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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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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Salvia, Salvia, Save Me (from the deer)

This post, "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me (from the deer)", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

A year ago I sang farewell to an Arizona Ash tree on YouTube ~ today's song is a musical tribute to the beautiful, deer-resistant flowers in the genus Salvia.

Welcome to Annie's virtual piano bar ~ find a cozy table and spend two minutes in Austin, the Live-Music Capital of the World. We tried to make it sound live by using a simple mic connected to the built-in recorder on a laptop.

Philo and I had five years to learn about gardening with deer at our last Austin house. I wrote "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me (from the deer)" while we still lived there - it's part of an unfinished musical play called Roots in Austin. This plea came straight from the heart!

Our present garden doesn't seem to need deer-resistant plants so our Salvias don't have to work for us - they can just be beautiful.

This post, "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me (from the deer)", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Oh deer! Your song is stagnificent, Annie, and I was all smiles all the way through it. Doe you think you'll play it for us at the Spring Fling Happy Hour? I have a piano... Everyone is sure to be fawning all over you.

  2. Hooooot! Hooooot!

    Oh, Annie--you're fabulous. Now I'm rreeaaalllly sorry I won't be there for Spring Fling. My Texas martini and I would be perched on the side of your piano dropping dollars into your tip jar all night long.

  3. Annie, that was wonderful. Pam is right, your tip jar will fill up quickly if you play for the fling! I would love to see Chuck b. perched on the piano with his martini, feeding dollars in, too bad he is a no show! ;->

    Frances at Faire Garden

  4. Annie, you're an undiscovered talent...but that may soon change if you sing that song at Pam's Spring Fling Happy Hour :)
    Wish I could be there!
    The comments only add to the fun (I'm having a great chuckle).
    Well done Annie!!! More! More!

  5. Love it! I can't wait to hear it live - now I'll have something easier to sing than the "Salve Me" from Verde's Requiem while I deadhead my Salivas.

  6. I can only agree with everyone... that was just so much fun! And I'm feeling very left out on the Spring Fling front...I really hope this becomes a tradition and I can join in in the future!

  7. Oh, yes, a special live performance at the Spring Fling would be the icing on the cake. I have an urge to get a bunch of salvia for my garden, and I don't even have a deer problem. I'm just 'salivating for salvias'!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  8. Oh, Pam/Digging, I'm glad you liked what you herd! But have a hart... I could have stagefright, even with bucks in the tip jar...or turn white-tail and run.

    Chuck, your comment made my day, thank you. If you ever get here, your fan club will take you out for barbecue and cobbler.

    Thanks, Frances - but my playing might work the opposite and clear the room!

    Kerri, if you guys get a kick out of it that's enough for me. And the commenters are walking away with the blog.

    If you can sing that "Salve Me", Mr McGregor's Daughter, you should be the one making YouTubes!

    Leslie, that song was supposed to make you smile, so it worked! I do wish you were coming, too.

    Carol - it might be a Ralph Kramden moment...
    Humina, Humina, Humina

    Although many salvias are annual for you, maybe the rabbits would also dislike that scent?

    Thanks for the comments!


  9. Oh Annie, what a wonderful songster you are. I will be humming 'salvia salvia' all evening. I sure wish I could be there to hear it live.

  10. Annie, I'm stuffing a virtual tip in the jar right now! I was hoping to see what rhymes with coccinea ;-) I need to get some more of those - hadn't thought about them being deer resistant.

  11. Love it! I was grinning listening to it, telling my kids: "I sat in her living room!" Cynthia tells me salvias are just about the only thing she can grow in her garden. The deer peeked in her dining room window and watched us eat dinner while I was there.

  12. Now that was a fun blog post and great comments too!

    So, it was you singing the Diva of the Dirt song! It was so catchy that it stayed in my mind for days after hearing it.

  13. Annie, I think every gardener can identify with your song. I have thorny (and I mean thorny) rose bushes all around my garden and a fence. They still come in sometimes.~~Dee

  14. I loved it! loved it! Laughter really is the best medicine. Thank you for the therapy!

  15. Awesome! I'm stuffing the virtual tip jar, too! Now if we can get Chuck to DANCE on the piano! ;-)

  16. Who's on percussion? Gardener, writer, song writer, piano player, torch singer, what else? You are too talented. And you sure picked up that Texas accent quickly! Loved that video.

  17. That does it! I am planting salvia! LOL and enjoyed your performance. I left a tip in the mug! What happened to the bottle that was on that piano? :)

  18. What fun this was - soon your 'Roots in Austin' will be finished and you can perform all of it! You have an incredible voice - I hope we hear more of you in the future!

    It was wonderful to see the black and blue Salvia again.

  19. I got a big kick out of your song, if gardening with deer around doesn't give you the blues, what would?

  20. WOW dear Annie, That was fantabulous! I hope you invest in your talent and launch a full music album soon, but will Annie the gardener gone then? I hope not.
    Well, till now I used to appreciate Salvias simply for their beauty; Deers are not a problem here either; but now I'll appreciate them more as there is a fresh association of your beautiful voice with the lovely Salvias.

  21. Oh - this post and all its comments were so much pun, I could hardly stand it! But the salvias are lovely and I am so glad you don't have to contend with deer. Lucky you!

  22. How deerlishiously witty! Thanks Annie!

    Wish there were plants that repelled slugs because in my garden there are no problems with deer just slugs and snails.

  23. Thank you Lisa at Greenbow - there's a limited audience for songs about flowers so I'm appreciating you all!

    Will this do, Entangled?

    "Perhaps we need a Fox' in hea-ah"??

    Patti Simon made this great list of deer resistant plants which helped me a lot at the other house. She wrote for Texas but some plants should be hardy enough for your Virginia garden.

    It works both ways ColdClimateKathy - I tell people "She sat in my living room!"
    Many people think the deer are as pretty as the flowers but they didn't look cute to me while standing on the front porch eating ivy from the hanging baskets.

    Thank you Robin from Nesting Place - the comments are a riot!
    I'm the singer for the six songs already on YouTube - in the half-written play there are more songs, and they're intended for an assortment of characters.

    Oh Dee of RedDirt - it was a shock to find out they'd eat roses...they killed an Old Blush and another heirloom was saved by encasing it in a hardware cloth cage...very attractive!

    Thank you Lintys - when I wrote those lyrics the only other choice was to cry - laughing did work out better.

    Thanks, Lisa in WI - bet Chuck is a good dancer and I'd like to see it.

    Thank you, Ki... that's my Austin son on drum kit. He plays several instruments, added guitar on my other YouTubes and helps disguise how much I bungle the piano.

    Hanging out with the Divas of the Dirt since 2000 lets me hear Texas voices with several different accents. Real Texans can hear your voice and know what section of Texas is your home - they might think I hail from the State of Confusion.

    Salvias are too lovely to ignore, Layanee - thanks for the tip! Southern Comfort is useful for both baking and sipping.

    Hello Kate... soon is a relative term in my world but one can hope.
    Getting to show salvia photos was a reason to make the song into a video.

    Thanks Muum - they're lovely, graceful eating machines!

    Thanks for liking my song, GreenThumb - isn't it amazing that a gardener's music video about a flower in Texas can get compliments from a gardener in India? Pinch me - I'm dreaming!

    Bad puns abounded for this one, Diana, and I loved it! I've seen your munched plants and you have my sympathy. Besides the salvias, I had luck with using Copper Canyon Daisies, artemesia and perovskia/Russian sage as guard plants.

    Hello Yolanda Elizabet - glad you got a smile from it! I'm sure you've heard the recommendation of a handswidth-size barrier strip of copper around the beds - guess it works but is pretty expensive. The salt shaker and flashlight method is gruesome but it works, too!

    Thank you for all the comments- from Annie

  24. Annie, that's why I don't write songs - I never could have found a rhyme for coccinea. Thanks for the deer-resistant plants link. Oh, and I too would like to see Chuck dance on the piano. ;-)

  25. Oh shoot, and here I am with sound problems on my computer at home, and I can't listen to your salvia tribute! I'll have to remember to do so on Monday, when I'm on my work computer.

    (And it's ashame, because the mood is set this evening - there is a fire going, and the dogs are tired - perfect ambiance...)

  26. Annie, I definitely want to plant some salvia. Any recommendations from your Illinois gardening days?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  27. Carol, my favorite salvia in Illinois was Salvia farinacea, sometimes called Mealy blue sage - I planted lots of it mixed in perennial beds, containers, even window boxes. It seldom survived the winter, but frequently reseeded.

    I also liked Salvia azurea, a wandy perennial native that was a 'leaner' - needing more upright perennials around it. The color was wonderful.

    You could probably grow Salvia 'Coral Nymph' as an annual and save seeds each year... it's one of the hummingbird sages. I grew pineapple sage as an annual herb - some years it bloomed wonderfully, and in others was cut down by freezes while still in bud.

    Maybe the fairies could tuck some little starts of the more tender salvias like 'Black & Blue' in with your luggage when you come to Austin... you'd have them for one summer, anyway... heck, Kate brings them in and makes them bloom in Saskatchewan!


  28. Thanks, Annie, I took notes and am going to look for some sources...

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens (where hopefully some salvia will grow and re-seed!)

  29. Annie,
    You seem like such a fun person!
    Loved the song!

  30. Oh Annie, I thought you wrote this song just for me! The deer are NO LONGER CUTE when you view them chewing up your plants. I have a neighbor who has grown C.C. Daisies without problems so that is probably next on my list. As you may remember me moaning, my garden consists of sage, Mt. Laurel, rosemary, holly, boxwood, lantana, garlic, and, of course several salvias! I keep watching other gardens in my neighborhood, or should I say deer haven, for plants that will survive.

    Since I'll be coming to the Spring Fling Friday night gathering with Kathy, I want a special concert!

  31. My 'Black and blue' salvia comes back reliably here in WI...along the west foundation of the house. BTW, I just heard on the news the other day that teens are "smoking salvia leaves", and some people are working to get it "banned"! I say SO WHAT? Castor beans make you hallucinate, as does most anything POISON. *sigh* Whatever happened to common sense and personal responsibility, anyway? So buy your salvia while you can!

  32. Sometimes I am a fun person, Zoey - aren't we all if given the chance ;-]

    Cynthia, you really understand! The Copper canyon daisies were pretty deerproof, but after a while I'd break out in a rash if I touched them. They didn't seem to eat Echinops but that chomped plant in the video was a Burford Holly.
    Two weeks until Spring Fling!

    Wow, Lisa - black & Blue outside in Wisconsin! I'm totally impressed. I hope Carol sees this!

    The coverage of the recreation Salvia thing really tee's me off! I want to smack news writers and officials upside the head and yell, "Use Genus AND species you idiots! Didn't you bump into binomial nomenclature in order to graduate from High School?"
    Although their problem is not with the genus Salvia, just with one species, Salvia divinorum, they're too lazy to differentiate.

    Thanks for the comments,



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