About Me
My Photo
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.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, April 2008

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

In the 'other' world April 15th is Tax Day, but in the world of Garden Blogging it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. You may owe money no matter which day you choose to celebrate, but Blooming Day is sure prettier!

The vines are in the center ring this month at Circus~Cercis. I don't have names for these two varieties of clematis, one white and one reddish-purple. They came planted in one pot, tagged as a pink clematis. The white one is planted at the base of the Lady Banks rose. The rose is already fading as the clematis opens.

The reddish purple clematis is on the back wall, getting morning sun and afternoon shade. At its feet are a cream-colored Salvia greggii, Plumbago and Purple oxalis. This is a big flower - some are over 6 inches tip-to-tip.

Last summer I saw 'Ramona' in a small pot for $2 - she's in a larger pot now, happy and blooming, while she waits for a permanent home.

The Coral honeysuckle bloomed early, shared the spotlight with Lady Banks, and keeps right on blooming now that the rose is done.

In the Secret Garden, the passionvine that bloomed late last summer is full of buds and blooms already! Instead of coaxing it to grow along the fence, I wound it around a repurposed coat rack near the brick wall - the vine stayed green all winter and was ready to bloom months earlier than last year.

Near the steps to the veranda twines a Star Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides - it's flowers are not that showy but the scent is strong.

April is also a month when herbs go to flower - like this culinary sage in a trough near the stone fountain.

My camera couldn't capture the chives, but did pretty well with these Rosemary flowers.

The Cilantro/Coriander is going to seed in a few places - sometimes I let it stay, sometimes I pull it up.

We use a lot for Salsa but the extras get to bloom just because they look so pretty.

The pale peach iris 'Amethyst Flame' iris and old-fashioned white iris are gone, but Ellen's grapey-scented purple iris are in full bloom in the pink Entrance garden, along with pink gaura, spiraea, weigela, petunias and the new 'Belinda's Dream' rose.

An unnamed Siberian iris grows in back - a passalong from my friend Barbara in Illinois. I was happy to see one flower stalk last year, and am amazed to see 10 stalks this year. It's gone through drought and flood and is situated in morning sun with some afternoon shade.

A medium height violet larkspur seeded itself near the ranunculus from a few posts back. At the other end of the bed a tall double lilac larkspur is just starting to open. I throw the seeds around each year and hope for the best.

The potted 'Meyer's Improved' lemon has had several flushes of bloom and now has tiny lemons. We planted another of these lemons on the back wall. It survived winter, is growing and made a few fragrant flowers but no fruit has set.

All the climbing pink roses from the last post have shattered, so it didn't earn a photograph. I still see some rose buds in development.

The shrub of 'Julia Child' rose appeared in the previous post - here's a closeup. A dozen flowers have opened and then fallen apart, more than a dozen are open now, and at least 20 more are still small and green.

The air actually seems green under the 12-foot tall mockorange growing on both our side and the neighbors's side of the back fence. The individual flowers are large but I miss the traditional Mock orange scent. I think this is Philadelphus inodorus, sometimes called English Dogwood, but it's nothing like the real dogwood that Frances/Faire Garden grows!

The blue-violet petunias planted last fall are pretty happy with our relatively cool weather- some 'Moonshine' Achillea is budding next to the petunias. Look in the center right and you'll see why tree-seedling removal has been one of my most tedious tasks this spring... another pecan planted by the squirrels has sprouted. I pull up a few more every day, in every border and container.

The tall Salvias have no flowers yet but the Salvia greggii is blooming in several colors, including this solid red form from Diva Mindy. When the Divas of the Dirt worked on her entrance beds last year she potted up seedlings for the other Divas - this one is the perfect color for the Hummingbird bed.

Also in bloom are the two new plants of Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'. The photo of this salvia in last week's post showed red flowers with a little white, but this week's very cool nights trigger pinker flowers with red splotches.

In this wider shot, a 'Mutabilis' rose grows in the container at left with a couple of 'Hot Lips' in the right pot. Across the lawn that hint of violet is the clump of Siberian iris and the Michelia figo shown in the previous post is the evergreen at center back.

A few more bulbs are blooming - here is a red Anemone with an old Christmas amaryllis/ Hippeastrum on the left side of the bulb bed.

On the opposite side the pink ranunculus keeps making new buds, another holiday Amaryllis is making a stalk and the purple oxalis adds to the scene. Maybe this would be enough contrast for Blackswamp Kim.

One more bulb continues blooming on the veranda - it's a pot of cyclamen given to me by Dawn/Suburban Wildlife Garden several months ago. It was languishing inside, but once tucked next to the railing under the overhang, new flowers appeared to remind me of my garden blogging friend.

Last month there were 72 comments when May Dream's Carol made her official Bloom Day post - and that was only March. I wonder how long it will take us to visit everyone in April!

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


  1. It didn't take me long to find your garden today, so full of bloom. It showed up in my feed reader early and I swear I could smell all those flowers, even across the Internet.

    Those clematis are beautiful, I sure wish I knew your secrets to growing them! And the passion flower and the mockorange, really all your blooms. I wish I could Circus Cercis again today.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day once again!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Hi Annie, thanks for the link! You were a lucky girl getting those two clemmies in one pot, you do seem to have the knack for them. You have lots of flowering fragrant vines, they add so much whimsy flying around in the air in a garden. Wish I could have seen yours. I love your philadelphus, but no scent, how do they get away calling it that with no sweet smell? Your roses are wonderful, Julia Child has gotten quite a bit of press in the blogdom. I will have to look for it.

  3. Wow, spring has arrived at your place. I hope some year soon to be able to have such loveliness surrounding me.

  4. Those clematis are lovely in their varied colored petticoats! Love them all. It will be months before mine bloom! So much in bloom in Austin. I love seeing the new fountain. More please! I was just remembering the fragrance of the mock orange when you noted that the one you have has no scent. How disappointing. Pretty though!

  5. Annie your garden is a riot of blooms. I just love clematis, but isn't it aggravating to get a color you didn't expect. There goes the best laid plans. What ever they look beautiful. I just love jasmine too. I have a pitaful spindly one that I bring inside to winter over. I dream of having that lovely scent they produce. I haven't had the pleasure...yet. Your roses look gorgeous. Another plant I don't do well with and I do adore them.

  6. You seem smack dab in the middle of spring, Annie. I think we're about a month behind you. I have buds on my roses, peonies and iris, but no blooms. I loved the photo of the mock orange. Why isn't it scented? More blooms in lieu of scent.

    Could the red clematis be Nirobe? I have it in my garden. Love ya.~~Dee

  7. Clematis and roses and irises already? Oh my! You're about a month ahead of us here in PA, but at least we have some flowers of our own to enjoy this month. Thanks for the tour, Annie.

  8. Spectacular blooms! That 6" bloom is particularly impressive.

  9. Well if it can't be Spring in Chicago it certainly is in Circus-Cercis. Your garden is awesome, Annie. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Dear Annie,

    I sure could use your guide to clematis growing, and it sounds like others would love that too. It was pretty easy to grow back in Kentucky but all my Texas plants have flopped.

    "Feet in the shade, head in the sun," isn't enough to go on here. HELP!

    Until then, I'll enjoy yours. The mock orange is gorgeous.


  11. Annie, I'm very fond of clematis too. Yours are so lovely.

    Last year, when I went to White River Garden's I noticed that they planted clematis with so many of their roses. It was a lovely combination.

  12. So many really lovely blooming vines, Annie! My jasmine isn't blooming yet and only the thyme as far as herbs go. I've never seen the culinary sage bloom...maybe I should cut back the oregano that tries to smother it! When do you throw those larkspur seeds around? Fall or spring? I haven't had much luck with seeds and larkspur is one of my favorite flowers. Your garden is beautiful!

  13. I completely forgot about Bloom Day this month. Maybe it was the tax season. Your blooms are gorgeous! I'm determined to find that red salvia this year. Love your clematis and the mock orange.

  14. You are so far ahead of us, Annie! Clmatis? Roses? Mine are just now starting to send up tendrils and shoots. That is what is so wonderful about GBBD, we get to see what other parts of the country are enjoying and anticipate what is coming at our own gardens. Right now I have a wonderful crop of weeds since I was on vacation for a month.

  15. So much to comment on! The mock orange is lovely, and every Austinite but me seems to have a Meyer lemon in bloom. Why haven't I gotten one?

    I still adore your Julia Child rose and your old-fashioned clematis (pronouncing it the new way in my head, thanks to the Spring Fling conversation).

  16. Hi Carol - the Lemon is the most fragrant thing right now, but a couple of purple iris in a vase are nice in the breakfast room.
    I don't think there are clematis secrets - think it's just luck!

    You're welcome Frances - the pink clematis was one of those plant rescue things...I like purple and white better anyway ;-]

    So far 'Julia Child' has been a real trouper.

    Hello Tabor - the daffodils went fast this year after a couple of too-hot days and still leafless trees. My squirrels are a pain, but you have deer...I hope you can stay a few steps ahead of them!

    The clematis do look like petticoats Layanee! They bloom early then turn into brown strings in mid-summmer, and so far have releafed each fall.
    I wish the mockorange had scent, but it looks great from the breakfast table window.

    Good morning Lisa at Greenbow! This one didn't aggravate me because I was "rescuing" it... and like these colors better than the one on the box.
    I couldn't grow roses at my previous Austin house, so am getting a little giddy over these ;-]

    Hi Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings...you may have to wait a few weeks but in OK you can grow peonies! I miss them.
    The flowers on this unscented mock orange are really large so I think you're right about trading looks for scent.
    The clematis isn't Niobe - I used to grow that one too... this has more purple in it.

    Thanks for coming Nan Ondra - these flowers are blooming fast to avoid the summer heat. I'll be sighing over Northerners' peonies and lilacs pretty soon!

    Hello Nancy J Bond - I couldn't resist getting out the ruler because they surprised me, too.

    You're welcome, Carolyn Gail - you guys sure need some relief from winter! I'll bet Chicago will be spectacular around Mother's Day.

    Julie, it could be just luck, but after thinking about it, I wonder if procrastination could be the trick? There was nowhere to plant them when I first bought the clematis so I grew them in a series of ever-larger containers in good potting soil. It took a couple of years to get them in the ground and by then they'd developed solid rootballs.

    Welcome Robin of Nesting Place! What is it about clematis? I fell in love with them when I was a teenager. The rose-clematis combination is a classic - I also like viticelli varieties climbing through flowering shrubs but haven't tried that in Texas!

    Hello Leslie - I have no idea what makes the culinary sage bloom but it did this in Illinois, too, later in the year.
    Some of the Larkspur just fall when the plants are done. I keep some of the heads and sprinkle them around in late fall. They seem to germinate best in well-drained places. Sometimes I move the seedlings around in early spring.

    It's probably safer to make Carol wait than the IRS, Phillip!
    I was thrilled when this salvia had the true red color but as a seedling it has no name. Good luck finding one!

    I knew you were gone, Healing Magic Hands - leaving the garden for a month is so hard! But I'll bet there will be good surprises hiding under the crop of weeds ;-]

    Maybe you should look for a Lime instead of a lemon Pam/Digging, more useful for Mexican martinis? But I don't know if lime blossoms smell as good as lemons.
    That pronunciation was placed in my head decades ago - probably on some garden walk in Elmhurst. But it sounded so authorative when our English friends said it!

    Thank you for the comments,


  17. Wow, I see spring is firmly ensconced in your garden. Those petunias are a lovely shade of blue. Indeed how can you visit all the blogs let alone leave comments.

  18. I'm smitten with that white Clematis. Just did a quick search, and I wonder if it might be 'Miss Bateman'?

    You fooled me with the mock orange - I would have sworn it was a dogwood.

    Another lovely bloom day!

  19. The violet larkspur put me into a near swoon as did the lavender lady passionvine. The sage in flower by the stone fountain is lovely. I'd love to bury my nose in the Star Jasmine.

  20. LOL, I had to laugh about the white and the reddish-purple together in a pot marked "pink". Maybe they figured if you put the two together, they'd make pink. :)

    Nice blooms!

  21. When I tried to buy Clematis 'Ramona' years ago, what I got was a white that looks a lot like yours. If yours isn't 'Miss Bateman,' it might be 'Henryi' which I figured out was what my white is. Their beautiful anyway!

  22. Okay. You've converted me. I want clematis!

    I'm glad to see the your rose 'Julia Child' is as gorgeous as ever--even if she was too shy to come out for Spring Fling.

    That mock orange is so beautiful, far more beautiful in real life than is evident from the photo (and it looks pretty good in the photo). But it seems a shame that it doesn't have a scent.

  23. I love your Salvia greggi and yours always reminds me that I want to try it. Do you think it would do OK up here?
    I'd be giddy over a rose bush with all those buds too :) Julia Child is a beauty!
    Ramona is gorgeous, and so is the white, but that reddish purple is my favorite.
    I also love the rich violet shade of the larkspur. I hope mine have made some seedlings again this spring.
    My mum grew a wonderful Jasmine vine on her porch steps railing. It smelled wonderful.
    Thanks for the stroll through your always lovely garden Annie.

  24. Annie, I swear I can smell all these wonderful blooms from here in somewhat cold but still springish NS. Awesome clematis--made me long for mine, still weeks and months away.
    One of my curious dreams is to eat a fresh lemon, right off a tree. You'd think it would be oranges, but for some reason lemons on a tree appeal even more.
    Congrats on your Mousie nomination--I'd be real happy to have both you AND Carol for neighbours, but I don't think I could take Austin's heat. Maybe we can all meet halfway between northern me and southern you...which would probably BE Indiana.

  25. HA! I was just admiring that oxalis picture, and what do I see when I scroll down but my name? Guilty as charged, Annie--I do love that composition. :)

    It's so wonderful to see all that you have in bloom--particularly the salvias, which remind me of your song. Any chance that you might show a picture of the passionvine AND coatrack sometime? I love that idea!

  26. Hi Ki - the petunias have more deep purple than my camera can show, but they are a great color. The garden blog world has exploded!

    You could be right Entangled - the photo looks very close to me!
    Except for a couple of Kousas at my sons' college I've never actually seen Dogwoods but like this one. The English Dogwood name is odd because it's native to North America!

    I do feel quite guilty about torturing you who don't have spring yet, Kate, but at least your flowers and insects are having conversations!

    Hi Rurality - that's pretty funny, but would imply there was actual intention and logic involved!

    I used to grow 'Henryii', Mr McGregor's Daughter and liked it. In person this one looks more like the photo of 'Miss Bateman'.
    I grew 'Ramona' at two houses in IL and was glad to meet her again. The name always reminds me of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.

    You grow so many things in your garden MSS - why not experiment with this one, too?
    I'm pretty pleased with Julia - very sturdy looking this year. Belinda is new and struggling a bit.

    I'm glad you got to see the mock orange in bloom - it fills such an enormous area! My little scented mock orange makes a few dozen flowers and hasn't grown at all.

    You could probably grow Salvia greggii as an annual, Kerri, but I think it dies in winters above zone 7.

    The little 'Champagne' mini-rose is just starting to open and has about 100 buds...I'm amazed at both roses.

    My larkspur are just getting into bloom - there might be more colors coming. Wish you could smell the star jasmine!

    Hi Jodi - you have a powerful craving for spring, kiddo!

    The Mousie nomination was quite a lovely thing to find out about! Last year I imagined having Carol, Pam/Digging and Blackswamp Kim as neighbors with the 4 of us plant-swapping like mad. I'll imagine an international neighborhood this time!
    Congratulations to you, too!

    It's good to know I guessed right on that one, Blackswamp Kim!

    The hummingbirds don't come to my garden until those tall salvia bloom so I want them to open!

    Note to self: post photo of coatrack before Gulf frittilary caterpillars eat passionvine.

    Thanks for the comments,


  27. Annie: So glad you gave us a close-up of those hugely wonderful clematis. Just beautiful- as are all your blooms.That Larkspur is stunning. I keep debating about growing passion vine but would have to create a place for it... maybe I'll put that on next year's list.I really should be winding down with new projects. Yours are tempting me to reconsider.
    meems @Hoe&Shovel

  28. Wow! What intense colors you have over there. Your clematis are huge! Great post. I enjoyed some of your songs this evening. Lots of fun.

  29. Hi Annie! I'll have to go sniff my iris to see if it smells like grape. Love the clematis. We're still trying to figure out where to put one here. In NE we had 2 trellised next to a wonderful climbing rose. I am surprised to see the cyclamen so far south. I always thought they prefered cooler climes. --Curmudgeon

  30. Oh my Ga,
    Your garden is so full of big fat blooms.
    Circus-Cercis sure contains some beautiful clematis.
    They are really dramatic.
    I went to a park with my kids,( I might blog about it), but it had the most gorgeous clematis.
    I think it might be Ramona.
    How big are the blooms on Ramona because the ones at the park were as big as my hand and I have big hands baby.
    My passion vine never really stopped blooming this winter either.
    We had a really warm rainy winter.
    Happy gardening.

  31. Dear Annie, its such a pleasing sight to see blooms all around; spring is magical!

    We have only Larkspur in common this time. This must be the first time when there is just one bloom which is common to our respective gardens.

  32. What a nice long post on the blooms in your garden in April Annie. Such a colourful display. If you could mix together the colours of the 2 clematis, you got when you thought you'd bought another, you would get a kinda pink. So the label wasn't completely wrong. ;-)

    The scent of the star jasmine is wonderful, I know, as I have one too, although mine is in my conservatory at the mo.

  33. Your gorgeous clematis make me homesick for Maine. We got some as house warming gift, and now they reach the second floor. Actually, not now as they don't bloom until summer up north - I envy you your Texas long blooming season. Things bloom so long in England too. It's fun to see so much diversity in the world. You've captured the bright colors so well. Thanks for sharing and your nice comments too.

  34. The vines are just gorgeous- your clematis. And I love that they were tagged pink and neither of them was, but I love their colors so much better.

  35. Oooh, I am planting Siberian irises next fall. I keep hearing about how they don't do well down here, but you've got them and I saw that somebody snuck a bunch of bulbs into the new berms with the trees down by the Town Lake trail, and those flowered, too. So, clearly, Siberian irises are wily!

    Your Julia Child rose is looking smashing, baby, smashing!

  36. Annie, love those clematis, especially the reddish-purple one. I bought out Lowe's clearance rack last year, $10 for 100 4 inch pots (probably half of those dying or dead, had to take them to get the deal). I'm not sure how many of those I kept for myself I have left (I'm lousy at keeping inventory of my plants). My late friend Billie & her daughter Linda had amazing success with clematis here in Katy. Each of them had theirs planted on an east-facing fence, where they got full morning sun and were shaded in the afternoon. I can remember seeing Linda's absolutely covered in blooms. She claimed it was due to planting in pure pine bark (odd, since they allegedly prefer alkaline soil) and using SuperBloom. I keep meaning to trial some using her methods.

  37. Annie, I love coming over and going for a walk through your garden. We have snow in Vancouver today. That's unusual even for here.

    The clematis at the top of your post, could that be a Clematis jackmanii?

  38. WOW! You are so far ahead of us. Your garden does give us northern folk a great view of what we have to look forward to. I love the scent of jasmine, maybe one day I'll find one that will grow here. I have oxalis ordered and hope it does well. I can't get over the variety that you have blooming all at once.

  39. Beautiful display, Annie! I can imagine the fragrance during a walk through your gardens. Just lovely.

    Working hard in Charlotte to overcome a recent frost. Now's the time for planting. Looking for Iris. Can't wait!


  40. Annie, what's the secret of your gorgeous clematis? I do so love them and most of them grow very poorly in Savannah. I used to think it was the summer heat, but you get very hot summers too. I'm beginning to think it is your alkaline soil. What do you think?

  41. What beautiful and romantic blooms-I love the clematis, honeysuckle, rose and passionflower. I was travelling ion blooms day so had to give my post a pass.

  42. Hi Meems - the Ramona only had 3 flowers but that reddish-purple one must have 50. I like the passionvine but put it where it won't be a problem if it starts spreading.

    Thank you very much, Shady Gardener - when we hit midsummer many flowers fade out fast but it's still April so they look good. I'm glad you liked the songs.

    Hello WWWenches - I grew many more types of clematis in Illinois... had them climbing through trees and covering posts. Good luck with placing yours.
    The cyclamen is the florist type, in a pot. I doubt it could take a summer here, but so far it likes the veranda!

    Iris, clematis, rose season is plumb gaudy, isn't it
    Chigiy? If I could grow peonies it would be even more of a circus;-]
    Happy gardening to you, too.

    Welcome Green Thumb - we're getting ready to tip into summer soon so every day that is not over 90°F/32ºC is a bonus!
    We do seem to have plants in common- and Larkspur is a good one to share.

    Hello Yolanda Elizabet - the pink clematis might look like a burgundy sweater that got into bleach - guess I'm glad that's not in my garden ;-]

    If I had a conservatory there would definitely be jasmine! I'm glad you get to enjoy it, too.

    Hi Sarah Laurence - after nearly 9 years in Texas I still miss peonies and lilacs, so being able to grow clematis is a consolation here. It's amazing how quickly one can get used to a longer growing season, however! Thank you for visiting!

    I like the ones that appeared too, Bonnie - even if it was just chance!

    These Siberians have only been here 3 years Lori - so they're still kind of experimental, but I just love them. But they don't grow from bulbs ... I wonder if the ones at Town Lake were Dutch Iris?
    Julia is working out well - Philo first gave me yellow Roses when I was 16 so they've always been our special flower.

    Hi Cindy - you seem to find Lowes' bargains like one of my Diva friends does! Ten-cent clematis! I think the east wall is a key here, too. I use Medina Hasta-Grow or John's Recipe for almost all the flowers. Are any of your rescues blooming yet?

    Thank you for coming Josie - and no snow on our flowers as there was in the Pacific Northwest!
    I don't think it's Jackmanii - something different about the shape and color, but they're close and would probably look good on the same trellis.

    Apple - everything is in a race to beat the coming heat so the bloom times are shorter and overlap. Plantaholic=variety?? Your turn is coming!

    Thank you Mary - it's pretty hard to ignore the jasmine! Iris time is almost over here, and they're one of my favorite flowers - hope yours last!

    Karen - they were in large containers for a couple of years before being planted in the ground so had really good root sytems... if there's a secret that must be it!
    Mrs Whaley grew them in her famous enclosed garden in Charleston, SC, adding a handful of lime each year to every clematis plant. Would Charleston and Savannah have similar soil? Good luck!

    I noticed you had a lot of travel posts Nicole - thanks for making this one of your stops ;-]
    Romantic blooms - I like that! Thank you!

    Thanks for all the comments!


  43. Alright. You are in zone 8, basically the same as mine. (I'm on the 8/9 border.) So how is it that you have such beautiful blooms already?!!?!? You must be cheating somehow, and I want to cheat with you!!

  44. Annie,

    What lovely clematis and the roses...I do find a partiality to the old iris that smell like grape. They just remind me of innocent times.

    I found and bought a clematis montana rubens at the grocery store...it is lovely and smells of vanilla. Can you imagine, at the grocery store and I don't mean Whole Foods!

    Annie, thank you for your kindness when my mother passed away, it meant so much to me.


  45. Wow, your clematis is amazing. I've never seen any so large! Your garden looks like a festival of fun.

  46. Your garden sure came through for Bloom Day! This time of year it gets hard for me to keep up with my blogging (reading others' and posting to my own), but I'm enjoying catching up today...your vines are all just gorgeous!

  47. Annie, I do so enjoy your blog. I love your writing and all the wonderful pictures! I apologize I have been MIA lately. I have been so busy. I shall try my best to be here more often. :-)-Randy


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.