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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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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, May 2009

It's already May 16th here, long past midnight after a long hot day. I went out to take photos for GBBD early in the morning under an overcast sky, hoping the flowers would be fresh. The back lawn looked pretty raggedy so I mowed it, then took more photos in the late afternoon. Many of the photos of individual flowers are pretty good. But you won't see them! I've spent hours formatting the pictures and trying to write this post but Blogger is being a pig as usual, uploading most of the closeups sideways. They look like crap that way so I deleted most of them. I might try to put the apricot daylily on my Twit-pic page instead. This little harvest of a 'Spanish Spice' pepper, 3 'Juliet' tomatoes and 8 peapods appeared there a couple of days ago. What you get is the garden in long shots - perhaps it's just as well. It's hot, we need rain, and insects and crustaceans have been chomping everything. Poor Rosa 'Julia Child' has been devoured. Pillbugs got the marigold seedlings. The front garden - 'The Bride' white gaura, Salvia guaranitica, Texas paintbrush, Yellow Bulbine, lavender blue Creeping Phlox, Salvia 'Nuevo Leon', Verbena bonariensis, the dependable Mutabilis rose The Pink Entrance Garden - a dwarf burgundy daylily, Mexican oregano, Rose-pink gaura, verbena bonariensis, rose Ice Plant, Deep pink 'Telstar' dianthus, white trailing lantana, pink skullcap, 'Belinda's Dream' Rose, deep magenta Calibrachoa. Just inside the gate, flowers in purples and oranges, blues and apricots. Mexican honeysuckle, Orange cuphea, , 'Vi's Apricot' dwarf daylilies, Verbena bonariensis, Setcreasea(Purple Heart tradescantia), Bicolor iris and Butterfly Blue scabiosa. In the middle and at the far end of the fence bed two shrubs of Mexican oregano are in full bloom And in the far corner the Rose of Sharon has a dozen flowers and the top of this shrub has finally reached the level of the fence, a small step toward the dream of a green screen.In the triangles and the center back bed are more 'Vi's Apricot' Daylilies, white salvia greggii, one lonely larkspur, tropical Asclepias/Butterfly weed, snapdragons, cilantro gone to seed, lavenders, Zinnia linearis,
the tiny flowers of Myrtus communis nana, Dwarf Greek Myrtle

The large fragrant flowers of Little Gem magnolia A white delphinium Budded daylilies, Batfaced cuphea, Black & Blue salvia, Salvia coccinea, Salvia greggii, Salvia guaranitica, Shasta daisies and Perovskia Head back to the patio and the color comes from geraniums and petunias (and more calibrachoa offscreen)Abelias dangle from the tall shrubs at the entrance to the secret garden. Inside are geraniums, impatiens, passionflowers, Mexican lime flowers, 'Coral Nymph' salvia and two pomegranates with a few flowers, one regular variety and one dwarf kind. In a few hours I'll be digging with the Divas of the Dirt so goodnight! Wonderful flowers with much less cranky gardeners can be found at May Dreams Garden, where Carol keeps track of more than 130 Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts from around the world.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thought Pops, Edition 6: Roofs, Roots, Retrospection and Lavender

The Hail-damaged roof is gone and the new one seems to suit our cottage very well! I had been dreading the process, fearful for the many, many plants both in the ground and in containers on all sides of the house. Then someone in our extended family recommended Mitchell Construction. In addition to the way the roof itself was done, I was pleased that the company treated my concerns seriously and the way all the hard-working people involved avoided damage to the garden. Attention to detail and care with picking up every bit of debris made it much more pleasant than a previous roofing experience. When the work was finished Alan Barber asked Philo to climb on the roof with him to survey the new shingles. From this angle you can see the stacks painted to blend with roof - a nice touch.


For the last week I've been on a genealogy bender, ever since my friend Ruth recommended that I give the Pilot Search feature at FamilySearch.org a look. I've used the site before, but hadn't tried that particular search engine. Just about every name on my lists was plugged in and many records appeared that I hadn't seen before. One part of the family tree used to stop with Kunigunda but not any more! It was amusing but not surprising that my great-great-great grandparents turned out to be 'Joseph' and 'Elizabeth'... those names appear over and over through the generations.

Ten years ago today, I snapped the garden photo above, then my youngest son & I drove to O'Hare Airport in Chicago, flying to the old Mueller Airport during its last days of operation. We got off the plane, met Philo, and took our first look at our future hometown of Austin, Texas. Philo had been working here for a few months, commuting back and forth to Illinois so this was his chance to show us around the new territory. We drove through likely neighborhoods, walked around downtown and saw 6th Street, checked out the University area, drove along the scenic Capital of Texas highway over the Pennybacker Bridge, ate at The Old Pecan Street Cafe and became acquainted with Taco Cabana. We returned to Illinois, then a month later we flew into the brand-new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and went househunting. These flowers opened today on a daylily called 'Vi's Apricot', a plant that was happy in our llinois garden. We brought it along with us, to bloom and grow in Texas. The original deal was we'd stay 3 years. We're all still here.

This year a couple of Sweet Lavender plants lived over winter, then made enough long stems to make a sweet and simple Lavender Stick as described by Elizabeth Lawrence in Through The Garden Gate. You can find step-by-step instructions at my other blog, Annie's Addendum. A lot of stuff seems to end up over there lately! You might also enjoy old Illinois iris lists or the photo of a Cactus with daffodils.