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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, October 15, 2008

October 2008 - Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

The air doesn't feel like autumn yet, but certain plants tell me it's here - the ones that bloom when the days begin to grow shorter. That's Salvia regla above. I found a starter plant on sale at the Natural Gardener last month and put it in a gravel area with some afternoon shade. I love the color! Another name for this salvia is Mountain Sage.and with luck it can become a four-foot tall hummingbird shrub.

Last month's Oxblood lilies finished flowering and turned to putting up fresh new green leaves. The lily above is the only one that made a seedhead. MSS of Zanthan Gardens - she who gave me the Oxblood/Rhodophiala bifida bulbs- mentioned occasional seed formation a few years ago .

The asters have been blooming for about 10 days - these aren't the tall New England beauties, but are shorter hybrids called Aster frikartii 'Wonder of Staffa'. It seems they get to keep their botanic name of Aster while the native fall asters and Michaelmas daisies have been moved to Symphyotrichum.

In spring I transplanted one Mexican Mint Marigold plant from a hypertufa trough to the larger triangle bed. It's a foot taller than the other Tagetes lucida plant still in the container and is already blooming.
Here's a closeup of the flowers - the leaves can be used as a tarragon substitute in cooking.

With cooler weather the Salvia 'Hot Lips' got its lips back -blooms were solid red or white a couple of weeks ago.
Some bloggers posted Hyacinth bean flowers/Dolichos lab-lab months ago! Mine got a late start, but they're doing well on the arch Pam/Digging passed along to me last November.

Next to the arch the Barbados Cherry/ Malpighia glabra shrub is blooming - this small tree had a rough winter and skipped the spring bloom. Did you notice how good it looks in the rain? We had a half-inch overnight - Hallelujah!

These are buds, not blooms - it's a recent passalong plant from my friend Ellen who got it from another friend. All we know is that it's some kind of Toad Lily/Tricyrtis. If the flowers open I'll have to look for help to identify it - these links show what happens when you enter 'tricyrtis' in the search box at blogs of the Iowa Victory Gardener , Mr McGregor's Daughter Don the Iowa Gardener and Blackswamp Kim .

White impatiens have bloomed for months but never get their photo taken. They looked too pretty to ignore after those welcome raindrops washed their faces. Once the rain ends I may put a list of other plants in bloom on my Annie's Addendum blog. Those lists are a pain to make, but really nice to have as a reference!
Edited October 16th - complete list with my best efforts at botanical names is now up.

More stalwarts of the garden - the Blue Pea vine/Clitoria ternatea, the 'Julia Child' rose, and the Blue Butterfly Flower/Clerodendrum ugandense have blended their soft colors for months. The obelisk doesn't belong exclusively to the Blue Pea Vine - it's shared by a vine of Ipomoea alba.

You didn't really think you could leave without seeing at least one Moonflower photo, did you? I've been enchanted with the Moon Flower Vine for years.

May Dreams Carol has links to Garden Bloggers around the world who are joining her in the monthly celebration of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


  1. That moon flower is enchanting, Annie and so are the rest of your blooms.

    Glad that you're getting some good rain there. We're expecting a good one or two inches tonight.

  2. Thanks for the shout out! Between the 4 of us I'm sure we'll be able to ID your Tricyrtis. Many years ago I grew Aster frikarii 'Wonder of Staffa' and 'Monch.' They were fussy and kicked the bucket. I suspect they prefer to grow where it doesn't get quite so cold. Yours looks very happy. Hooray for the rain! Austin really needed it. Your garden looks lush and lovely now.

  3. Ihad one of those salvia regla at my previous garden. It got really big! Stem was an inch and a half in diameter. Unfortunately it was too big to move

  4. Hi Annie, your bloom day flowers and narrative are wonderful. I like knowing where the flowers came from. I can imagine the salvia regla as a large shrub with hummingbirds fighting over who gets to partake. Sounds like it is going to be a tree! A photo of white impatiens must be hard to get any detail in, you have done a masterful job.


  5. Glad to see Austin get some rain! Your Tagetes lucida looks much sturdier than mine. I wonder how tall mine would be if they stood up straight - very floppy stems.

    I'm sighing over the Salvia regla. I suppose it wouldn't be hardy here. Tony Avent says it can grow to 10 feet!

  6. There are always some wonderful blooms at Annie's! I like those salvias and still need to figure out some that will be hardy in my garden. I also like that the moonflower is still going strong.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. Your garden looks so lush and green, Annie--glad you finally got some rain! My asters,which look more like yours, bloomed last month. I sheared off the spent blooms, hoping they might re-bloom, but nothing so far.

    It's always interesting to see some of the flowers you have that I've never heard of, like the Mexican mint marigold or the Hyacinth bean flowers.

    Ah, the beautiful moonflower--you could end every post with this:)

  8. Annie, you have plants blooming that I haven't heard of before. I do love the moon flower too. It looks like there is a spider on this bloom. There are lots of those clear looking spiders beginning to set up house keeping in my house. I think of this as a sign that winter is about to move in.

  9. There is still a lot going on in Austin... and I'm happy for you that you've gotten some rain! I really like those asters...yet another plant I might check out to see if it would be happy here at Fiori e Canto!

  10. All of your blooms are lovely. You have identified a salvia for me as well. I have the "Hot Lips" salvia but didn't know the name of it. Mine is blooming like crazy right now but I didn't get a chance to photograph it.

  11. Hi Annie, it still looks like summer in your garden! I never tire of the moonflower - it's gorgeous!

    Those hyacinth bean flowers are so pretty, and I love those sweet little asters. So glad you got some needed rain! We had rain around Chicago today too. Happy Bloom Day!

  12. Hi Annie, I am so glad the rains fell on your garden. You surely needed it!
    You can keep showing the Moonflower Vine flowers to me! I love them! It was the only disappointment in the annual seeding this year. It did not grow well and never got to flowering stage at all. Too bad because the fragrance is delightful...and then the spent bloom rolls back up! Have a great day in your garden tomorrow...maybe more rain will arrive. Gail

  13. Hi Annie!
    First, hooray for the rain! We've been getting a lot lately (cold ones, alas) and frankly I'm tired of it, but glad you have yours.

    You have some great things still blooming ... I've never seen that Salvia Hot Lips, but would like to find some of those. Ah, hyacinth bean vine is another of those we didn't get planted this year so we'll have to start again next year, because they're such great plants and the pods are so pretty while they're purple! Do you collect the seed to use the following year?

    I'll do my best with your Tricyrtis when it blooms, but I bet Don will know for sure. I still have one to post at my place that I'm not sure about (I lost the tag). And kudos on the Moonflower! Keep em coming, like Gail, I never tire of seeing them in their silky glory!

  14. Hi Annie, as common as they are I seem to have lots of white impatiens. They really make a statement when planted in mass- that is if you like white. A commenter on my blog has just recently enlightened me to the pretty blue flower of Blue Pea vine and when I did a little research I found more about the Hyacinth bean flowers than the pea vine. Then I come by here for a visit and you have both! I'll be checking to see if I am a good candidate for either.

    You've produced a nice variety of flowers in your garden. It is a wonder how a little bit of cooler weather and some sweet raindrops will perk up the garden like nothing else after a long hot summer.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  15. Annie, As always, you have an impressive amount of blooms in your garden! That Moonflower is absolutely gorgeous, every time you post a picture of it, I think that I must get one! You must have photographed in the wonderful rain!

  16. So many blooms, Annie! they look great. My Ms. mint marigold is just now blooming as well. Do you know if the flowers have any culinary use? My barbados cherry did bloom in the spring either. Still hoping for the fall.

  17. Annie, your Salvia regla is gorgeous! I've had one in front for a year or so but the flowers aren't as deep and rich a red. I've been disappointed in Salvia 'Hot Lips': compared to other Salvias, the blooms are sparse. Perhaps I just need to move it somewhere sunnier.

  18. Annie that moon flower is heavenly! I also was intrigued by the ox blood Lily and Salvia Hot Lips!! First time
    I've ever heard or seen them!!
    I have a few Blooms worthy of Bloom Day Oct. Enjoy every day in your garden!

  19. The seed head on the Oxblood looks just like the rain lily seed head. I always sprinkle them around but I think something eats them. Love your moon flower. The great thing about reading blogs is finding out what I am going to try out in my garden next year.

  20. Thanks Carolyn Gail - we had just about an inch - won't break the drought but helps!

    You're welcome, MMD - the buds are swelling after the rain. I had 'Monch' in IL and think it's prettier, but took whatever the nursery offered!

    Whoa, Bill! The regla looks good where I put it, but an existing Nandina may have to make room ;-]

    Thank you Frances, I like to know, too - and should write everything down immediately. Right now I'm inclined to let the regla bloom and grow and cut everything else back! This is the first time I could ever get a decent impatiens photo - maybe because they were rained on?

    Thanks, Entangled - it helped a lot. The Tagetes lucida in the hypertufa trough is more upright than the one in the ground- has lots of sun and very good drainage.
    I planted an evergreen sumac in that bed and after two seasons it's SMALLER than when it went in! If the S.regla can grow- let it!

    I'm glad you think that, Carol! Maybe a salvia planted up against the brick wall with a gravel mulch could make it? I think roots frozen in wet ground kills them as much as pure temperature.
    There may be moon flower photos until frost ;-]

    I've been watering the beds, Rose but that never works like real rain. These asters are low growers, and have been working on those buds for about 2 months so are not fast workers.
    I don't think you could get the Mexican Mint Marigold to survive IL, but Hyacinth bean is an annual - you could do that one!

    Hi Lisa at Greenbow - that happens to me when I look at everyone's blogs!
    Yes, there's one of the pale green garden spiders on it. I actually did a little 'spider wrangling' since he tried to drop down on a thread while I was focusing. I flipped him back onto the flower and snapped quick!

    We needed rain badly, Leslie and not just for gardens. I don't know if you've seen Lee17's Wildfire Post, but it's a doozie. I grew the same aster in Illinois - maybe it's pretty adaptable?

    Thank you Phillip... think the full name is Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'. I first saw it at the garden of author Jill Nokes and instantly coveted it. I hope yours is still blooming for the November GBBD.

    Hi Garden Linda - no more crepe myrtle flowers are a tip off that the hours of light are short, no matter how warm it is. I hope you get just enough rain and then some more sun!

    Thank you Gail - I planted mine late, so was relieved when they made buds. Maybe next year they'll do well for you. They sure are fun to photograph.

    Hooray is right, IVG - the reservoir~lakes are lower than we'd like but what we got was great. Last year it was hard to find Salvia 'Hot Lips' but it was more available this spring. I usually throw a couple of the pods in a jar somewhere then hope I can find it in spring!
    The odds are it's a very basic kind of Toadlily but it will be the only one I've ever grown. Moonflowers are different - I've grown them for years!

    Hi Meems - I love white impatiens, and for a few years have had success with them in hanging baskets on the veranda. But they didn't do well in this intense year.
    The pea vine could probably be almost a weed for you - I bought one started vine in 2005 and have had them pop up on their own since then. Hyacinth vine does that for some of my friends, too.

    Hi Robin Get Grounded - in spite of the photos and lists, it's mostly green, but never boring! Moonflowers are related to Morning Glories - if you let the ground get warm they are easy annuals here.

    Thank you Vertie - when Susan Albert visited my blog in April she said this:

    "Annie, don't you just love Mexican Mint Marigold? For you Northerners, this (Tagetes lucida)is Texas' answer to tarragon (which we can't grow successfully). I have a patch of it by my front porch and love its sunny yellow marigold blossoms in October. There's a great chapter on it in Lucinda Hutson's Herb Garden Cookbook, with several recipes: stuffed tomatoes, MMM vinaigrette, chicken (with mustard and MMM), and catfish. I've used it, with lemon, to flavor fish baked in foil or parchment."

    I've read that people add the flowers to soup, too.

    Hope your Barbados Cherry blooms for you!

    Hello Cindy from Katy - I didn't mess with the color but with afternoon shade it doesn't fade. My 'Hot Lips' are in a container and I like their airy look so don't mind if the bloom isn't dense.

    Thank you NatureGirl - there are so many Northern plants that we can't grow, so we must celebrate the ones that like it here!

    Thank you for all the comments and Happy GGBD,


  21. Interesting to hear that one of you oxblood lilies set seed. Thanks for reporting on it. I'll have to look at my records to see if I can figure out which bunch that was from.

    I had only one set seed this year. Generally they seem to set seed more if they have very wet conditions while flowering.

  22. My particular favorite is the Hotlips salvia. I sure wish I had some of that. I love your moonflower picture, particularly the fact that it has a spider in it. So silky and glossy a flower!

    I didn't get a bloom day post up, I've been too busy following the election and the debates! At least I've been getting some weeding done around the place.

    thanks fo rsharing your place with us.

  23. Fall in Austin must be one of the best seasons of the year. My moon flower vine is looking aged and since frost is imminent, doomed. I love white in the garden. It is pure and shows up so well on moonlit nights.

  24. I am happy you got some rain. I tried growing moonflower vine once but the frost came before it ever bloomed. And frikartii aster is only borderline hardy here.

    You Austin gardeners have so many plants I've never heard of.

  25. Ahhh, your Moon Flower looks like white satin. Gorgeous! Already October and Austin is still blooming...very nicely.

  26. Hi Annie,

    Your blooms and foliage look so lush! How could I not have some of those asters? Must make a nursery run tomorrow!

  27. Sigh. I envy you your moonflower, Annie, although that hot lips salvia has me grinning and wanting it too. I had a Clerodendrum as a potted plant for a couple of years, but one year it got too many aphids and I put it outside in December. That fixed the aphids...and the plant!

  28. Those hot lips are pretty 'hot'! You have a lot of blooms and I think your asters are quite cool too.

  29. Your post reminded me of all of the things that I didn't get planted this year! I'll have to enjoy your moonvine here - I never grow tired of them - and the purple hyacinth beans - gorgeous! It looks like you still have a happy garden - boy, there's something to say for living in the south, isn't there?

  30. I see the tiny white spider on your moonflower, Annie, even though he's pretty well camouflaged :)
    My goodness, that's a beautiful flower!
    I tried growing a Hyacinth bean vine, but it only got about a foot tall, probably because of a late start and our cooler climate.
    Your garden looks happy in October, and I'm so glad it's been watered by the rain! We had some, along with bone-chilling, damp cold, on Thursday. I appreciated the moisture, but not the cold.
    I enjoyed the stroll through your gardens, as always. You have so many interesting blooms.

  31. Those "hot lips" are pretty cute.
    And oooohh.. toad lilies! I wonder how they will look? I have a couple rooted stems, just planted. No buds on mine, I'm hoping they will bloom next year.
    I love the silky moonflower, with its resident white spiderling.

  32. I'm so amused that 'Hot Lips' lost her lips when it really did get hot... that just seems wrong somehow, because I always think of salvias as being heat-lovers up here!

    (By the way, the name of that particular salvia always makes me think fondly of watching M*A*S*H with my Mom--although I was so young that I'm sure most of the jokes went a bit over my head. lol.)

    All of your plants are so pretty, but that you captured the satiny glow of that moonflower amazes me. I feel like I could just touch its silky smoothness... but I'd have to be careful not to disturb the little spider hiding out there. :)

  33. Annie, I want to plant a moonflower in my yard...the location I have only gets morning sun; do you think that will work? And if I understand correctly, I must start it from seed in the spring, right? Thanks! Yours is so beautiful, it inspires me.

  34. I apologize for not answering your comments until now!

    MSS at Zanthan - only one oxblood seedpod formed and I let the seeds fall into that bed. A different bulb in that bed set seed last year, too.

    The hotlips are fun Healing Magic Hands - and I liked the spider on the moonflower, too.

    Fall is different here, Layanee - the low sun is still strong! I had a small white garden in the north - lots of silver & blue, too!

    It was great, but we are still in serious drought, Kathy. In the north I started the moonflowers in pots so they were ready to vine once in the ground. They bloomed the end of August.

    September means rebloom on some plants that looked half-dead in summer, Mary - two clematis are blooming now!

    Every garden needs an aster, Iris! I hope you found a good one.

    Aphids and mealybugs are the pits inside, Jodi - much easier to tolerate outside! There are so many Clerodendrum species - one smells like Cashmere Bouquet soap!

    'Hot Lips' salvia is a rather fashionable plant, Tina so they're probably wondering how the heck they ended up in my garden!

    If I hadn't thrown a few seed pods in a basket last fall there'd be no moonflowers or Hyacinth beans here, Pam in SC - I was not in the mood to buy seeds last January or February. Maybe we'll both go horticulturally wild in 2009?

    Hello Kerri! Hyacinth beans sometimes did well in IL, but Scarlet Runners did better.
    I hope you have lots of birds outside the window and houseplants inside the window, to keep you company over the cold days ahead.

    They're very small, SalixTree, but very cute! The toad lilies opened with lots of spots on purple petals...another small but cute flower.

    BlackswampKim - when it's over 100 for 50 days, without A/C there'd be no kissing at all!
    Ah, MASH. I remember reading the original book as well as watching the TV show, but was crazy about the Altman movie. Hot Lips/Sally Kellerman's voice is heard more often than her face is seen these days.

    Hello Robin of Get Grounded - it might still bloom - I don't know! My vine is no longer blooming but some seeds are developing. If we stay frost-free long enough for them to ripen I'll save you a few for spring.

    Thanks everyone -



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