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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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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for February '08

This post, "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for February '08", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

Once again Carol of May Dreams has sent us out to wander the garden in February, hoping for something in flower. Most signs of spring in my garden are new leaves, like those on cilantro, iris, daylily, ranunculus and anemone or the less welcome leaves of weeds.
The few flowers are almost identical to what I posted last February for the very first GBBD, but instead of three yellow daffodils, this time there are six at once. In closeup the cups have a little orange to the yellow - when we ran into the bulbs while building the shed I relocated them here.

These simple flowers can't be exciting for those of you with large daffodil collections, but any daffodil with enough stamina to not only return but increase in Austin is worth keeping!

Can you see the red on the ground to the right of those daffodils? Yes, there were some warm and windy days this week. Today the camellia has only a few flowers left, with the faded flowers at its feet.

The 'Grand Primo' narcissus blooms in a few places - here waving three heads of small fragrant daffodils near the garden shed in the morning light .And the same daffodil in the early evening. When I take photos in the middle of the day the sun is so strong it washes out all detail. Now, while the pecan trees are leafless, our back yard is at its sunniest.

At left that 2-year old Pelargonium/geranium keeps flowering on the window shelf, accompanied by two cyclamen plants.
The Coral honeysuckle has put out a new set of leaves with buds ready to open. Blackswamp Kim wants to try this one - I hope it grows for her.

The hanging baskets always have violas and pansies in winter, but each year we meet new faces. I like this little no-name viola in black and violet.

Pam/Digging says her Carolina jessamine has lots of open flowers. The buds on my plant are not so far along as they were a year ago - I had to search for an open flower - these were down low about a foot off the ground.

If I hadn't picked up this 'Bon-Bon Yellow' calendula last month there wouldn't be a single new flower outside - is this a plot to make us buy more plants? Calendula's use in cooking, the reason for the 'pot' in pot marigold, means this yellow flower belongs with the herbs so it's in a hanging basket near the herb troughs.

Not pictured but blooming are:
Osmanthus/ Sweet olive
White flowering oxalis and Dark purple oxalis
Upright rosemary and prostrate rosemary
Looks like February is still a yellow, white and purple month.

Although Carol's invention is now beginning its second year, I was out of town last summer and had no June GBBD post - I'm pretty sure Chuck made the full dozen blooming posts for year one - did anyone else do one every month?

This post, "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for February '08", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Annie, Your daffodils look so fresh and the violas are nice "faces" to greet your guests, hanging from baskets on your porch. Your garden seems on the verge of exploding with flowers. Who knows what the next few months will bring?

    I posted all twelve months for year one! No plots here to get everyone to buy more flowers, though doesn't every gardener like a new 'excuse' to buy another plant or two?

    Thanks for joining in for "Year 2".
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Annie,

    I'm eyeing all those fallen Camellia petals. But that's just me - constantly pressing flower petals.

    I loved the white narcissus. I once grew some like this, a long time ago.

    The Coral Honeysuckle looks as if it will be in full bloom for the next GBBD. I love the look of Carolina Jessamine bloom.

    You were lucky to have met Amy Stewart - I really enjoyed her book, FC and will start reading her earthworms book on the weekend.

  3. Annie...you've got lots of cheerful yellow...so nice this time of year! Your baskets look so happy...I like your no-name viola too. I posted each month last year which is easy enough here in Davis for any gardener, so it's sort of an unfair advantage I suppose. I'd better get out there tomorrow and take photos...!

  4. Well, you have far more daffodils than I do in my garden. The only ones I planted didn't make it into flower (God knows why...)Beuatifull pansies. I love hanging baskets but unfortunatelly our very ot dry climate doesn't suit them very well

  5. We never tire of daffodils, love them all. Our usually open around Feb 20, a patch that was growing at the house next door that we knocked down to build the garage. They were all dug up, they must have been there for at least twenty years without being touched, hundreds of babies, and spread all over the garden. Now they open weeks before the others and are the most cheering thing one can imagine.
    Frances at Faire Garden

  6. Dear Annie, your garden sure seems to be welcoming the onset of spring.So many happy blooms-Daffodils, pansies, narcissus, calendulas...I love them all!

    I too missed my November GBBD post as I was out of station.This time also I am on vacation in Delhi, but I have posted something which i am sure you would like to see.
    Best Wishes

  7. Hi, Annie! Love those violas, and you can never have too many daffodils. But calendulas are an "eh" plant for me. I don't hate them, but they don't do anything for me, either.

  8. Wow! I can't believe you have yellow daffodils already. I'm still in the paperwhite/italicus phase.

  9. Ah - you talk about your simple little daffodils -- I think they are amazing. Most blooms in the garden make me smile, but early daffodils are like no other. And you did a great job photographing the grand primo detail - making the green seem very dark. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Carol, we're expecting a weather event this weekend and I may go cut those daffodils for a vase!
    Twelve months of flowers in Indiana is a big deal.

    Kate, I never press or save any flowers - sorry! March was pretty flowery last year, but we do get some devastating late frosts..very up-and-down weather here!

    Leslie - I won't count it as cheating but will enjoy the post!

    Gintoino, I plant a few more each year but they don't always bloom. My baskets are mostly in semi-shade, but I still have to water them often.

    A patch of 20-year old daffodils sounds great, Frances - and I also never tire of daffodils!

    Green Thumb - you have a wonderful post! Vacation posts are a fun way to participate. I couldn't see your post in Internet Explorer but it showed up on Firefox. My Divas of the Dirt site also needs Firefox to see it all -what's going on??

    Kathy, it looks good to me right now, but I haven't thrown it in soup yet.

    These daffodils were pretty early last year too MSS, maybe they are February Gold.

    I like them too, Diana. I didn't mess with the photo much - it's just an effect of low light in early evening... but it does look kind of romantic, doesn't it!

    Thank you all- Annie

  11. That jasmine is pretty, and the violas are lovely as well. You have a very colorful collection of flowers.
    I missed a few months posting of the Bloomdays, must try harder this year to get them all done.

  12. A beautiful selection of springy blooms, Annie! And I love the idea of Carol secretly being in cahoots with the garden-center industry to get us to buy more bloomers for winter color. They certainly owe her some sort of thanks, I'd say!

  13. Gosh, now I'm sorry I didn't keep any yellow daffodils from last year. Instead, I started over with pink and white ones because I really thought those looked best in the light of my garden. But your yellow daffs are intensely cheering.

    How do you maintain such intensely florific cyclamen?!

  14. Seeing your purples, yellows and other colors on my screen right now lifts my spirits considerably Annie. I love your calendula! They brought beautiful late color to my garden last fall and I intend to grow more this year.
    I've been having the same suspicions about Carol because I keep wanting to go the store and buy something blooming just so I can find something to post about :)
    I do have a wee bit of color, but not much.

  15. The daffodils and narcissus are so stunning, especially knowing we have such inclement weather coming this weekend. My camellia is starting to look like yours with a full skirt of fallen flowers surrounding it. But I still have almost 25 buds on the plant, so I hope to get another month or so out of it.

  16. Well, at least I can visit your garden and enjoy the flowers when nothing is growing in mine.

    I love violas. They seed rampantly in my yard and I just let them go. How nice to see little flowers among the green blades.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  17. Dear A.,

    Daffodils over here have been so lame. Good for you to have these fiery yellows. (My dad, in KY, has always called these yellow ones with long trumpets "jonquils" and so do I. We got loads of them for his 90th b'day a few years back, tho when you buy them from the florist, they don't seem to last long). May yours bloom till the Ides of March!


  18. I love violas and buy them every year hoping they will reseed. They never do for me. I'm winter sowing some this year, hopefully, they'll grow.

  19. Annie, your daffodils are screaming spring! Seeing yours makes me anxious for mine. They are only up about an inch out of the ground. I had never heard the story behind 'pot marigolds'. It was nice to read that too.

  20. Ah.....a few sunny blooms from Annie to brighten our dreary week. I don't know when we'll see the sun again, let alone plants...it's being a long, hard winter here, so I'm hanging on to you southern gardeners' gardens for dear life.

  21. I believe I missed Bloom Day only once, also in June as I was headed overseas then.

    I wish I could smell your garden, Annie. With jessamine, sweet olive, and narcissus, I bet it's delightful. I'm envious of your daffodils. Mine seems to have disappeared over the years, and they were supposed to be hardy here. Isn't that what they all say...

  22. Still just dreaming here while looking at a sea of white. Thanks for sharing yours.

  23. Your flowers are making me wish...for a suitably wet spring. Your violas lit me up and I must tell you our pansies look horrid this year. I'll get some cyclamen for indoors and admire them. At least I can water them inside.

    We've had a good amount of rain in February thus far, Annie! If the trend continues, we might have our water restrictions lifted late spring.

  24. Hi SalixTree Silvia, this yellow jessamine is a favorite in Austin. I'll be over to see what's growing in Ireland!

    Hello Nan Ondra, well Carol may not have intended to kick up sales, but that's certainly a side effect!

    ChuckB, in IL I was more picky about daffodils and replaced the yellows in front with pink cupped varieties. But with our soil and summers, any daffodil that can live & bloom in Austin can stay!
    The cyclamen don't look too hot up close, but they did pretty well in that window for awhile.

    Hello Kerri - I haven't tried calendula here before and just bought one for that pot - maybe I'll try them from seeds next year.

    Bonnie, there are just a few but I love how they look from the kitchen window. The camellia had nearly 50 buds to start... it grows slowly but it sure does flower! I hope yours looks good after the rain.

    I used to hear 'jonquil' sometimes, too Julie, usually for the yellow mid-size daffodils that grew with more than one flower on a stem - seems like they were sold around St Patrick's Day a long time ago. Jonquil is a pretty name, isn't it?

    No violas ever reseeded here either, Robin of Nesting Place - maybe we'll both get lucky some year!

    Hello Lisa at Greenbow - they're a little less schoolbus yellow in real life - but the photo is pretty close.
    I think the calendula leaves add vitamins and flavor to soups and stews. A friend in IL had them self-sowing every spring... very old-fashioned, aren't they?

    Hi Jodi - it's been very gray for my Chicagoland family, too. And if you're counting on us to bring you some floral color, that gives me a good reason to buy something at the nursery!

    So we were both gone in June, Pam/Digging - usually a pretty floral month, too! Although the jessamine has too few flowers for fragrance yet, the 'Grand primo' made itself known. The sweet olive has been wafting its delicate scent for months - never overpowering. I love it.

    Apple - wish I could send you some real flowers! Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    Mary, I can only keep pansies and violas alive in containers... they croak whenever I put them into flowerbeds. The violas are under the overhang and they stay nicer. We all dream of a garden year with enough rain but no floods - hope those dreams come true for you.

    Thank you for the comments,


  25. What cheerful blossoms you have! I just love all your yellow - so good for my mood. Thanks for sharing your February blooms

  26. Old House Gardens has a special collection of daffs they recommend for Southern gardens. I bought some for indoor forcing, myself.

  27. A wonderful assortment of blooming things. I especially like the Grand Primo narcissus. I like the multi-flowered stems. We just have the plain old common ones but they are nowhere near blooming yet.

  28. Hi Annie,
    You have a lot going on in your yard for a day in Feb.
    I like your calendula. They are so dependable. I take their seeds and sprinkle them around and they come up everywhere.

  29. Hi Annie! I thought of you this weekend - I picked up some more lambs ears since the ones you gave me did so well. Planted them in the shadier part of my back gardens, thinking they'd appreciate a little protection this summer.

    Hope you are well!


  30. Omigosh, look at all the flowers in your garden. I want to live where you live! It's still winter here, but the sun is starting to peek out.

    Soon, very soon....

  31. Is the sky in Austin really that blue?

    Your flowers are gorgeous! We woke up with several inches of snow this morning, so to get my flower fix I need to visit all the Austin blogs this morning!

    Have a wonderful day.

  32. I always wondered why they were called "pot marigolds," when you can grow regular marigolds in pots, too. Thanks for answering that question, Annie!

    Those "primo" daffodils sure are lovely. And did I tell you last year that I did buy one of those honeysuckles? I planted it last year by a post on the fence, but I need to stain the fence early this spring and give it some things to attach to so it can grow up and be pretty like yours. :)

  33. Don't those pansies have the sweetest faces? I was in NYC for garden bloom day so I posted about it instead. Thanks for taking us on a stroll.~~Dee

  34. I really like your Bloom Day post...those bulbs really cheer me up! Mine are all buried under snow for now...*sigh*. LOVE your new header with the mob of blue jays!

  35. Wow! Pretty, pretty, pretty! Do you know I've not once honored a Bloom Day on my blog? I'm a total slacker. Your garden is so divine, Annie. I love your daffodils & narcissus and find them exciting. After years in Florida any blubs that return in the Spring are a wonder to me.


  36. Hi MaryBeth - thanks for visiting from your much more tropical Texas garden!

    Hello EAL - I'll have to check that out... Austin is the place where the South meets the West, so some of them might work!

    The Grand Primo are not very large, Ki, in spite of the name, but I like them a lot, too.

    Chigiy, if they like it here they're welcome to seed around- very cheerful so far.

    Hi MarthaChick - you could have had more lambs ears! I was thinking about you, too... narrow bulb leaves came up and I couldn't figure out what they were at first. I think they're the crocosmia you'd given me. The cannas were wonderful and the crinum are making new leaves. I'm okay - had some very important out-of-state houseguests so haven't been on the computer much!

    Hi Josie - they're spread out, but some are tough. It can be beautiful here, but how could you live without the ocean?

    Thank you MightyMatt1313 - they're not looking so good now - a warm and windy weekend fried the petals.

    Sherry, I think my camera accentuates the blue, but our skies can be incredible - and with the leaves down the light is intense.
    The flowers are opening but we might freeze tomorrow night - NOT good news!

    Blackswamp Kim - it was something I'd heard about long ago. I wasn's sure if it was useful information but thought anything with the word 'pot' in it out to have some explanatory note attached.
    You will love that honeysuckle!

    Pansy faces are such a delight, aren't they Dee - I'm about 10 days behind on blog reading.. will never catch up but I'm trying!

    Thank you Lisa - your daffodils may come later, but will probably last longer once they open. That blue jay photo was a lucky catch - I'm glad you like it.

    Dawn, you are not a slacker... just have a different drum to march to right now. In Illinois we had different bulbs that returned like tulips and crocus. We never had crinum, amaryllis or oxblood lilies up there!

    Thanks for the comments - I'll try to catch up with all of your posts,



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