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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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Monday, December 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, December 2008

This post is a few minutes late for December 15th, the date chosen by May Dreams Carol for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. It's no longer Autumn in Austin! These photos were taken this morning - it was about 35°F and very windy so many pictures are blurry. When I went to the grocery store even my car flashed a warning about the weather.
Tonight we're expecting a very hard freeze - some of what we see here may be just a memory by tomorrow.

'Julia Child' rose still had buds as well as blooms

Those Antirrhinum majus, Yellow snapdragons were planted before last ChristmasThe baskets were recently planted with pansies - one of our winter annuals. I bought small plants without flowers - this one just started bloomingA couple of flowers linger on Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira'
Creeping phlox sublata bloomed in spring and had a light rebloom this fall.
Both plants of Rosa 'Mutabilis' had buds and blooms todayRosa 'Belinda's Dream' had one full-blown rose and a handful of buds
Three plants of Osmanthus fragrans/Sweet olive were in bloom, but it was too cold and windy to catch the lovely scent.

There were flowers on both plants of the Rosa ‘Champagne’ mini rose
Bulbine frutescens 'Yellow' has not only lived but spread and increased in the front bed and is still making buds
Both plants of Asclepias curassavica, tropical milkweed have flowers - no sign of the confused Monarch caterpillar that was here in early December
Blooming but not pictured: Gaura lindheimerii, unknown tall rose-pink variety; Impatiens walleriana/bedding impatiens; Pelargoniums/bedding geraniums; trailing white Lantana; Lobularia maritime/Sweet alyssum; both kinds of Scutellaria/Skullcap; Salvia leucantha/Mexican Bush Sage.

That's it for the outside plants - we can celebrate another successful Bloom Day! Inside on the windowsill there's color from Thanksgiving cactus, coral geranium, florist's cyclamen, mother-of-thousands and the Amaryllis that was my grab bag prize from the Divas of the Dirt party on Saturday. The Meyer's Lemon has one open flower and a couple of buds.What can we celebrate next? There are many possibilities for December 16th:

Classic composer Beethoven's Birthday; novelist Jane Austen's birthday; the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party; Anthropologist Margaret Mead's birthday; Playwright/composer Noel Coward's birthday; the birthday of Science fiction writers Arthur C Clarke and Phillip K Dick, and the first day of las posadas, recreating Joseph & Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem.

Should I drink tea while listening to Beethoven and reading Pride & Prejudice? That would be relaxing but this is a busy time of year. ABBA composer Benny Andersson turns 62 tomorrow and the DVD of Mamma Mia is set to release. I can celebrate his birthday and make some Christmas progress at the same time by turning up the 'Mamma Mia' soundtrack as my soundtrack for cookie baking, package wrapping and adding the final touches to the Christmas tree.

The Bloom Day posts from all over the world can be found here.

Update late Wednesday night: Low was 29
°F on Tuesday morning. All roses, pansies, phlox, gaura, scuttelaria look okay; milkweed & impatiens mostly frozen and lantana looks bad. Mexican oregano had a few flowers and some open on lower part of cupheas, but top bronzed with cold. Beethoven & tea lost out to coffee & Mamma Mia while baking Crispy, salted, White chocolate oatmeal cookies recommended by Vertie via Twitter. HThe Christmas tree is decorated and I'm done baking for now - a high of 72°F is predicted for tomorrow along with more leaf-cleanup. Sure hope to get a chance to visit your blogs soon.


  1. Add one more special person to that birthday list! Enjoy your day!!

  2. It may be winter in Austin but there is still a lot going on in your garden Annie. How well some of your roses are still doing, it's amazing how such delicate looking flowers are often as though as old boots. My Gaura is done now although it was in full flower last month.

    Your windowsill looks as green and colourful as your garden still does.

    Re birthdays; we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday on Sunday. It was quite a party. ;-)

    Happy GBBD, Annie.

  3. There seem to be a lot of people celebrating birthdays on the 16th, many important people, many interesting, musically talented people. I'd get that DVD if I were you and play it while you enjoy celebrating all these events on the 16th and do whatever pleases you!

    And I hope your blooms aren't frozen by morning. There are a lot of good ones outside still in your garden. But if they do freeze, you have the indoor blooms to console you.

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day and make the day after bloom day a great day, too.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Hi Annie, Austin is soul sustaining for these winter bloom day posts, I hope your garden roses and such survive the icy blast. I hunger for the bulbine, why do we always want the thing we cannot grow? Personally, I would decorate the tree to Beethoven's 5th, or 6th, or 9th which is more Christmasy I guess. Our house phone rings to the 9th, and with several phones through the house, is a symphony when someone calls. I even hesitate to answer, because I am listening and humming along. :-)

  5. Lovely blooms Annie. We up north count on you Austinites having something blooming during the winter. Our weather temps are in the teens. Brrrrrrr

  6. WOW Annie,
    You sure do have a lot of blooms in your garden right now and everyone a gem!-Randy

  7. Ooh, I would definitely put on the Mamma Mia soundtrack! I forgot to put that on my Christmas list; maybe I'll just to have to buy it myself--that would certainly energize me to get some Christmas prep work done.

    It's such a treat seeing all your roses in bloom, and I can't believe you have snapdragons that have lasted a year! I do hope they didn't freeze last night.

  8. I have been resisting watching that movie, but I may have to give in. I've heard so many good things about it. Isn't it fairly energizing? That cookie dough may end up everywhere but in the oven. Maybe a few cuttings from Julia Child will keep it under control.

  9. Wishing you a wonderful day! Something else we have in common :-)

  10. Annie, I sure hope you're able to stay inside where it's warm and cozy today. Take a peek through the window and tell us, how do your blooms look this morning after yesterday's wintry blast? They were certainly lovely yesterday!

  11. I'm hoping all those lovely roses survived! At least for a bit longer. Am I right that it is also your birthday? If so I hope you have a truly wonderful day! Actually I hope so even if it's not your birthday!

  12. Your indoor plants are so festive and cheery, particularly today in this cold weather!

    All your pretty roses inspire me to try more roses myself someday.

  13. Annie, great blooms! As always, your garden is prolific. And I think your birthday celebration sounds like way too much work! Just wish them happy birthday and then do whatever makes you happy. Thanks for showing your shivering roses, they are beautiful.

  14. Annie,

    Do Austinites feel the pressure to carry on when our gardens stop blooming? We hunger for the salvias, roses and bulbs that are fast asleep! Winter can't come so harshly to your garden...we aren't ready to let go of Autumn! Happiest Day Annie and thanks for letting us hang onto your beautiful blooms for one more Bloom Day! Maybe they have survived winter's cruel blast!


  15. Ice--yikes! But you still have a lovely list of blooms, Annie. I particularly like your camellia sasanqua, and the Meyer lemon. And it's nice to know that someone else has a full windowsill of plants, too. :)

  16. Lots of lovely blooms, love the roses, bulbine, and the shades in the yellow of the snapdragons.

  17. Lots of lovely blooms, love the roses, bulbine, and the shades in the yellow of the snapdragons.

  18. 'Julia Child' has certainly been a winner for you this year. Hope everything survived the freeze and that you had a lovely day today.

  19. Listening to Mamma Mia while baking cookies ought to be a hoot! Love your camelia.

  20. So much in this post makes me feel happy: that beautiful Julia Child rose, the sasanqua camellia, the Mama Mia soundtrack and remembering the Dancing Queen sequence in the movie. Thanks for a feel-good post.

  21. Your Roses are so lovely, I hope their blooms weren't spoiled. My mom always plants some Antirrhium. They are so cold hardy, some years they've bloomed well into December. (Not this year, of course.) At least you don't have to shovel. Stay warm!

  22. I like your multi-tasking idea, if you put Beetoven on your i-pod you could hand water with the hose while holding the book and reading with the other...amazing woman!

  23. Omigosh! I didn't realize you guys got such cold weather there. I imagined it to be much warmer. I am amazed at the blooms still in your garden, though.

    It's minus 9 here in Vancouver. Even the Fraser River has ice on it. Brrrr.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  24. Hi Annie, I thought I left you a message when I was here the other day...but apparently not:( I just wanted to say hello, and express my joy at seeing your roses...all of them (at least the ones that are currently blooming). I suppose I can look forward to lots of photos of roses on your blog, as the weather turns into spring and summer! Take care, Jan

  25. A delightful post! Julia Child roses, tea and Beethoven, Mamma Mia (loved it!!).... a delicious medley of real and mental images, thanks!

  26. It was a pretty good day, Cargol - Mamma Mia was good baking music.

    Many of these flowers were frozen, Yolanda Elizanet, but roses can surprise us. The white gaura is finished but the pink still has flowers.

    Hi May Dreams Carol - it's an eclectic group, isn't it? The outside plants don't look too great right now so I'm glad to have blooming houseplants. January may be hard!

    When I was a kid, FaireFrances, "Peanuts" was one of the most popular comic strips, with Schroeder celebrating Beethoven's birthday each year. My uncle thought we should all celebrate it and it became a family joke. But for work music, humming isn't enough - I need songs with words ;-]

    This December Bloom day may be it for outside flowers, Lisa at Greenbow - repeated freezes here!

    Aren't roses in December cool, Randy? Glad I planted them.

    I bought the soundtrack months ago, PrairieRose, and Philo just bought me the DVD of the movie - yay. Once or twice in IL a snapdragon lived over under mulch and snow - they are tough.

    You should have seen the kitchen floor after the baking sessions, walk2write- cookie dough did end up everywhere!

    We do have a lot in common, Apple - including Gardening, Genealogy and being Grandmothers. But when it comes to Geography - you left a warmer place for Snowville, while I started out in Northern Illinois and landed in Austin.

    It's cold again, Cindy from Katy, so I'm inside now, but over the weekend we were mowing & raking!

    You never know, Leslie, but for sure it's Benny Andersson's birthday ;-]

    My roses won't win prizes, Iris, but I love having them and many of them are pretty tough and don't need tons of water.

    Hello Robin at GetGrounded - glad you liked the roses. I doubt they'll be blooming in January but it was cool to have them for December.

    I think that it's our weather swings that make us want to protect and hold on, gail! When 2 or 3 cold days are followed by 5 days in sixties and seventies, it seems goofy not to try, at least.

    When we drove that car to IL for a couple of Christmases it complained the whole way, Blackswamp Kim! I'm testing the zone edges with one lemon inside and one outside.

    Thanks, Nicole - those yellows are among my favorite colors, too.

    MSS of Zanthan - Julia gets blackspot, but blooms anyway. Hope the remaining buds made it through last night's cold snap.

    It was a hoot, Tina - as long as no one actually sees the aging Annie jumping around singing "Gimme Gimme Gimme".

    It's about time my readers got something cheerful, right Pam/Digging? I hope happy times are coming your way.

    It was 29°F this morning, MMD - don't need a snow shovel, but can't use a garden spade, either!

    But first I'd have to get the I-pod, Conscious Gardener!

    The water in the birdbaths is frozen solid this morning, Jo - but it's only about minus 2 centigrade...you guys are really cold! Happy Christmas to you and yours - enjoy the munchkins!

    It's a funny thing, Jan at Thanksfor2Day, but you're not likely to see roses here in summer...it's too hot. They bloom spring and fall instead.

    Thank you Anne the Plant Slut -cool name for a garden blog!

    Thanks for the comments - hope that whatever you celebrate - whether winter solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Festivus - your heart may be full of love and hope.


  27. Annie, you still have so many beautiful blooms for December. The 'Blenda's Dream' rose is my dream rose for sure.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  28. Nice blooms. The Meyer Lemon is particularly nice. I just love gardens.

  29. I'm late for Bloom Day, Annie, but better late than never!
    I'm glad the frost held off just long enough to give you blooms for the 15th.
    Your roses in December are consolation for heat of summer.
    I simply must see Mamma Mia! I'm picturing you baking cookies while dancing and singing. It's a fun picture :)
    Lucky you to have such lovely blooms inside as well.

  30. Hello, Are you aware of an apparent theft of your blog at?:

    They just took content and not photos as they did from other blogs. I did not put a hyper link in this comment as I don't want to do an apparent thief any favors. Paris2 blog put me onto to this massive apparent blog thief.

  31. hi my name is gabby.
    i'm new on blogger and i looked at your profile and i thought it was great. i can see u love flowers and i love them too. i especially love all those pictures of flowers. well i hope to hear from u soon.



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