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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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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, March 2009

Annieinaustin,rain in gaugeA rain gauge is not a bloom, but without rain there would be no flowers to show May Dreams Carol for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Rain crept in early on Wednesday morning and it has stayed a few days, refreshing our gardens and making a small dent in the ongoing drought. Above is the old reliable gauge...the new rain gauge from the last post knew how to be a vase but it did not know how to be a weather instrument.

Annieinaustin, Circus-CercisThe rain kicked the three kinds of Redbud tree in the front yard into bloom. A play on the Latin name for the genus Redbud, Cercis, led me to name our place Circus~Cercis a couple of years ago.

Annieinaustin Cercis Forest PansyOur first redbud tree was planted at the end of the house in the front yard under the canopy of a live oak in October 2004 - the purple-leaved Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'.

Annieinaustin, Tx RedbudThen in October 2006 we bought a Texas Redbud/Cercis canadensis var. texensis from a Tree Folks sale. The tree grows next to a bat-shaped bed formed by three Bridal Wreath-type shrubs, part of the Pink Entrance Garden leading to the gate.

Annieinaustin,TX whitebudWhen the largest of our three Arizona Ash trees died and was cut down in Spring 2007, first I sang a song about it, then we planted a Cercis canadensis var texensis 'Alba' - a Texas Whitebud. When seen in close up, the small flowers are enchanting and it's easy to see they're in the pea family.

Annieinaustin, Mutabilis rose & WhitebudHere the Whitebud is a background for the 'Mutabilis' rose, growing in the middle of the front yard in what was once the footprint of the Arizona Ash. This rose just started a bloom cycle.

Annieinaustin, Pomegranate budIn back, around the far end of the house in the Secret Garden, buds suddenly appeared on the small pomegranate tree. Last year was the first time it bloomed- we've never had fruit from this tree.
Annieinaustin, Mexican lime flowersThe Mexican Lime, bought last fall and growing in a pot, seems to be setting some fruit already.

Annieinaustin,geraniums & impatiensNear the lime a few of last summer's bedding geraniums and impatiens managed to survive the mild winter and have begun to rebloom.

Annieinaustin,Dwarf pomegranateBack in the main part of the garden behind the house another pomegranate grows in a pot. Unlike the full-size tree which is deciduous, this dwarf pomegranate can be evergreen in the right place. given protection.

Annieinaustin, Meyer Lemon flowersWe have two Meyer's Lemon trees - one in a container brought into the breakfast room for winter, and one planted in the ground outside. The one in the kitchen bloomed earlier and now has small fruits developing. The Lemon growing against the back wall of the house began to open flowers a week ago.

Annieinaustin, Butterfly Blue scabiosaThis little Scabiosa 'Butterly Blue' is sometimes called Pincussion Flower. It blooms off and on for 8 months of the year.

Annieinaustin, rained on peach irisThe iris kept opening flowers even on drizzly days so this clump of pale peach iris has only a few buds left to open.

Annieinaustin,white iris in rainThe white iris and the few remaining narcissus petals turned almost transparent from the soaking.
Annieinaustin,Amethyst Flame iris in rainThe petals of the 'Amethyst Flame' iris shared by Pam/Digging kept their violet-blue color even though bedraggled from the weather.

Annieinaustin,Iris,Salvia greggii budsOne 'Amethyst Flame' bud sneaked in when I tried to capture the buds of a Salvia greggii. I've planted dozens of salvias here in 4 and 1/2 years and have lost track of identities - this might be just plain Salvia greggii alba or could be Salvia greggii 'Navajo Cream'.

Annieinaustin, yellow snapdragon basketHere's another example of why I enjoy Slow Gardening - a year and a half ago I poked a couple of rescued snapdragons into a hanging basket with pansies. One plant lived but just sat there and refused to bloom. When the pansies were done I pulled them out but left the snap alone, tucking summer impatiens in next to it. All year I watered the basket and gave it occasional doses of fertilizer & seaweed, and the snapdragon hung on, growing slowly and making roots in the basket. Once the cold weather killed the impatiens, that snapdragon saw its opportunity to shine, draping almost to the ground, covered in two-toned yellow flowers and buds. I didn't even know what color the flowers were until two days ago!

Annieinaustin,coral honeysuckle archThe real show in the garden this week is still the arch covered by the Coral Honeysuckle/Lonicera sempervirens and the Lady Banks Rose/Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'.
Annieinaustin,ladybanks rose & loniceraThe light yellow perfectly echoes the interior of the honeysuckle trumpets. In Illinois tulips and snowdrops and crocus said 'Spring' to us, but now this vibrant combination is our surest sign that winter is gone for good.

Annieinaustin,Whitebud & bulbineHere's one last photo of the Whitebud. This tree would be a sign of spring almost anywhere in the United States - but look down at its feet...you must be somewhere in the South if there is sub-tropical Yellow Bulbine blooming under your Whitebud tree!

Have fun visiting Carol's blog for more bloom day posts from around the world! The complete list of everything in bloom at Circus~Cercis will appear soon on the Addendum.


  1. The White flowered Redbud is lovely and a nice change of pace from the magenta...which I dearly love! Is the old rain gauge registering almost 3 inches? That is great...it will take a great deal of rain to make up for a drought but maybe this will help the water table and your garden! Annie, I was gifted a Yellow Lady Banks Rose and now I see how you've planted yours (she looks wonderful with the Coral Honeysuckle) ...I have a good idea what to do with her. Thank you~~gail

  2. Those peachy irises are so lovely. And the honeysuckle is gorgeous. Wonderful blooms. Hope the rain helps ease your drought.

  3. That's a lot of rain at one time. Woo-Hoo and Hip, hip, hooray. Sometimes rain is even more exciting than flowers. However, it's fun to see what is blooming further south. Looks great to me.~~Dee

  4. Hi Annie, looks like you got a nice amount of rain - no wonder everything looks so happy!

    The red and white buds are so pretty and delicate. I wish redbuds were happier are around here. They do seem to die young in our climate. I had a really nice one at my last house. It seemed very happy, I think because it had a nice, sheltered spot.

    The rose- and honeysuckle-covered arch is gorgeous. If I close my eyes I can almost smell it from here!

    Amazing you have impatiens and geraniums that overwintered outdoors.

  5. Your iris blooms are gorgeous! My iris haven't done anything this spring. I think they're just hanging on for dear life. They're in front of the fence by the sidewalk, so I seldom water them. Maybe the recent rain will encourage them to bloom.

  6. I like the term 'slow gardening'. Some plants just take their time and we shouldn't be too quick to give up on them, like your snapdragon.

    All your flowers look fresh and a bit revived, just in time for bloom day!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. How many times have I said I was going to get a
    Forest Pansy? Maybe this will be the year. I like your Arizona Ash. You are a totally over the top musical gardener. :) We could have a lot of fun,

  8. Wow, it's all beautiful. Love that Whitebud.

    But the rain gauge picture is one we all treasure most right now!

  9. I am so jealous of you people in Texas! Scabiosa already! I love the redbud pics. That is probably my favorite flowering tree, hands down. I really should get one. I have no idea where I would put it.

    I have never seen a "whitebud" before!

  10. Annie, I wish my white redbud would bloom that prolifically. I just peeked out the window at mine and it's blooming, but very sparsely. Wonder if the drought actually encouraged yours to bloom?

  11. Your Redbuds look pretty young, but they bloom so profusely. I keep waiting for mine to figure out how to bloom. It's good to see your Iris sodden - they're aren't pretty that way, but it's great to see that Austin has gotten a good rain. The Lady Banks Rose looks so lovely with the Honeysuckle.

  12. My goodness Annie, you have lots blooming in your garden now. I love redbud trees. I didn't know there was a white one. It is gorgeous. Our Forest Pansy was torn apart in a storm last year. It needs to be replaced. Happy GBBD.

    I about cracked up at the comment you left on my blog about "looking up at the Long-tailed Grackles" trying to figure out which they were. Don't get under there. You can take my word for it that you have Long-tailed not Boat Tailed. tee hee...

  13. I've been scouting around for a place to plant a redbud too. Great name for your garden Annie and you have so MANY blooms for March! I'm envious. Maybe some of your rain will head north??? We could sure use some.

  14. I'm so glad you got a good rain for your plants. I love to see flowering trees; for some reason I've always had a fondness for redbuds. Our temperature is warming up, our trees will be blooming soon too!

  15. Hi Annie.
    So what happened with the new rain gauge? I am curious!

    I have never had blooms on my citrus like I have this year, the small trees are packed from top to bottom. My Mexican lime leads the pack.

    I keep meaning to get a redbud, they look so "Far-Eastern" I think one would look great near my fish pond as an alternative to Japanese maple. Amazing looking at this time of year.

    PS: I was deadly serious about the camera and the oven. :-)

  16. Great collection! Love the pomegranate (Does yours get fruit? I never got the dwarf to fruit, though I loved the flowers.

  17. Love the redbuds even when they are white! The rain does make everything feel, well, cleansed don't you think? Glad you are getting a bit of water for the blooms.

  18. You are a month ahead of me it seems...my pom is just now leafing out. No iris, no lemon or lime blooms, no scabiosa yet. You're garden is looking very springlike for anywhere!

  19. Hmm...I wonder if there's a California whitebud. Might be nice growing next to a redbud. Happy Bloom Day!

  20. I love redbuds! I wish mine would bloom, but it seems to be just leafing out instead - it's only a few feet tall still. Your irises are beautiful too.

  21. It does seem to be honeysuckle month--many of warmer zone gardeners have it. I also noticed another Lady Banksia. It's interesting--I'm finally beginning to figure out the cycles in these other climates.

  22. I'm not crazy about bluebonnets that bloom pink, but I do love the redbud that blooms white.

    My transplanted pomegranate is budding too---only three buds so far, but I'll take them. Mine has never fruited either.

  23. Redbuds are my favorite spring flowering tree! I was so excited yesterday to see that mine has some tiny buds on it--spring is on its way! The white one is gorgeous, but I don't suppose it grows in zone 5? Your patio must smell heavenly with that beautiful honeysuckle nearby.

    So glad you had some rain; I'm wishing for more sunny days to dry everything out here, but I know how much you need the moisture.

  24. Oh you've done it now, Annie. I won't be able to rest until I have a Texas Whitebud tree. Where am I going to put it? I don't have a clue, but there has to be a spot somewhere. Beautiful photos, each and everyone.

  25. Seeing your Mutabalis rose in bloom makes me excited about seeing the roses that will soon be blooming here. I've never heard of a whitebud either. I've always loved the redbuds.

  26. It's great to hear that you had some sustained rain. That must have been wonderful. Your garden must be thrilled with the water. I love the Honeysuckle/Lady Banks Rose on the trells. The Mexican Lime is beautiful and I like the way the little limes are forming.

    Oh, and seeing Scabiosa makes me smile. As does the mutabilis rose. It is stunning. And the Redbuds are lovely.

  27. That is interesting about the dwarf pomegranate staying evergreen. My BIG one always loses leaves and sometimes will be hit by frost which will affect the number of poms. Last year was good. Hope you get some this year. I have umpteen seedlings from the pom and have planted one outside. Don't know if it will ever set fruit though. Despite having made loads of flowers and set fruit my lemons all dropped off. I guess they didn't like the conditions. I hope they bloom again like yours.
    Redbuds always look their best as an understory tree.

  28. I'm going to have me some scabiosa in the new stroll garden.

    I am always so inspired by your garden. It is lovely and I'm sure the rain was a welcome change.

  29. Hi Annie,

    I almost bought my first Scabiosa recently but was scared it would need too much water?

    I LOVE the whitebud and had never heard of them! Your coral honeysuckle and ladybanks roses are really flaunting it, aren't they? Beautiful!

  30. Love the whitebud, Annie. Your garden is putting on a fine show for this March Bloom Day.

  31. All these blooms (in March) still amaze me! It was 70 today in Chicago!

  32. So your redbuds are just starting to bloom. The one straddling my fenceline has already been and faded (although a new one across the street is in full bloom).

    Your irises look absolutely stunning.

    Overall the thing that continues to amaze me about your GBBD updates is how many things you have blooming that I don't even grow. You'd figure everyone in Austin would grow mostly the same things but your garden is always full of surprises.

  33. Hello Gail - isn't the whitebud cool? I knew about both Whitebuds and the 'Forest Pansy' when I gardened in IL, but even regular redbuds had a tough time making it through winter in my old town so all my pent-up redbud desires had to wait until we moved here.
    Lady Banks isn't too wild in my garden, but keep an eye on her!

    Welcome Curmudgeon, and thank you. We hope for more rain but the whole garden has responded.

    Once it warms up in your garden, Dee of Red Dirt, my few roses will look like a nosegay to your bouquet!

    You're right Garden Girl Linda - I saw my IL neighbors' redbuds die to the ground in bad winters and the buds freeze off in other years. They ended up being very pretty redbud shrubs...but seldom trees.
    Both the rose and honeysuckle are scentless - you must be catching the fragrance of sweet olive and Meyer lemon flowers ;-]

    These iris have been in place for a few years, Barb in Central TX and I hand water the beds. Hope the rain brought you some flowers.

    Someone else made up the term, MayDreams Carol, and it's a useful one...especially when the gardener is slow, too!

    Roger Swain showed me a 'Forest Pansy' on the Victory Garden TV show...maybe 20 years ago? Mother Nature, it was love at first sight but had to wait until we moved to this house in 2004. Thanks for liking my song!

    Thanks, Linda from CTG, - hope we have some more nice rain...but not during SXSW!

    Katie Elzer-Peters - think the scabiosa was planted about Nov or Dec 2005 and it likes that spot...long bloomer here. Go buy a redbud!

    You have one too, Cindy from Katy? How cool! This one was planted spring 2007 so had good rain the first 6 months. It's on the edge of the new flower border, which is hand-watered, and gets the run-off, has lots of early sun with some late afternoon shade.

    Both the TX redbud and TX whitebud have grown and are blooming, MMD, while the 'Forest Pansy' has sparse flowers and is growing very slowly. It needs the live oak to keep it from frying in the sun, but being under the canopy seems to have a 'Bonsai Effect' on its development.

    Lisa from Greenbow, I can remember driving to St Louis from Chicago in the late 1970's. It was still winter in Chicago, but in the Missouri hills the redbuds were opening. I fell in love and haven't fallen out yet - hope you have a new Redbud soon.
    (Glad you got a laugh - you know I love to crack you up!)

    Hello Kathleen thanks for visiting. How far North should the rain go? I'm not sure where you live - regular Eastern redbud doesn't do well here but Texas and Oklahoma varieties can take the heat. Hope you find a good place to plant a redbud and a good name for your garden ;-]

    Thanks, Robin of Nesting Place - I love flowering trees, too and bet yours will be popping...heard it was in the seventies in Indiana yesterday!

    East Side Patch, I set the pretty raingauge outside but left the other ones out, too. The new one showed a whole inch of rain while the other two said 1/4. By the time the 2 older gauges approached 2 1/2 inches, the new one had overflowed! It's a little too optimistic to be trusted.

    It's so funny to me that two of the trees giving that classic 'Far-East' look are native to the US...the redbuds and (in the north) the Pagoda dogwood. I prune my white 'Acoma' Crepe Myrtles to get that effect, too.
    Sure hope the camera eventually recovers!

    Welcome Town Mouse. Bought the dwarf one last fall - don't know if it can have fruit. The regular pomegranate has had a couple of flowers but never fruited.

    I may love the whitebud more than the redbud, Layanee, but it might not be as tough! The rain washed all the leaves, but now the oak pollen is covering everything again. This is a very messy place to live!

    The big pomegranate leafed fast - but not a leaf or swelled bud on the peach or half the crepe myrtles, Leslie...very uneven year.

    There's an eastern whitebud Chuck B - but all I know about California comes from blogs like yours and Chigiy's. Have fun in Hawaii!

    Welcome Queer by Choice - took a glance at your blog to try to see where you're from and think you might be from California? I'm happy my redbuds are in bloom but take no credit for it!

    Hello EAL - this native blooms early - not sure if the fragrant Hall's Japanese kind is flowering already. I try to figure out the cycles, too - but they change from year to year.

    The pink redbuds are so delicate in form and the bloom so fleeting that even an old anti-Magenta-crank like me can love them, Pam/Digging, but I'd never spend much money on one...had to cough up bigger bucks for the Whitebud!
    Good for the pomegranate!

    If you can grow redbuds without dieback, Prairie Rose, maybe you can grow Whitebuds, too? They're not easy to find, however.
    No scent on the honeysuckle...just color.

    I think a Texas/Oklahoma Whitebud would look spectacular in your garden, Randy & Jamie! In my garden the shade it casts is so light that flowers bloom under it.

    My other roses haven't done much yet, Phillip but I'll bet yours are revving their engines for the big show!

    Kate Smudges - as Pop Larkin would say, the rain was perfeck. Sometimes the little lemons fall off, and that might happen with the limes, too, but as you have noticed, just getting to watch them form is fun, whether or not they become edible fruit.

    This was a mild year, Lancashire Jenny, and the pot is near the breakfast room wall. Bet it wouldn't have worked in 2007! My big pomegranate went so dormant it looked dead but has releafed.
    The inside lemon has held onto a few fruit but the outside one hasn't set any yet.

    'Butterfly Blue' was a staple border plant in Illinois - didn't know how it would do here but saw it in a few places and gave it a chance, Healing Magic Hands. It should be very happy in your new stroll garden.

    Hiya, Iris! My scabiosa is in an amended border and it gets afternoon shade. I do handwater the whole border but it's not super-thirsty.
    A whitebud was on my wishlist for a long, long time. And wanted a Ladybanks for ages! That's what happens when a Northern IL gardener reads books by Southern garden writers :-]

    Thanks, Renee of Renee's Roots - I'll be over to see what's happening in your Austin garden later today.

    Sounds like a heatwave for Chicago, Rosemarie - Happy GBBD!

    Are you in Austin, too, grimalkin? I'm up in the NW corner of the city - heavy clay and usually colder winters, which may explain why my redbuds are later than yours.
    I experimented with Southern plants in Illinois and down here enjoy trying all kinds of plants.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting,


  34. I keep forgetting to check on my "redbuds" to see if anything's happening yet. (will I ever wear out this joke, Annie?) :)
    Your red and whitebuds are so lovely.
    Your Meyer Lemons make me yearn for one of my own. I adore anything citrus and love the smell of those pretty blooms!
    Perhaps this year I'll remember to plant Scabiosa. I haven't grown it for years and keep meaning to.
    Those are tough little snapdragons. Love the way they're trailing over the side.
    Your arch is truly beautiful with the honeysuckle and Lady Banks. Wish I could smell those blossoms.
    Happy Bloom Day, Annie!

  35. Annie, your redbuds are wonderful! They are plentiful here, though not the white. It will be a few weeks yet before we see blooms though.

    It was a joy seeing your Texas garden with so many beautiful blooms!

  36. Hi Annie, you have shown us why your garden is aptly named. I remember the planting of the white redbud and wondered how that would look in your garden. It looks marvelous! That would really brighten up a shady area I have under tall pine trees. Forest Pansy is so dark that it does not stand out much. Matched up with a whitebud, they would both shine. I am looking at the yellow leaf ones too. I do wish bulbines could grow under my Cercis as well. :-)

  37. Love your blog! Its incredibly difficult to find any blogs of gardeners in TX! Great pictures as well!

  38. Annie -- I love that Whitebud tree. Those blooms are so beautiful and full. Your garden is full of happy plants and trees...I'm sure they were singing in the rain last week! Happy spring.

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  40. Wow! It's nice to hear that you had some good rain - I was looking at a drought map recently, and saw that you guys weren't really hurting. Isn't it so strange - I remember a season a year or so back when you guys were like a tropical rainforest with so much rain! We're dry too. You guys are also quite a bit further along than us - my pomegranetes are just leafing out - and you have flowers!!! I had one large redbud that bit the dust in a tropical storm/Cat 1 hurricane - so I've been thinking about getting another one, and I've admired the forest pansy redbuds for some time - you've motivated me (as if that is a difficult thing to do!)...thanks for a tour of your garden Annie, and I hope all is well.

  41. Oh, I meant to also say that last year my two pomegranetes each had a fruit, pretty-decent sized too. They had been in the ground for about 7 years, and are about 8-9' tall. I was thrilled! So there is hope...

  42. Oooh... whitebuds, snapdragons and pomegranates--beautiful! I especially like the 'Lady Banks' and the honeysuckle. (And yes, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed the my honeysuckle ends up being at least half as pretty and full of flowers as yours... :)

  43. Love the photo of the banksiae rose and the honeysuckle. My eye always catches that particular rose in pictures, maybe someday it will grow in my garden too.


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