reminded of the Lady Banks rose and Coral Honeysuckle combination. They harmonize very nicely together.
    I like the Liatris with the coneflowers too.
    Here's to 2008! May it bring wonderful gardens and plenty of new and inspiring ideas!

  3. Annie, I enjoyed your look back especially because I didn't see all those things the first time. I didn't even know there were garden bloggers until last summer. Blessings, Dee

  4. Annie/Kathy: What a nice retrospective! I only joined the blogging community in April and you know it takes a while to become familiar with the 'family' so I particularly enjoyed learning a bit more about you. The 'Spring Fling' sounds great! Will try to be there!

  5. Carol, I took that photo on the way up to Illinois in December... we had a narrow escape when it blew on the interstate.
    Thank you for your kind words.

    Wish you could be here too, Kerri! I liked that rose and honeysuckle, too and hope they shape up for spring - they're looking crummy right now.

    Dee - I'm sure glad you found the garden blog world and started yours!

    Hello Layanee - when I started reading garden blogs it was possible to 'know' most of the bloggers but we are many in number, now! I hope your plans work out - we'd love to meet you!


  6. Annie - I'm another newbie in gardenblogdom. Thanks for the recap. Your mom must live on the North Shore or around Hinsdale. Here in the Northwest suburbs, we never saw a single cicada. I chaperoned my son's field trip to the Botanic Garden in early June, so at least those kids got to see the cicadas - they were all over the parking lot.

  7. Mr. McGregor's Daughter - maybe it was a real post after all ;-]

    Even though many family members are Cub fans, my roots are on the far SW side - the sound was deafening out there - I loved it!


  8. Annie,

    I loved your pictures and your trip down Memory Lane for 2007. I'm looking forward to next year's posts.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  9. This is a great post, Annie...it's fun to see how much has happened over the past year, and gives us good reason to look forward to this year.
    I figure two-faced Janus has a lot to do with the weather, too...Of course, your weathers a bit more sensible than ours, what with snowstorms, melts, and such happening every other day.

  10. Hello dear Annie,

    Thank you for the trip down your blog's memory lane.
    You are very important to me. Your's was the second gardening blog I read on a regular basis.
    I love your sense of humor and I'm in awe of your knowledge of gardening.
    It has been so nice to get to know you through your writing and pictures.
    I would love to have you as a neighbor.

    Nice Bette Davis quote.
    It reminds me of my life.

  11. I'm definitely looking forward to the Spring Fling. But I sure did enjoy your look back at 2007. You had a number of interesting gardening adventures, and your humor and creativity always shine through each post. Looking forward to more Transplantable Rose in 2008.

  12. Annie, I was struck by your photo because you look so much like my sister, especially the big eyes !

    Enjoyed your look back over last year, which was both frustrating and fruitful it seems.

    I feel better knowing that you're a Chicago Cubs fan even though you hail from the SW suburbs. Yes we know that they're the "lovable losers " but just wait 'til next year, right !?

    Hope that 2008 will be wonderful for you. Wish I could join you in Austin but that is the beginning of the garden season here and as you can imagine, it's very hectic.

  13. What a great post Annie. Had fun reading over your look back at the past year.

  14. 2007 was certainly a full gardening (or garden related)year for you Annie. I started blogging in February of that year and you were one of the first to visit me.

    That Spring Fling thingy sounds wonderful, wish I could join you all.

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Hi Annie, I loved both the faces of this Janus especially the trip down your memory lane- pretty excititng year you had there!
    I wish I could attend the meet but with the proverbial seven seas separating us, I will have to satisfy my curiosity through your post on the meet.

  16. Annie... nice retro! Good to have known you this year, even at a distance.

  17. I'm glad to hear the tire blowout didn't cause an further accident. I enjoyed the trip down your garden memory path! I wish I could attend GBSF...maybe we could have one in a different area each year!

  18. Annie (or shall I address you as Glinda?) - I can't believe I haven't stumbled on your blog yet, but this is some fun stuff. I connect with Pam (Digging) frequently but evidently haven't followed all the luscious links. If you're interested in throwing another California blog onto your link list, I'll be adding you to mine just as soon as I hit the "enter" key.

  19. Thanks for the through the year tour. Being a new blogger starting in December, there is much read to get to know the other bloggers better. A good way to fill those occasional too cold to garden days. The Lady Banks and honeysuckle combe in inspirational, maybe the perfect replacement for Killer, Alberic Barbier, if it will overwinter here. It is worth a try.

  20. Please forgive all the typos in the above comment....more coffee please!

  21. What a great post. I always love looking at your photos too.

    I have never been one for looking back, I always look forward. I am looking forward to spring. It won't be long now... and then summer! Yay!

  22. Annie, I really enjoyed your year in review. What I remembered most were your blue flowers and your song videos. I hope 2008 isn't bumpy at all. You deserve smooth sailing.

  23. Oh, I am longing to take pictures like these..it's very cold her in Chicago....frozen is the word

    ...I have a good friend who buys and sells wonderfully chic antiques and she is perhaps moving to Austin ...could you email me with any information I could pass onto to her.. i.e. about where to but...estate sales, auctions, etc????


    thank you
    cityfarmer (Joy)

  24. Sherry, your blog is a lot of fun and you have a great style!

    Hello Jodi - our weather has had cold spots but nothing like last year so I'm not complaining! I needed to make the post to remind myself what happened - do any of you find yourselves looking up past events on your own blog, because that's where you keep your brain cells and memories?? It's freaky!

    Hello Chigiy - these are sweet words indeed, and I think you'd be a wonderful neighbor. You
    have such a gift for words and an equal one for people.

    But on those last couple of posts you and your family sure had that bumpy ride! Maybe I'd better add "Eve" to my queue - been years since I watched it.

    Pam/Digging - you thought up something very exciting for this spring. I've been very lucky to meet so many other Austin gardeners who like to share adventures ;-]

    I will take that as a compliment, Carolyn! Is that the sister who's an Irish twin with you or the other sister?

    I wish you could come, too - maybe an opportunity to visit Austin some other time will pop up.

    Thank you very much MrBrownThumb - I've always enjoyed your blog, and now I also appreciate the way you shared your knowledge of how we can maneuver through the larger blogging world.

    The first time I saw Bliss, Yolanda, I wished for a magic carpet in order to get there - what fun it's been to see your garden unfold. Too bad you didn't get a magic carpet, either!

    Hello Green Thumb - it's good to hear from you - and it would be very exciting to have a visitor come all the way from India. Maybe some day!

    Thanks Don - your plant collections are so wonderful they might be safer at a distance! I'm glad to have found your garden blog.

    A combination of luck and Philo's skill got us through, Leslie. There we were on the side of the road, and I'm still shaking, but just had to take a photo because I might need it for the blog!

    Gardenblogger meetings once seemed like remote possibilities, but seeing how things happened this past year I think there's a good chance we'll be in the same place someday!

    Welcome Garden Wise Guy - it's Annie on this blog! Thank you for coming over from Pam's - you'll be in my links, too - your blog is very interesting!

    You're welcome Frances - it's wonderful how many gardeners are connecting and telling about their gardens. I've seen your struggles with Alberic Barbier, but have heard Lady Banks can get out of control in some places. The native coral honeysuckle has been very well behaved here! It will be fun to meet you if your plans to attend Spring Fling work out!

    Thanks Josie - you move way too fast to have time to look back! Wrap up and stay warm for a while longer;-]

    I'm glad you came over, Mary - shall we wish each other some nice, gentle soaking rain, with enough sun to get tomatoes and lots of beautiful birds?

    Hello CityFarmer - you'll be taking better ones soon - just like last summer!

    I've replied by email, but don't have much information. I hope your friend has a smooth move.

    Sorry to be late replying - I really appreciate your taking the time to comment,


  25. Hmmm... how did I miss this post? I have been away for a bit and it seems like I'm way behind in my blog reading.

    What I really liked about your retrospective is that I remembered reading many of your posts and enjoyed thinking back on them. I missed your January and February posts, but started blog reading in March.

    I hope you are planning to do more YouTube videos with songs. Those were fun.

    It was good to see your picture in February.

    Here's to another year of blogging fun!

  26. Hello Kate - thank you for commenting - I frequently find that an interesting post has sneaked past me - and can't keep up as more and more wonderful new blogs appear.

    Sooner or later there will be more new YouTubes - some people may think that's a threat rather than a promise.

    I like your toast to the new year!



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