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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, June 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, June 2009

Welcome to Garden Blogger Bloom Day the monthly Floral Circus presided over by May Dreams Carol. Guess it's time to take a break from writing about what the Divas of the Dirt have been up to lately and write about what's in bloom at Circus~Cercis. Holding our GBBD meetings on the 15th of the month didn't work out for a few flowers - the White Delphinium ignored the calendar and bloomed for two weeks around the 1st of the month.

You missed 'Best of Friends' when it was at its prettiest - this photo is from May 24th. This pretty passalong daylily from Pam/Digging still opens flowers, but when temperatures graze 100°F every day, the flower color is paler.
You totally missed my new 'Devonshire' daylily bought at the Austin Hemerocallis Show and Sale. It had three stalks, each with lots of buds but they finished last week.

You've arrived just in time for the native Flame Acanthus blooming near the front door - another passalong from Pam/Digging.
At the end of the veranda these Blue Balloonflowers don't look too stressed yet... this is Platycodon grandiflora, carried to Texas from Illinois as tiny seedlings.
Cross the drive to the Pink Entrance Bed and see the first Coneflowers of the year- these are Echinacea 'Purple Stars', with natives pink gaura, Red yucca and pink skullcap, Mexican oregano, white trailing lantana, more balloonflowers and...one of the purple larkspurs which usually reseed in spring. In April 2008 they bloomed at 6' tall - this year only a few larkspur sprouted to bloom now.
In this border the Balloonflowers are Platycodon 'Miss Tilly'
Let's go see what's blooming inside the fence now - tropical milkweed in orange

It took the 'Acoma' crepe myrtles three years to reach the level of the fence - they look established now! That's a plumeria at left - no flowers but it has buds.
Down at ground level near the right crepe myrtle these passalong crocsmia from blogger MarthaChick are also in bud, rather than bloom. I let at least one of the wild sunflowers grow every summer on the edge of the vegetable garden. It doesn't seem to bother the tomatoes and peppers growing in the little garden behind it and shouldn't sunflower seeds for goldfinches count as a crop? .

The tomato crop isn't large but there are lots of 'Juliet' grape tomatoes and enough 'Early Girls' and 'Carmellos' so that one is ripe in time for dinner every day. I didn't plant the pattypan - it's one of those lasagna-composting bonuses from a chunk of squash added last fall. We've had two so far. The native coral honeysuckle has recovered from pruning and had begun a new bloom cycle.

Look at the shape of those flowers - no wonder the hummingbirds visit them.
The hummingbirds like the Salvia coccinea in the center of the back yard, too - that blur is a hummingbird and that lavender flower in the corner is another confused larkspur.
Sometimes the best color in an Austin heatwave is no color at all... it's White 'Fuji' balloonflowers and white coneflowers with silver gray Lambs Ears, a passalong from my friend Carole.
The color can be a surprise White Calla lily from a clump that hasn't bloomed in a few yearsIt's the White of the fragrant white abelia and the fluffy white crepe myrtles.

But my favorite is still White sails of the Blue River II Hibiscus, another plant carried from Illinois

The hibiscus reminds me of something else that slipped by in the last couple of weeks - my first blog post on June 7, 2006 was about them. These past three years of blogging have been great fun - thanks to all of you, especially MSS of Zanthan Gardens and Pam/Digging, the first garden bloggers I met and my inspirations from the beginning.

Carol will have links to all the GBBD participants and as usual, the list of all plants in bloom with my closest guesses at their proper botanical names can be found at Annie's Addendum.


  1. I'm glad you treated us to those blooms now past, Annie. It would've been a shame to miss their beauty.
    I think the honeysuckle I have may be the same as yours. It's a passalong from a friend, blooming now with flowers that look the same as those in your pictures. My plant is tiny so far, compared to yours.
    There are plenty of lovely tough Texas blooms brightening your June garden and braving the heat, but that white hibiscus is definitely a star!
    Happy Bloom Day, Annie!

  2. Your garden as always is filled with delightful flowers. I was surprised by the balloon flowers, since we grow them here. They are so pretty, it is no wonder you brought them with you from Illinois. All your blooms are beautiful, I enjoyed the walk around the garden, and the look back a few weeks in the time machine, too!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Annie - What a great assortment of blooms. I love the day lilies, and I'm glad you told us about those that we missed -- they come and go so quickly, don't they? But I do enjoy them so. And I like all your balloon flowers - I don't have any in my garden and seeing yours makes me wish I did.

  4. It's wonderful that you were able to bring plants to such a different climate and have them thrive. I've never seen Platycodon seedlings. I've always had to propagate it by cuttings. You've got some great passalong plants too. It may be hot in your garden, but the plants seem to be enjoying it now.

  5. Those white flowers are very cooling to see in this heat. Visual air conditioning. And congrats on your three-year blogiversary, Annie. (And thanks for the link love.) Here's to many more!

  6. Congratulations on 3 years! Your flowers are beautiful. That white delphinium is to die for. Do you have to grow it as an annual there?

  7. Congrats on your three years of blogging Annie. That white hibiscus is striking but I just love the baloon flowers. I guess we all like what we can't grow. I can't seem to get them to take in my garden. Happy GBBD.

  8. Hi Kerri - glad you didn't think it was cheating! But even in cooler places many perennials only bloom for 3 weeks and that could easily fit between bloom days.
    This honeysuckle is Lonicera sempervirens - only hardy to about zone 7.

    My daughter gave me a Texas perennial book before we moved here, Carol - the book said Balloon flowers could make it here so I brought them along. They kind of help in a place with no campanula!

    Glad you liked the daylilies, Diana - one thing about not blooming too long is we don't have time to get tired of them! As to balloon flowers, the 'Miss Tilly' variety and species Platycodon grandiflora have done best - lost all the 'Sentimental Blue'.

    The Platycodon aren't seeding here, MMD - but they did in IL. I've lost some so am grateful for the survivors.

    Looks like we both had color in mind this month, Pam/Digging - love your rainbow!

    Thank you! The White Delphinium had a short, merry life - it's just dried sticks now, Phillip - definitely an annual!

    Hello Lisa at Greenbow - there's definitely an element of luck in their survival but good drainage is key. The balloonflowers thrived in deck containers for the 5 years at our previous Austin house then died in some spots here.
    We do wish for what we can't grow! I always want Lady's Mantle and hostas!

    Thanks for the comments,


  9. Congratulations Annie on three years blogging. I think Pam and MSS have influenced many of us to blog. I know they were the first blogs I read! If we were all to stand in our gardens and look around we would not only see passalongs from friends, but plants that other bloggers posted about and we just had to have! I see them in my own garden~~Right now I am admiring the Blue River II hibiscus...a lovely white that might be happy here! Annie thank you for your lovely posts, they make me admire and think! gail

  10. Annie, looking forward to many more posts! Your blooms are beautiful! I'm off to check up on the Divas.;-)--Randy

  11. Hi Gail and thank you. Zanthan Gardens was a wonderful resource when I first moved into this house in 2004. Pam/Digging started about 6 months before I did. At the time it was wonderful to just read them, but as you know, it's even more wonderful to know them!
    Don't tell IVG but eyed hibiscus are not my favorites- one reason I had to order this one from Park Seed back in February 1993. The individual flowers on the Blue River II are at least 10" in diameter.

    Randy & Jamie - thanks for stopping. Happy GBBD!


  12. Annie, the balloon flowers are gorgeous. The great, cool blue is wonderful to look at in this August heat we are having here in June. And all your whites just add to the cool palette. Your garden looks so lush, and with Springtime blooms! That white hibiscus is a true beauty.

  13. What a great garden. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you many more years of garden blogs.

  14. I'm really missing out: must try larkspur and delphinium! I so rarely see the white crepe myrtle, and yours is beautiful.

    I have managed to keep alive the two types of daylily you gave me, but they haven't bloomed. Maybe next Spring?

    Thanks for the tour of your cool blooms!

  15. You have so many lovely cool, crisp whites. I love green and white in the summer. It looks so refreshing. I also love blue. I grew balloon flowers once. Seeing your photos makes me want to try them again. But blue or white? I know. Both!

    And the white delphinium. That's fantastic.

    I like that you show what we missed over the month. I usually write about it but I didn't think to include a photo of when a flower was at it's height (with the actual date as you do). Good idea. I may steal it.

  16. It's good to see some Illinois natives thriving in your Austin sunshine; they must be hardy prairie stock:) Everything looks lovely, but I almost couldn't get past those daylilies. I have serious daylily envy right now, and that "Devonshire" is such a delicate beauty. And, of course, I'm envious of those tomatoes; we won't be having any fresh ones for at least six weeks, if not longer.

    Congratulations on your blogaversary, Annie; three years of blogging is pretty amazing!

  17. You have tomatoes already?!! Good heavens to betsy. I like the flame acanthus and wish it was hardy here. Just have to enjoy it vicariously. I may have to get some of the white balloon flowers. You are giving me a preview of next month with your day lilies and crepe myrtles.

  18. Your gigantic sunflower is a delight!

  19. So many wonderful blooms...and a preview of tomato season here! I'm jealous...but will practice patience. I now realize you began blogging just a month before I did on July 8, 2006. When I found your blog I thought you had been blogging much longer than I had. You're such a wonderful writer...your posts are always a special treat!

  20. Annie, dear, I'm so glad you took photos so that we didn't miss all the lovely flowers already faded. However, those blooming now are beautiful too. The veggies also. Happy Bloom Day, my friend.~~Dee

  21. Hi again Annie, I came back for another look at your Coral honeysuckle, and to read your reply to my comment. When you have time, take a peek at mine in my Bloom Day post. The leaves and flowers look the same, so it's puzzling to me to see that yours is only hardy to zone 7. Mine must be a close relative. Some research is in order! :)
    I forgot to congratulate you on 3 years of blogging. It feels like we've been blogging friends for a long time, doesn't it?
    Your balloon flowers are extra special, tough little survivors! Your white delphinium reminds me of my pretty white lupines. I'm sad to hear that the Texas heat has done it in. They don't last more than a winter or two for me.

  22. Hi Annie! Everything in your garden is so lush! That white delphinium is stunning. I'm so jealous of your tomatoes--but we may get tomatoes here this year. We're nice and warm so far this summer.

  23. Hi, Annie. I loved all your white flowers. I had forgotten that there is a white balloon flower; I'll definitely be on the lookout for that one.

    Always Growing

  24. I love the vegetable volunteer. Looks delicious!

    And the white hibiscus is gorgeous.

  25. Your garden runner over with blooms and gorgeous veggies. Dont you love those "bonuses"? I would really like to get some coral honeysuckle. Also love your white crape myrtle.

  26. You've convinced me I need more balloon flowers! I saw some at Lowe's the other day ... maybe I'll throw caution to the wind (and the sun and the drought) and plant them now!

  27. such great passalongs...and wonderful tributes to blogger friends who have passed them on to your garden.

  28. Wow, your garden is totally wonderful! I love everything, but must check more into balloon flower, a new one for me.

  29. I just love that white-flowering hibiscus - everytime I see it here I'm reminded of how beautiful it is! As an obsessed planter of things, I love seeing something new - and the 'flame acanthus' is new to me! It looks so interesting. And...yellow daylilies are often my favorite - yours is just gorgeous!

    HGBBD! I'm hoping to post some blooms soon, with the 'better late than never' philosophy in play. Hope you are staying cool out there!

  30. Wonderful balloon flowers, Annie. You are doing much better with them than I ever did up here in Buff. Your flowers look cool and lush, certainly belying all the dry hot weather I've been hearing about.

  31. Hi GetGrounded Robin thank you - the balloon flowers are still hanging on, but will anything live through these 100+ degrees every single day?

    Thanks for your good wishes Linda/Patchwork!

    Delphinium is just for fun, Iris - very short life! But larkspur is usually pretty dependable. I remember giving you Rainlilies - were there daylilies, too? Blanking here!

    Green & white is good, MSS of Zanthan Gardens - but nothing can make us feel cool now. I'm glad you like the balloon flowers - it was very comforting to have them survive life in Austin ;-]

    Actually the stuff that has lived in both Illinois and Texas is just as likely to be from China! It's that middle-of-huge continent unbuffered by oceans thing, Prairie Rose! Our tomatoes are earlier but then they stop while yours go on until frost.

    They have to grow fast, Healing Magic Hands - tomatoes are okay with low 90's but they bail when we have too many 100's in a row.

    Thank you, ChuckB - hope I can keep it alive to bloom and make seeds for the goldfinches!

    So your 3rd anniversary is coming soon, Leslie? I've enjoyed it since I found it!

    I got onto the web by writing about the Divas of the Dirt - that website first went up in summer 2003.

    Thanks for that, Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings - couldn't bear to leave them out! May all your days be bloom days!

    Kerri, I looked and it sure does appear to be the same honeysuckle. Kim/Study in Contrasts has it so maybe it's tougher than some sites suggest. This one is unscented - does yours have a scent?

    My son in NW WA has green tomatoes growing right now, Curmudgeon - hope that means you'll soon be enjoying them, too.

    There's a delicately pale pink Balloonflower too, Jan, but I couldn't keep it alive in IL. Good luck!

    That pattypan was good, Sylvana - and a nice surprise.

    Even some of the natives are looking ratty this week, Nicole - but the crepe myrtles still look good. It's fun to get good surprises.

    Do you do the overturned pot trick when transplanting in heat, Cindy from Katy? I keep a white plastic pot around to make a little sunshade for the first few days. Only trouble is it's a nice shade for the dang pillbugs, too!

    My whole gardening life has been enriched by sharing, caring other gardeners, Bonnie - I hope you are lucky in this, too.

    If the balloon flowers make it through this summer, Linda/Central Texas Gardener they deserve Texas Superstar status!

    Hi Pam - this one came from Park Seed in SC so should want to live with you ;-]
    I'm still reading GBBD posts - hope to see yours!

    Thanks, EAL - is it too cool in Buffalo? The best balloon flowers I've ever seen were at the Shaw Botanical Garden in St Louis, and it gets awfully hot there!
    I don't show you everything -some parts of the yard are pitiful. There are a few places where the lawn is almost dead - think the Divas will be helping me make some new native plant beds this fall!

    Thank you for all the comments and happy GBBD,


  32. Lovely post! I think that my favorite combination this time around was the flame acanthus in front of the striped canna foliage (I think?)... very tropical-looking.


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