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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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Friday, March 14, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, March 2008

This post, "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, March 2008", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

Warm weather has arrived in Austin - please come in through the garden gate and see what's blooming! Carol of May Dreams established the Day of Blooms over a year ago and we gardenbloggers are now so well trained that as the 15th approaches, we go into Pavlovian trances, automatically snapping flower photos.
Most perennials are green but the 'Acoma' crepe myrtles above are still leafless. Can you see the vegetable garden? It's turned over and after more compost is added it'll be ready for tomatoes and peppers.

Old fashioned white iris bloom in the bed just to the south of the vegetable plot. This nice clump was started when I rescued a couple of deer-gnawed corms from my old garden. Once in containers they thrived and multiplied.

Just beyond the iris is a Bridal Wreath spiraea in bloom, with a few of the fragrant little 'Thalia' daffodils and some grape hyacinth at its feet.

More 'Thalia' grow near the shed - this time with a sometimes-evergreen groundcover called Mazus reptans.

We planted a native evergreen sumac in this area near the south fence last spring. It's alive, but not really thriving. Hey - squirrel! Quit digging up the plants in that pot!

What has thrived in this bed are bulbs - even Christmas-gift amaryllis rebloomed when planted in this ground. A few dollar store daffodils called 'Pink Charm' bloomed last spring and returned this year. After its photo was taken, I cut a few 'Pink Charm' and 'Thalia' daffodils for a vase inside the house - although my post may make Austin look like a spring dream, our temperatures reached 94°F/34.4ºC this afternoon.

I had no idea anemones like this 'St Brigid' variety could grow in Austin until South Austin blogger and gardener Rantor told about the ones that return to her garden each spring. Many thanks, Rantor!

One inexpensive bag of mixed bulbs last fall has produced some red anemones

And some fuchsia pink anemones in both single and double forms.

Over on the patio the faithful coral honeysuckle is making buds. This spring is more colorful than last year in spite of sneaky frosts - all the iris had started to open when a couple of cold nights grazed us. Any flowers or buds showing color froze, but the less developed buds are opening now just in time to be frizzled by heat.

These "Amethyst Flame' iris are a Passalong from
Pam/Digging - aren't they [and she] wonderful?

Let's take a closer look at the peach iris. They're blooming in the bed that was enlarged and replanted by my friends the Divas of the Dirt in October. In early winter I added small starts of yellow snapdragons and dark purple petunias.The annuals established roots in the unfrozen soil but didn't make much top growth until the last few weeks. Many of the snapdragons are beginning to open.

As we head out the gate to the front we pass the small Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' whose winter fortitude was admired by Kate in previous months. It's now covered in buds.
Except for more white iris and a few petunias not much is happening in the pink garden - a little cluster of dark pink hyacinths opened and finished during the 4 weeks between bloom days. This petunia is an old fashioned cottage variety that made it through last summer and fall... it's also a reseeder and has produced the tiny plant to the right.

Two of the Redbuds that give our garden its name Circus~Cercis are in bloom. This one is Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' - the leaves are dark purple when new, fading to green in summer's heat.

We bought a Texas Whitebud last spring, Cercis canadensis texensis 'Alba', to plant where the Arizona Ash once grew. There were no blooms on it so we had to trust the label - yay! The buds are white!
I'll be around to see the other bloom posts but not right away - my 2008 turn as hostess for the Divas of the Dirt landed on St. Patrick's Day weekend. This lovely 'Mutabilis' rose will soon be planted in the footprint of the departed Ash - just one of the plants that the Divas will use to change a once-shady lawn into a flower garden.

This post, "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, March 2008", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Annie your garden is truly laughing in flowers. It is such a pleasure to see all of these blooms and all the greenery in your garden. My garden is still mostly brown. Your garden reminds me that there is a lot to look forward to.

  2. I love the Pink Charm daffodil. So elegant.

  3. Thanks for inviting us through the garden gate. I love to see a beautiful garden like yours, full of bloom with a spot for a vegetable garden, too. I recognize most of your flowers, but not that intriguing little ground cover.

    Your garden looks so well-cared for and like a delightful place to sit a spell and smell the flowers.

    Thanks for joining us for bloom day once again.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Annie...I hope you have a great Divas of the Dirt Day! Your garden looks wonderful, as always. I'm with Carol on the Mazus reptans...I'd never heard of it but took a moment to look it up in my Sunset book...it grows here too! I'll be keeping a look out for it...I might 'need' one.

  5. Stunning Spring garden especially love the Pink Charm!
    sunkissed from Arizona NG

  6. You have an extensive BD post this month, despite that dreadfully hot temperature this afternoon. Blech. I'm glad the purple irises are blooming so well for you, and I absolutely can't wait for more pics of your whitebud tree. Lovely Alba.

  7. Thanks for the tour, Annie. Your iris seem to be in full swing as well as some daffs and the anemones. We can overwinter those here in TN too, with losses, but they are worth replanting every year, the colors are so brilliant. Your veggie bed looks so inviting, the veggies will give you lots of tasty treats for your efforts.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  8. Thanks for the tour of your March blooms, Annie. I love your two redbuds. Passing through Alabama and Tennessee on the way home from Florida I saw many pink redbuds blooming in the woods along the highway.

    Your irises are gorgeous as well. Wish I could spend an afternoon in your garden with my easel set up.

  9. So many beatiful blooms! I particularly like the "Amethyst Flame' iris (I had seen them before at Digging).The Mazus reptans is also a very interesting plant (I wonder if it would survive hot and dry weather?)

  10. IWhat a wonderful tour. Isn't the contrast of the Anemone's rich flower color and foliage striking? It's a flower I have never tried....must look into that!

    clay and limestone

  11. Wonderful to see so many things in bloom Annie. Gladdens the heart weary of the drabness.

    The white iris looks gorgeous as do the A. coronarias. I bought a boxful of the anemones too and hopefully they'll appear one day but nary a hint of them yet. They don't overwinter here very well so I don't expect them to survive more than one season which is a shame.

    What a good choice for the Ash replacement. I saw several of the white redbuds for sale at a nursery but they wanted almost $200 for the trees so it was a no go. I'll just have to vicariously enjoy yours. Redbuds at the big box store were going for $18 and even the forest pansies were being sold for that price. I wonder if the white variety is difficult to propagate. I haven't seen very many of them for sale.

  12. I so enjoyed seeing your many flowers! I have not seen a Texas white bud before, it looks lovely. I have some Thalia daffodils, too. How long do spring bulbs last in Texas, or is there no difference than in cold winter areas?

  13. Annie, I love going for a walk through your garden. The snapdragons are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. They are one of my favorite flowers.

  14. I'm more dog-like in my Pavlovian response to "Bloom Day" - I start to drool. I'm totally drooling over that fuschia Anemone! As they aren't hardy here, I have to settle for beautiful photos of them. Your Rebuds must be a stunning sight from across the garden. I noticed that the squirrel was missing from the second photo with the pot. I can just imagine you putting down the camera & running across the garden to shoo it away.

  15. Hi Annie! Love your red and white bud trees. And the honeysuckle is such a stunning color. Most of our neighborhood is draped in pinks and whites as all the trees are flowering. But not the ones in our yard--we're late bloomers all along our street.

  16. Ow - 94 degrees? No more whining about our cold for me! It seems so odd to see daffodils blooming at the same time as petunias. And we won't be thinking of planting tomatoes and peppers for another 2 months or so. It's really fascinating to see how different spring is for you, Annie!

  17. Everything's beautiful, and I especially enjoyed the white and redbuds. This is the first I've heard of your Divas of the Dirt. What a cool concept!

  18. Most wonderful, Annie, though I don't think I want the 94 degrees...I like the Thalia daffs the best, I think!

  19. Great blooms Annie. Your white flowers are amazing- I have a whitebud as well and it's still thinking about blooming, not quite caught up with yours yet. And that is a perfect picture of the mutabilis.
    Have a great diva weekend.

  20. I wish my pink daffs came up pink instead of yellow. Yours are so nice!

  21. I think I like the Texas whitebud even better than the traditional redbud.

    I always wanted to try Thalia daffodils. I loved their recurved petals. Have they done well for you down here?

    My sickly Bridal wreath may be making a comeback. The photos of yours inspire me to keep nursing it along.

    Hope you had fun with the Divas! Only three weeks to Spring Fling--excitement!

  22. I really dig that white-flowering Texas redbud.I am now on a mission to acquire one of my own!

  23. The Coral Honeysuckle looks so pretty underneath the fuchsia anemones. It's funny that I just left a comment on MSS' blog after seeing her anemones. I had some anemones bloom last summer after storing them in the fridge the prior winter and when I posted a picture of one of the very few blooms that appeared, I vaguely recollect you commenting that you didn't think you could grow them. So I'm happy that you are having luck with them. I think they are one of my favourite flowers (though Scabiosa still hold top place in my heart - I'll always love them the best).

    I enjoyed seeing the different iris in bloom - from the old-fashioned white to the Amethyst Flame and to the peach.

    It is hard to imagine 94f when we didn't make it above freezing today. I hope it cools off so your spring bulbs in bloom last longer.

    Both the white and the red circus flowers are pretty.

    I hope your weekend with the Divas is a productive and fun one!

  24. Lovely, Annie... hard to believe it's 94 degrees there! It got to 39 today... want to split the difference? *grin*

    By the way, those snapdragons are such a lovely shade of yellow-on-yellow. Do they bloom all the time for you down there, or do you find that they "melt out" in the heat of the summer and then rebound when it's cool again?

  25. Hi Annie, what a lovely bloms day you have had. All blooms look beautiful, but I especially like the red Anemones.

    34C is what the noons are touching here too; quite manageable at present but will become intolerable from here on

  26. Nobody likes temperature extremes like you've had but I'd take a hot day here right now without complaint! This time of year I love bright colors and the anemones, honeysuckle and petunias make me smile.

  27. Wow. You guys look further along than we are - did I read that it was 94 degrees there yesterday? We haven't done anything like that yet (but perhaps those warm temperatures are heading our way?).

    Now, first what I noticed is how clean and nice all of your beds look - geez, florida betony has taken over a few of mine, and I'm slowly pulling it out. I am definitely envirous of all those florida-betony-less beds! Also, my mutabilis is covered in buds, but not blooms yet - hopefully very soon! Also - enjoy your day with some help in your garden, I've always thought that sounded like such a nice idea.

  28. Annie, what a lovely tour through your garden gate. It looks as if you've got your spring garden in complete control... all tidy and ready for the growth you're sure to see over the next few weeks. I'm sure you've said this somewhere but I'm wondering what zone you are?

    I love the irises and anemones but no way will they grow in my Florida garden. Your honeysuckle is sure to give you great joy! All your blooms were fun to see. Enjoy your hostess time with the Divas and happy gardening.
    meems @ HoeandShovel

  29. And thank you for mentioning that Thalias are fragrant. I put mine in a pot in an inaccessible location and forgot about them. I checked after reading your post, and they smell very nice!

  30. I was so thrilled to discover we share a daffodil in common! My 'Thalia' daffs will be blooming in another month or so. And I'm going to see if I can't find a source for that 'Amethyst' iris, I have other bearded iris growing here.

  31. Annie, 94 degrees! Looking at your garden reminds me of July days over here.

    I'm smitten with your "Amethyst Flame' iris. Beautiful.

  32. Hi Lisa at Greenbow - the bloom times overlap in odd ways don't they? The plants are in a race with the heat. I'm looking forward to your spring flowers, too.

    Thanks Jane Marie, it's got a nice form, and is rather petite.

    I may tease you about training us for bloom day Carol, but also appreciate your invitation! Thank you for calling my garden beautiful - each year we added one spring blooming tree, along with some bulbs, perennials and annuals, so this has been a very gradual process.

    We Divas had a wonderful day, Leslie, but I'm still kind of wrecked - and hoping to stay awake long enough to look at a few blogs. I'd heard of the Mazus reptans years ago so when it turned up in the groundcover section of a local nursery it was irresistible.

    Thank you Naturgirl - even better -it was a bargain daffodil!

    Wasn't it a bummer, Pam/Digging? Not the best day to be baking, for sure. It's been a thrill to see the way your iris bloomed!
    I'm very happy with the whitebud.

    Last year a package of anemones produced just one plant, Frances, but Rantor's blog made me decide to try again - and probably add more this fall.
    In reality, the veggie bed will probably give the birds and squirrels tasty treats ;-(

    Hello Carolyn Gail - you and your easel would be very welcome, but don't forget your sunhat! Once we saw redbuds blooming along a Missouri highway many years ago - I just had to know what they were.

    Pam/Digging was kind enough to share the iris with me, Gintoino. It gets hot and dry here, but the mazus is in shade where I do some hand-watering. Some people use it in the spaces between flagstone walks, so they can get their roots under the stone. Would that work for you?

    Hello Gail- thank you for coming! The anemone are not exactly subtle, but the garden is still mostly green so they're not as gaudy as they could be.

    Thank you,


  33. Ki, spring flowers have a tenderness that summer flowers can't have here - I love the daffodil and iris petals. The white iris seems to be a common passalong here. I hope your anemones still appear!
    Texas Whitebuds aren't that easy to find. We were lucky to be at a local nursery last spring on the day a few whitebuds came in and we grabbed one! It was over 9-feet tall and was about $100. The other redbuds were bought as smaller $25-$30 trees, but we needed something with more substance to replace that enormous ash.

    Hi Muum - so far the whitebud is doing good. Thalias seem to be pretty adaptable and are planted up North, too.
    I remember heat spells ruining the daffodils and tulips in Illinois, too - but usually in April or May rather than March. It might be more of a mid-continental thing rather than a Northern-Southern thing.

    Thank you very much Josie - there's a fun little quiz called What Flower are You?. I took it a few years ago and turned out to be a snapdragon - good thing I like them, too!

    Too bad there's no visual with your comment, Mr. McGregor's Daughter! What amused me was that although the bulbs were mixed, they come up all fuchsia on the right and red on the left.
    The squirrels barely budge even if I run at them yelling and waving my arms.

    Hello Weed Whackin' Wenches - Bradford pears and Mexican plums are blooming around my neighborhood - more white flowers. I'll be over later to see what's happening in Seattle!

    We get the occasional ninety-degree day in March, Nan Ondra - and it stinks! The petunias, snapdragons, dianthus and pansies are all planted in winter months - weird isn't it?

    Thanks for commenting, Lintys - do you have redbuds? They do okay in some parts of Chicagoland but used to die back so much in the far Western suburbs that it didn't seem worth trying them.
    The Divas were so amazing that I just had to write about them back in 2002 - it has been a lot of fun.

    It would be wonderful to have the temperatures stay under 80F/27C but it's not likely to happen, Jodi! Thalia grew beautifully for me in IL, too. I was very happy to find out she'd live in Austin, too.

    How cool that you have a whitebud, too Bonnie! It should be beautiful soon. I'm in love with that mutabilis!

    Hi Chuck - they're more orange when freshly unfolded but get pinker the second day... the 'Salome' daffodils used to do that in Illinois, too.

    Hello MSS from Zanthan - the alba is less likely to clash with brick colors on houses!
    The 'Thalia' daffodils have bloomed and even returned, but not increased. The only daffodil that has increased in Austin are the 'Grand Primos' recommended by Scott Ogden.

    I have four Bridal wreath spiraeas that are doing fine, but two other kept declining and died no matter what I tried. Both were under the drip line of the pecans which makes me wonder about a possible Juglone effect.
    The Divas were wonderful!

    Thanks for the comments,


  34. That pink redbud makes me think of your first comment on my blog Annie, and smile, of course :)
    I wish we did have a redbud! The white buds are beautiful too.
    I adore the anemones and the coral honeysuckle...the colors are so vibrant. And those little snapdragon faces are wonderfully perky.
    Your garden is looking very well-tended and lucky you to have such a pretty collection of blooms. Thanks for this pleasant tour and have fun with the Diva's. I'll look forward to reading about it and seeing the results.

  35. Hello Lee17 - there's an Eastern whitebud, too, but this one is a Texas whitebud, so should fit in with your Austin natives. Good luck!

    Hi Kate Smudges- you may be locked under the Saskatchewan snow, but you have bougainvillea blooming inside!
    A 2006 planting of a dozen anemones produced only one flower in spring 2007 so it was discouraging. I tried again, and most of the 18 anemone bulbs put in last fall have taken off and bloomed well.

    The open iris frizzled up, but there are more buds still coming - may spring reach you soon, Kate!

    Hello Blackswamp Kim - halfway is about 67 F, right? That's just about perfect - let's do it!

    I like this shorter lemony snapdragon - no variety name on them, unfortunately. They usually melt out, but occasionally a few survive where adjacent dormant perennials shade them. They might bloom again in fall with pruning and foliar feeding.

    Thank you Green Thumb- I'm enjoying the red anemone this year. That 93F/34C seems awful for March - is this kind of heat expected for your area of India or is 34 degrees unusual? Thank you for coming!

    Hello Apple!
    Sometimes it would take one really hot day to get the plants to start budding in Illinois - but one day is enough for now! I hope you get something in the seventies soon.

    Pam - I loved looking at your SC flowers except for the Texas Mountain Laurel - the buds on mine were ruined by frost - no fair for you to have them in SC when I have none in TX!

    That betony sounds HORRIBLE. There were buds on the other mutabilis, too, but they were all frozen with the TX mountain laurels. Oh, well.

    The Divas made a new bed which will appear here eventually!

    Hello Meems - it's full of holes dug by squirrels - they have control! The honeysuckle is entwined with a Lady Banks rose - that show will start soon. Thanks for coming to visit!

    Hello again Chuck B - a funny thing happened...they are fragrant, but didn't smell as nice after the day of 94 degrees!

    Looks like we all enjoy the daffodil of the Muse of Comedy, Kathy - New York, California, Florida and Texas!
    Maybe a little piece of Amethyst will jump into your suitcase.

    You had horrible hot and dry weather last year Mary - I'm worried already and hope you are out of that pattern.
    I have a later violet iris that blooms when these are all finished. Those blue-violet and dark purple shades really get me!

    Thanks for all the comments! I'll come and visit your blooming posts soon!


  36. Your garden looks colorful and lovely this month, and I especially admire your irises. I'm taking notes on the things the other Austin bloggers have blooming this month, because my garden looks woefully sleepy and brown today.

    Irises, check!

  37. It's a little suspicious that the squirrel was in the first picture and not in the second. What did you do to it?

    You're garden looks lovely and packed full or blooms.
    I would love to see it some day.

    94 degrees? yikes.

    Enjoy making your new flower garden.

  38. I'm like Carol...I love the view through the garden gate. It just makes you want to come on through and explore and take in the smells. Your garden is especially beautiful.

  39. Thank you for a lovely visit to your garden on GBBD! I agree that GBBD is greatly anticipated. Anemones are among my very favorite plants and I have terrible luck getting them started. You've given me the push to try again.


  40. Annie, I finally got my Irish Soda bread recipe up, so I thought I'd let you know. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

  41. Hi Kerri - that was an interesting 'meeting' wasn't it! In Illinois my neighbors' redbuds would die back to the ground and resprout- they were like shrubs rather than trees so I didn't even try to grow them up there...but now that area doesn't seem to get the deep cold we used to expect every couple of years. They should be okay unless you go more than minus -10°F.
    We're under storm warnings today - hope my new garden doesn't get washed away!

    Hi Lori, the iris look lovely, get whacked by cold, heat or storms, but keep on going. It's taken several years, but the original small starts have made good clumps.

    I yelled and waved my arms around Chigiy, which made him sigh and slowly amble up to the other side of the tree trunk.
    Maybe in some magical universe we can exchange garden visits - I'd love to see your garden, too.

    Sherry, when I planted the garden it was made to appear enticing from the gate. I keep hoping to meet some local garden-lovers this way, but it hasn't happened yet. Now I hope to lure a garden blogger or two up to Northwest Austin ;-]

    Hello Kathryn - it's not only fun to see what's happening, my old posts are replacing my paper diaries as records, so I know the peach iris are a little earlier this spring.
    Ki in New Jersey said he planted Anemone bulbs last fall but doesn't think they'll be perennial there. Last year LostRoses in Colorado found anemones already budded as spring bedding plants. They look so festive that buying some as annuals could be worth the price.

    Thank you all for the comments,


  42. Your garden is beautiful and so nice and tidy! I'm reminded that I need to get out and start weeding. The Forest pansy redbud is so beautiful, isn't it? I don't have one but would love to plant one if I could just find the space. I see your Mutablis rose is blooming. I noticed that mine was really growing. I finally got one established after failing before.

  43. Gosh, Annie what an amazing site - I scrolled back to the top to see if I was looking at a March GBBD post!!

    I cannot beleive I was looking at snapdraggons, scabious and petunias in flower! I love all your irises too. Wow I just cannot get my head round this being a garden in March - amazing. Thanks Carol, for opening my eyes to what is in flower in gardens in other parts of the world :-D

  44. Lovely tour of your beautiful garden. I think the honeysuckle was my favorite. Always of fan of snapdragons, too.

    Your photo with the squirrel on the pot makes me laugh. I have one pot I left outside for the winter and I gave up trying to keep the soil in it. The squirrel just keeps throwing it back out. Squirrel wins.

  45. Looks like you've done a great job adapting to your new climate. I can sympathize as I'm a transplant from Maine to England.

  46. I am SOOO vicariously enjoying spring right now! LOVE that red anemone especially...what a fine show Circus~cercis puts on! :)

  47. Another lovely Austin garden with, for me, that weird and wonderful mix of early spring and early summer flowering plants and bulbs flowering at the same time.

    I see that pesky squirrel is still bothering you.

  48. Hi Annie, Thanks for stumbling upon my blog! Your back yard is a dream! I'm renting now so most of my planting is in pots, but I've jumped in and started planting in the front yard anyway! My salvia madrensis is doing well, it's still quite small, no blooms yet. I picked up a little apache thorn-less blackberry from the farmers market today! This is my first spring in Austin and I am loving having so much great weather to plant! Thanks again for stopping over to my blog!

  49. Hi Phillip - thank you - it looked neat because it's been so dry and weeds weren't growing much... and inch of rain popped up lots of them now. I hope my two mutabilis make it - love those roses!

    Hello Shirl - everything has to grow and bloom quickly here, because summer is hot and many plants go into a sort of lethargy then. Carol's idea is lots of fun.

    Squirrels run in herds around here, Christa and they like nice soft soil in pots the best! I have baby pecan trees coming up everywhere.

    Welcome, Sarah Laurence Blog - Maine to England sounds interesting and I hope it works our well for both your writing and your family.

    I sometimes feel a little guilty putting these flowers on while you're under snow, Lisa, but know we'll be even in lilac/tulip time.

    "Weird and wonderful" is a perfect description, Yolanda Elizabet - with everything rushing into bloom at once.
    I can't even count the number of squirrels! A connected tree canopy covers my part of NW Austin so they have their own highway system to get around town.

    It was fun to find your Austin blog Tara, and I like your garden ideas! Our previous Austin house had deer so many plants had to stay in pots on the deck... we brought 100 pots from that house to this one.

    Happy Spring in Austin! I don't think the Salvia madrensis blooms until September so you have time to watch it grow ;-]

    Thank you for the comments,



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