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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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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, July 2009

Annieinaustin, crocosmia, setcreasiaThere isn't much to see here at Circus~Cercis this month - having flowers bloom is less of a goal than keeping a core of life in the garden, in the hope that rain and normal temperatures will return to Central Texas someday. I cannot bear to let you see the sunny front yard and it's too depressing to look closely in the back. Maybe we can peek between our fingers at a few bright spots...well actually most of the survivors aren't in bright spots, but are in semi-shade, like the orange crocosmia and purple setcreasia above.

Annieinaustin, yellow plumeria, jatrophaIn the filtered shade on the patio where the containers get water a fragrant yellow Plumeria blooms with a few red flowers produced by the Spicy Jatropha bought in South Austin last fall.

Annieinaustin, Acoma crepe myrtle w spiderThe two white 'Acoma' crepe myrtles carry on - providing a hideout for a green garden spider and some dappled shade for a white Echinacea. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.) The coneflower looks much better as a tiny blur in the background...up close the petals have brown edges.

Annieinaustin, Juliet tomatoes bloomIs anyone else still watering their tomatoes? If mine stopped setting fruit I'd let them go, but both 'Early Girl' and 'Juliet' keep making flowers and tiny tomatoes and such valor deserves a little water and a great deal of appreciation.

Annieinaustin, pattypan squash flowerThe volunteer pattypan squash has flowers, too, and the few squash it's produced have been delicious. Last night our dinner menu gave a nod to Bastille Day, with one pattypan squash sliced and sautéed with onion and green pepper, then added to some cubed chicken that had been poached with herbs. I filled a few crêpes with this mixture, topped them with a cheese and wine sauce and served them with salad that had a couple of tomatoes from the garden in it.

There's a list of everything with a flower at my Annie's Addendum blog. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (AKA GBBD) is the invention of Carol at May Dreams Gardens. For links to the many gardeners worldwide who are part of GBBD, please go to Carol's Blog.


  1. I'm still watering my tomatoes, too, Annie. I'm actually still getting some Cherokee Purples! And all my coneflower petals have brown edges, too. Sad.

    Your white crepe myrtles are just bragging, now, aren't they?

  2. Annie,
    It's looks like you have plenty blooming in your garden right now. But I do know how you feel we had a rough patch of it last month. Everything is just beautiful. Don't worry, I'm sure you can get some relief soon.--Randy

  3. We are getting only the orange tomatoes (can't remember the variety name) now. Getting lots because they are in the most sun...the rest of the tomatoes are in heavy tree shade now a good part of the day. We are reconsidering everything due to the shade. We have had a nice mild summer and that makes me feel a little guilty as you folks in the South have really taken it on the chin.

  4. You have such interesting plants in your garden. We've had tons of Roma tomatoes but the Better Boys won't ripen. I don't know what it up with them. Do you plant for a fall crop as well?

  5. I adore the crocosmia and setcresea combination! And from the other photos, I'd never know that Austin was suffering through such a bad drought... it all looks wonderfully lush from here, Annie. ;)

  6. I peaked through my fingers and saw some nice blooms! Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. What you do have looks just lovely. I especially like the white Crepe Myrtle with the white & green Coneflower. Don't feel too bad, most of my Coneflower blooms look a little ratty from Japanese Beetle attacks.

  8. Annie, It sure is disheartening to a gardener to live with the drought...I am so glad to see the beautiful crape myrtle and plumeria....they are cheerful plants. Like MMD...my coneflowers are brown spotted and only look good for a nano second! But I love them anyway. gail

  9. I just love the crepe myrtles of the south. Especially when they get big like trees. The bark is so pretty as well as the blooms. I hope your area gets some relief soon Annie. I know it is stressful not only on the garden but yourself. Happy GBBD.

  10. Your bastille day menu sounded wonderful. We just sang the national anthem!! and watched the Tour de France. We are on a campsite with wifi so I am catching up on the world- especially bloom day. I had no idea that I could save the patty pan squash seeds. Must try that. I had a Juliet reseed and produce loads of toms. Not my favorite but anything that works.
    Plumeria blossoms. How tropical but then Austin's heading that way by all accounts. Happy bloom day.

  11. My Juliets are making flowers - we'll see if they actually set fruit. The Celebrities are on hiatus. Love your crepe myrtle - the white and light lilac colors are my favorites. Guess I'll try pattypan squash next as the crookneck and zucchini have not produced a single edible fruit, waa.

  12. That green garden spider is so lovely Annie! It almost doesn't look real. I'm hoping you get some rain relief soon...but of course in the meantime you should water your tomatoes...surely you're allowed to use that much water?

  13. Crispy brown plants are the reality for Austin gardeners this bloom day, aren't they? But you managed to find some beauties nevertheless. This weather is separating the men from the boys among the garden plants.

  14. Your squash and chicken crepes sound delicious, Annie! And it looks like your tomatoes are surviving the heat and lack of water, definitely worth a few encouraging drinks. I've been very fortunate not to have to water my tomatoes much this year...the weather in Illinois has been very good for the garden this summer.

  15. I've stopped watering my tomatoes for many, complicated reasons I won't go into here. But you're right, such valor deserves water!

  16. Whoa, I love that crocosmia. I planted some next to my purple heart. They've come up but haven't done much else. How long have you had yours & where did you get them? I wonder which plumeria that is. Looks like mine. And must get a jatropha. Great flowers & would love that cheese & wine sauce recipe.

  17. Hello Annie, I started following your wonderful blog a couple of weeks ago, but this is my first post. I'm an Austin resident, and yes, I'm still watering my tomatoes, too. My "Solar Set" and volunteer tomatoes are still putting on fruit. I just recently added more compost and re-mulched them. And I agree with the others: your crepes sound delicious!

  18. I envy your Plumeria. Have I asked you about that flower's sex parts before? Where are they?

  19. It's a challenge to keep things alive, isn't it. You do have some nice blooms, though.

  20. Hi Annie, I'm still watering mine because there are a few green tomatoes on there. That cold front hit us. I'm sending it your way. We are down to 87F from 104F yesterday. It is bliss.~~Dee

  21. I sincerely hope you got the cold front that Dee mentioned, Annie. I really feel for you with those weather conditions. I'm longing for more sunshine to warm my shoulders, and less rain so that I can get more done in the garden, but this weather is much preferred to your heat and drought.
    Let's hear it for the bloomers... hear hear! They're tough little beauties. I'm glad to see you still have plumeria blooms. I'm inhaling and pretending I can smell that wonderful scent :)
    Only green tomatoes here yet. We must have patience!
    Happy Bloom Day, Annie!

  22. Thanks for commenting! Have been watering and working on new song - hoping for release next week.

    Iris - counted 20 small tomatoes this morning so watered and followed Tom Spencer's advice to spray with seaweed. No lovely heirlooms like your Cherokee purples.

    Hello Randy - if you had a rough patch it sure does not show - your garden is smashing!

    Here is reverse, Tabor - have cloth to ADD shade! Lakes have dropped - no boat ramps left...maybe El Nino will come to fill them up?

    Normally we should be getting ready to plant fall tomatoes and other vegetables, but heard advice not to put started plants in the ground yet, but move into larger containers for awhile. Nothing normal about this year, Phillip!

    Some of my combinations are accidental - but that one was deliberate so I'm glad you liked it Blackswamp Kim. Remember, I'm only showing you the good part!

    You're welcome, Carol! Glad there was something to photograph.

    Hi Mr McGregor's Daughter - the white crepe myrtles have done well, but the white coneflowers have been replanted 3 times! Should think up something else, I guess?

    Constant rain is no fun either - is there anywhere where it's evened out, Gail? Still wondering how Pam/Digging makes her Echinacea behave.

    These are semi-dwarf trees, Lisa, but some around town are enormous! Happy GBBD to you, too.

    Thanks, Lancashire Jenny - I found an old Edison recording of the Marsellaise on YouTube and played that. Have fun camping and hope you are greeted by a living garden when you return!


  23. Hi Shovel Ready Gardener Caroline! We've been growing Juliets for years -skins get tough when hot but still good chopped for tacos! White and lilac crepe myrtles are my favorites, too.

    Thank you on behalf of the spider, Leslie - they're all over the place here. I was curious if other people were still getting fruit and still watering...have seen many Austin bloggers already pulled out the plants or cut them way back.

    It's odd to see what makes it, isn't it, Pam/Digging? Lambs Ears and sedum have croaked while the Mutabilis rose carries on!

    Philo liked those crepes, Rose - I was glad the idea came to me! There are only a few surviving tomato plants, but they're still trying. Enjoy the water!

    If we were going away I wouldn't bother, Accidental Huswife, guess tomatoes are my summer hobby?

    The crocosmia were bulbs shared by MarthaChick, a onetime Austin gardenblogger. They only made leaves the first year, Linda from CTG. The plumeria came from Zilker Garden Fest in 2002, labeled "yellow". Love the scent!
    There isn't any real recipe - have spent too many years throwing together whatever's in the house ;-]

    Thanks for visiting binary days - Solar Set sounds just right for this year! I did seaweed again and some more mulch. Last year Early Girl was a bust but this year is still making tomatoes - hope yours keep doing well.

    You haven't asked me before, ChuckB, and I wouldn't have known the answer anyway. I tried to look but the flowers bleed sap if you attempt to dissect them. So looked it up and read that insects crawl down the tube below the flower to where the sex organs are enclosed out of sight.

    Thanks, Linda/Patchwork- if the lakes weren't so low I might water with more abandon, and worry about the bill later, but that just doesn't seem okay this year. The picking and choosing who to save is very stressful, isn't it?

    No cold front here, Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings, but I'm glad it came as far as your garden. Hope your mom is improving!

    Thanks, Kerri - neither one of us is in a good garden situation this year! Plants don't like chilled and soggy roots any more than they like to be baked... where's the middle ground?
    This plumeria is a rooted branch of the original plant - it likes the patio and since it's 3-feet tall instead of 8-feet, I can get closer to the fragrance. Bet once the tomatoes start you'll have bushels!

    Thank you all!


  24. That plumeria smells as nice as it looks.

    Seeing the crocosmia, though, makes me feel guilty because the ones you gave me are still in a pot and unplanted and not very happy to be in my hands instead of yours.

  25. Annie, I'm glad there are a few blooms to lift your spirits at Circus-Cercis! Your Pattypan squash bloom intrigues me ... run over to my latest post and tell me if the leaves on my volunteer squash plant are the same as yours? I really want to know which cucurbit has made itself at home on MCOK!

  26. Annie I am still watering my tomatoes - erratically though. I decide to let them go then spot a tiny tomato trying to set and relent. Rinse, lather and repeat. I have had just a handful of tiny gold tomatoes this year but they were soooo sweetly delicious.

    I am toying with the idea of trying for a second crop this year but mostly keeping my fingers crossed for a bumper crop of peppers for our troubles.

    I had such problems with vine borers last year I didn't try more squash this year. Maybe I am too easily discouraged.... Thanks for sharing your blooms!

  27. NO wonder you loved the rain drenched redbud picture at The Havens. I am sorry to hear you are experiencing such a deep drought. I remember what it was like here several years ago when we did. But that was only one year. Three years in a row would seem way too punishing.

    I hope your little cercis do survive; they are pretty hardy trees.

    I am not watering my tomatoes because the sky has been doing it for me. It has been so cool here, unseasonably so, that I am barely getting any ripening at all. Soon.

  28. You asked: Is anyone else still watering their tomatoes?

    We're watering, and they are looking pretty good so far. One plant is still setting fruit, a German heirloom, believe it or not.

    But we had a dismal year. We planted a little too early. Maybe Fall will be better. Here's hoping.


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