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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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Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Look Back At 2008

Annieinaustin,2008 xmas treeCan we take an over-the-shoulder glance at last year's posts before diving into 2009? January 2008 began with a tribute to those Stubborn Irish People From Chicago who keep the decorations up and the lights turned on until January 6th - Epiphany or Feast of Three Kings. When affirmative comments came from other gardeners who celebrated the 12 Days of Christmas, they warmed me like a cozy quilt around my shoulders. Yolanda Elizabet from Holland, Entangled from Virginia, Leslie from California, Barbara from Switzerland, MSS from Austin, TX, Therese from Louisiana, Kate from Saskatchewan, Kerri from New York State, Mr McGregor's Daughter from Chicago, Lisa at Greenbow, Indiana, Red Dirt Dee from Oklahoma, Nicole in the Caribbean, Josie in Vancouver and Dawn from Austin also had traditions of leaving the light glow a little longer.Annieinaustin,bee on salvia A few weeks later May Dreams Carol made up the acronym GADS, for Gardeners Attention Distraction Syndrome. My answer to her was to Embrace The GADS! I'm a bee, not an ant - so buzzing from project to project is my nature. Carol not only took my advice and tried hard to "Embrace the GADS", she decided to Embrace "Embracing"! That label on her blog pulls up a whole subset of Embrace posts.

Annieinaustin, Baltimore orioleInstalling our Disappearing Fountain changed the way the garden looks and sounds. We now see birds sip and splash just a few feet from the breakfast room window. Who knew we had orioles and goldfinches? Annieinaustin, Garden fairyThe secret garden was touched by a little magic when A Fairy Garden Consultant arrived from the Pacific Northwest.

Annieinaustin, Black & Blue SalviaI recorded a couple of songs last spring - one was "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me" (from the deer), which has turned out to be my biggest 'hit'.
Annieinaustin, May Dreams song, titleThe lyrics to "May Dreams in Indiana" were written in 2007, when Carol was an online friend with a great garden blog. But last spring, the very real Carol and MSS of Zanthan Gardens sat next to my piano and listened to preview the song before Philo & I made it into a YouTube.
Annieinaustin, Kathy & Susan AlbertEveryone who was part of Spring Fling was touched by a little magic! We Austin Garden bloggers had been meeting off and on since July 2006 -but last winter Pam/Digging had the idea to go national and Diana, MSS and Bonnie helped her make it a reality. It was wonderful to meet Susan Albert and see Cold Climate Kathy again!

Annieinaustin, Baghead posterPhilo & I went to the movies in June, partly to enjoy the film, and partly to see if our scene extras in the Austin Indie film Baghead made it to the screen. The DVD of Baghead has just been released - it's on Netflix, too. Since we're visible for a few seconds, I guess we need to buy a copy!

Annieinaustin, Jake's peach treeWarm, dry Spring turned to sweltering Summer in Austin but it was a lovely, peachy summer in the faraway gardens of our family . Our grand dog Penny was already helping out in Lily's garden. Annieinaustin, garden dogWe mourned George Carlin and enjoyed a few great tomatoes. Annieinaustin, tomatoes & CarlinThere were plenty of flowers here in spite of the heat and drought - Annieinaustin, oriental lilyfor eleven months of 2008 the 15th was celebrated with a bloom day post - but intermittent camera problems meant July's entry was a simple list at Annie's Addendum rather than a post with flower portraits. Annieinaustin,lilies on pondPhilo and I were delighted to have the company of MSS of Zanthan on the annual Austin Pond Society Tour. In mid-tour, my old Kodak EasyShare camera stopped working completely but we had such a good time that I was inspired to write more music. At the same time that Philo and I were putting together the video of The Pond Song, our son and daughter-in-law in Illinois were uploading our co-written love song to Lilac Time in Lombard, 'I Don't Want to Live In Texas When It's May". Annieinaustin,spider on moonflowerWe tried two cameras before settling on a Canon PowerShot A590. It was fun to see what it could do after a little rain fell on the garden. The new camera helped me share the visits of unusual critters like the Bird Poop Caterpillar, decollate snails and a mantidfly. Annieinaustin, metallic green beeInspired by inspired by fellow bloggers Vertie and Iris and by the website of genuine Austin entomologist Wizzie Brown, I wrote a comedy song called My Austin Entomologist. Annieinaustin, 1959 Snowball fightOne final song for 2008 needed the scanner, rather than the camera - images from old albums filled the screen for the nostalgic and wistful "Can I Recover Christmas"

This year was not exactly a great gardening year - too hot, too dry
, too many other things going on. But it was a great year for meeting and talking to gardeners! Some of these friends were part of my real-world, including my beloved friends the Divas of the DirtAnnieinaustin, Divas of the Dirt, Elsi'salso in the real world were the bloggers who came to Spring Fling, friends and gardeners on the Conservancy Tour with Pam/Digging all those at the fun October meet-up- Renee and RockRose Jenny and Good & Evil Lori at Eastside Patch and The Grackle. It's always seemed as if we are friends when we read and comment on each other's blogs. Joining Twitter in September meant immediate conversations - some with people known in person. When reading tweets, I can sort of hear them saying the words in my mind. Annieinaustin, bee on Meyer's lemonThere are no goals or resolutions for this blog in 2009, no plans for more frequent posting or better photos or higher numbers on the stat counters or more income from the ads. There are no counters and there are no ads. Just words and pictures from one slow bumblebee of a blogger who likes to visit y'all and hum to you once in awhile. May 2009 be good to all of you.


  1. And to you too Annie. A wonderful wrap up of the year. May 2009 be your best ever!

  2. That was a very nice look back at a lot of good times in the garden. Thank you again for the wonderful song!

    You might be a slow bumblebee of a blogger, but your posts are always worth the wait and fun to visit. And your comments are some of the best in the land.

    Happy New Year!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Oh Annie, a fun look back through your blog year. I am lookin forward to all your slow hummin and piano plunkin of 2009.

  4. Cheers, Annie!
    Great wrap-up and happy to have contributed.

  5. Annie/Kathy: It is all about the shared gardening experience isn't it? I love the imagery of 'one slow bumblebee of a blogger' as that is often how I feel! Keep singing and Happy New Year. I am just trying to control my 'potty mouth' which gets away from me sometimes. I have failed twice today but hope and hard work will win out! LOL

  6. What a lovely wrap up to a lovely garden/gardener/blogger! It seems like a good year ... I hope you have an even better 2009! - M2 (Incandragon)

  7. Hi Annie,
    A lovely retrospective of 2008 from your end of the gardening universe! I hope 2009 will be a banner year for you, however you choose to define that ... :-)

    Happy New Year, and I hope you and Philo had a nice evening leading up to the big change.

    We just laid out some tasty food, bought a magnum of some very good Spanish champagne and watched a double feature of Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge! that were part of a set Fernymoss gave me for Christmas.

    So much more relaxing than trying desperately to have fun as so many people do on New Year's Eve ...

  8. What a pleasant look back at 2008. You've had a busy and productive year. I want to emulate your bubbling fountain someday in order to attract birds as you have.

    Thanks for continuing to blog and to share your friendship, your garden, and your observations with us. Happy New Year, Annie!

  9. Hi Annie, I love the metaphor of slow bumblebee, so beloved in our gardens and in our hearts. Your fine singing and compositions are a delight, we are hoping you keep 'em comin'! I did so enjoy meeting you in person at the fling in Austin and hope to become reacquainted in Chi town! :-)

  10. Happy New Year, Annie. A great look back at 2008. We look forward to your visit to Chicago for Spring-Fling.

  11. Happy New Year, Annie. It was nice to look back on 2008 in your part of the world. I esp. liked recalling the disappearing fountain, I really like that.

    Always Growing

  12. Happy New Year, Annie
    A fun restrospective.

  13. Congratulations as a lot of work went into this post. It will be a great memory archive for you.

  14. Happy New Year to you too Annie,,,and best wishes for wonderful,enjoyable, rewarding gardening in 2009!

  15. Happy New Year to you, too, Annie! Looking at all your photos, I would say you had a very eventful year even if it was a little too hot and dry in the garden. Since I didn't start reading your blog till late spring or so, I missed some of these posts. I am definitely going to come back to hear "Salvia, Salvia, Save Me." What a great title!

    You've also made my day--now I realize that instead of being flighty or easily distracted, I am a "bee":)

  16. Annie,

    Hello and Happy New Year....what a loving look back at dear friends, fun times and a whole year of garden experiences. It was a tough year for gardens in Austin, but a good year for friendship~ I loved 'I Don't Want To Live In Texas When It's May" and will have to catch Salvia Save Me....it might help me with the emerging dear deer problem.

  17. From one slow bumblebee blogger to another, I wish you a wonderful 2009. I look forward to hearing more songs from you and enjoying your personal view of your garden and beyond.

  18. What a busy year you've had, Annie, and I missed the whole thing! I have a lot of catching up to do but in the meantime, here's wishing you a Happy New Year!

  19. It's been another wonderful year of blog friendship, Annie. Following your activities in the garden, and otherwise, has been fun and interesting..as it always is. Keep those songs coming!
    I hope you have some nice, slow, bumblebee relaxation time now...at least for a little while.
    Wishing you a healthy, happy and joy filled 2009 dear friend!

  20. There are no goals or resolutions for this blog in 2009, no plans for more frequent posting or better photos or higher numbers on the stat counters or more income from the ads. There are no counters and there are no ads. Just words and pictures from one slow bumblebee of a blogger who likes to visit y'all and hum to you once in awhile.

    My sentiments exactly! oh kindred spirit.

  21. How lovely to review the entire year. This post must have taken forever to put together. I particularly like the old B&W pic of a long-ago snow day.
    This is the time of year we all take a deep breath to take on the coming year. It's good to pause first for a look back at what was clearly a wonderful year for you. Hope '09 is even better.

  22. What a lovely retrospective! I have been following you on Twitter, but for some reason I hadn't come to your blog! Glad I did. Love that photo of the Black N Blue Salvia, btw, that's one of my new favorites.
    ~Angela :-)

  23. renee (reneesroots)Sat Jan 03, 06:56:00 PM 2009

    Enjoyed reading your look back at 2008, Annie, especially your no-goals resolution... Sometimes it's enough to just bee.

  24. A beautiful review of a not so awesome gardening year. I especially loved your recovering Christmas song. Just fabulous. I also loved meeting you, Annie, and I'm glad we've become friends. Happy New Year.~~Dee

  25. Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were wonderful. Once again, I didn't start taking my decoration down til yesterday, Epiphany. I loved your wonderful how-to post for the disappearing fountain. I'm seriously considering making the attempt this year. I'm glad you're not planning on making any changes to your blog. I love it just the way it is.

  26. I just saw your comment on A Study in Contrast about the Daylily 'Bela Lugosi.' Frances posted about it last summer.

  27. Annie,
    I liked your "Year In Review" post very much.....lovely as well as positive. (For me 2008 was so negative and horrible on so many levels I really don't want to review mine.) But here's hoping you and yours will have a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2009!

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  28. Annie, I hope 2009 will bring more rain and less heat to your garden, as well as more opportunities to converse in person and online with other gardeners!

  29. Dear Annie,

    Thank you so much for giving us a look back at your wonderful blog entries for 2008. I have been woefully neglectful as a blog-reader due to pre/post-surgery stuff & missed several important facts: like you're in BagHead! Wow!

    Looks like you had a beautiful year with family & friends. You certainly are loved and for good reason. :-) May 2009 bring you even more joy!


  30. Thank you Tina in Tennessee - hope your 2009 is memorable!

    There would be no MayDreams song without your inspiration, Carol! And I love comments from you, too.

    Thanks, Lisa at Greenbow - maybe another tree song will be next ;-]

    Thanks, Iris in Austin - I'm looking forward to seeing your house turn colors soon!

    Okay Layanee - the concept of you having to control potty mouth has blown my circuits! We both love the online shared gardening experience but I still hope we can meet in the real world, too.

    Thank you so much, M2 - I love your blog and admire your storytelling. Happy 2009!

    Thanks for coming, IVG - and I hope you have a banner year in your Iowa garden.
    People in our area set off fireworks from early evening until 2AM...have to admit I like them as festive background. We spent a lot of New Year's Eve on the phone to our family, watching Mamma Mia between calls. I can remember when TV stations showed Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films non-stop at New Years - guess seeing a musical seems just right!

    You'd probably get some very cool birds with a fountain, Pam/Digging - you're closer to natural areas. Happy New Year in the new house!

    Thank you and Happy New Year, FaireFrances - it's nice that the gardenblog world let's us be us, isn't it?

    Happy New Year to you, Carolyn Gail - Spring Fling in Chicago should be amazing!

    Hello Jan - may 2009 be a wonderful year for you in your Louisiana garden!

    Thanks for liking it - and Happy New Year, Nicole!

    You are right about the archive, Tabor! It's ridiculous how many times I have to look up something about my own garden on this blog. Happy New Year!

    It's always fun visiting your garden, Leslie in California - may this year bring you lots of good things!

    Hello Prairie Rose - Gardening is a little like baseball - we always want that homerun, and are always saying Wait Until Next Year. Wishing you a honey of a year, Ms Bee!

    Five years of gardening with deer led to the Salvia song, Gail - our move was for other reasons, but leaving them behind was a welcome side-effect. Happy New Year and good luck! How lucky I was to meet you in person!

    Thank you, MorningGlories in RoundRock. It would be fun to meet you someday - in the meantime hope you had a Rootin-Tootin New Year.

    Nearly fell off the chair when I saw your comment, LostRoses - we were beginning to think you really were lost! I hope this year will treat you kindly and that you'll treat us with some new posts!

    Welcome dear Kerri -how lucky I was to find your beautiful photos and warm words, way back before I thought of joining you in blogging. May health and joy fill your 2009, too.

    We're far from PEI, and I'm a different Anne, but we are kindred spirits. May you have a beautiful 2009, MSS from Zanthan Gardens

    Hello Weeping Sore - some of the other garden bloggers started the retrospective posts, and doing is did make me feel as if something was accomplished!
    I hope your 2009 is a good year for you!

    Welcome, Cottage Garden Angela - twitter is how I found you, too. Happy New Year in your Pacific NW garden!

    Ooh, Renee in Austin - good play on words! I love your Statesman blogs and articles!

    Hi Red Dirt Dee - meeting you was very special and seeing your garden through your blog is fun...although I'm a little jealous because Pam/Digging got to visit Rosehaven in person! Happy 2009.

    I turned off the timer for the lights and started taking the decorations down, but didn't get far, MMD, - too much to do outside! Thank you for the extremely kind words about my blog. I would not want you to change, either except I hope you get that fountain in 2009!
    (Thanks for the reminder that Frances had the Bela Lugosi)

    For 2009 I will wish you a much better year, Jon - good gardening, good friends and good health!

    Thank you for the rain wishes, Cindy from Katy - and hope we meet again! Happy 2009!

    You're too funny about the 15 seconds of Baghead, Dawn from Austin, but thank you for your friendship and kind wishes...may 2009 be a good one for you and your family in all ways.

    Happy New Year and thank you for all the comments,


  31. How lovely. Quite. Mm yes delightful then isnt it.

  32. I like your blog! Please check mine out, it's a funny look at the life of a teacher who is also a first time, stressed out mom to a growing boy. A unique look into friends, family, and parenting.


  33. I like very much this blog.




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