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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, September 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, September 15, 2009

The Cenizo/Leucophyllum frutescens (also known as Barometer Bush) did not lie this time!
Annieinaustin, Cenizo
A genuine rain started with gentle soaking drops on Friday morning - turning into a downpour that temporarily flooded the Secret Garden on SaturdayAnnieinaustin, rain in Secret Garden By Sunday afternoon the torrents had become a mist again, leaving just over six-and-one-half inches to refresh the plants and calm down the gardener. Other plants may respond to the rain in a few days, but the first batch looks quite patriotic! Annieinaustin, Foo dog with Oxblood liliesOxblood Lilies/Rhodophiala bifida add red to the garden - after MSS of Zanthan gave these symbols of old Austin to me a couple of years ago I planted them in small clumps front and back, not taking any chances on one location. Here's her definitive post on them. They're up in five different places so far, with two patches still question marks. I think these definitely qualify as what May Dreams Carol calls a Blogalong-Passalong! Annieinaustin, Oxblood lilies
White comes from the Hibiscus moscheutos 'Blue River II'. This flower is not fully formed - maybe it was too dry when the bud developed? I can see some buds left so there are more chances to have the dinner-plate size flowers this plant can produce
Annieinaustin, Blue River II Hibiscus
White also comes from Garlic Chives/Allium tuberosum - complete with decorative bee:
Annieinaustin, garlic chives and beeMore garlic chives with an interesting insect I'd never noticed before - it took some time, but I found similar insects on What's That Bug that were identified as being Soldier Flies in the genus Odontomyia
Annieinaustin, Soldier Fly on garlic chivesWe've had the Blues all summer - the blue Plumbago auriculata didn't seem to mind the heat & drought since it got those precious last drops squeezed out whenever the hose was rolled up and because it's sheltered from afternoon sun by the house wall.
Annieinaustin, Plumbago auriculata
I handwatered the blue Salvia guaranitica and this Salvia 'Black & Blue" regularly to keep the flowers and their nectar coming - we see the hummingbirds every day and Salvias are their favorite
Annieinaustin, Salvia Black and BlueThe Brugmansia should be a light yellow but looks almost white after being bleached and drenched, holding tattered petals over a small green garden spider
Annieinaustin, Brugmansia with spiderNear the brugmansia one of the Amarcrinum lilies sent up a fragrant stalk
Annieinaustin, Pink AmarcrinumIn front more Oxblood lilies bloom along with slender white rainlilies, the pink rainlilies/Zephyranthes 'Labuffarosea' and some native yellow Habranthus tubispathus/Copper Lilies... I delayed this post trying to get photos of the pink & yellow & white rainlilies but none of the pictures came out...maybe next year!

The front yard looks pretty bad - until the Divas of the Dirt come and rescue it later this month you will see only close-ups!
Annieinaustin, Evolvolus Blue DazeThis Evolvolus 'Blue Daze' in the Pink Entrance Garden got extra crispy a couple of times when I forgot to water the hanging basket. But a good drink uncurled the leaves and made it bloom again

Annieinaustin, Duranta erectaThe Duranta erecta/Blue Skyflower in the same bed might have produced more flowers with more sun, or it might fried up and had no flowers at all. These blooms are enough for me.

Annieinaustin, Blackfoot daisies & rainlilyThis little vignette in the front bed with the birdbath almost looks like a Northern Spring instead of September in Texas, doesn't it? The Blackfoot daisies/Melampodium leucanthum still count as daisies, and the unopened pink rainlily looks a little like a tulip if you squint your eyes, with lavender-colored Lantana filling in for rock cress or woodland phlox.

Move along to the back now - nothing else up here to see!
Annieninaustin, sunflowerThe weight of the 8-foot native sunflower made it fall over when the rain turned the soil soft. I couldn't ignore the roots pulled part way out of the ground - too many goldfinches love this big weedy flower full of seeds. I stood it up, used an extra metal shepherd's hook as a stake and stepped it in again around the base - hope it works.

Along the South fence the bulb bed is bright with Red Oxblood lilies
Annieinaustin, Oxblood Lilies in bulb bedA midnight look at the Moonflower vine/Ipomoea alba - with the leaves invisible in the dark, it looks like a White flying saucerAnnieinaustin, Moonflower vine
And this may be the last GBBD of 2009 for the Blue Butterfly Pea/Clitoria ternatea

Annieinaustin, Blue Butterfly Pea
I'm grateful to Carol of May Dreams Garden, the inventor of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for giving us a chance to show off our flowers...and I'm grateful for rain, and soon I hope to be grateful to the Divas of the Dirt because my turn for 2009 is coming up. There's a lot to do before they come, so I'll catch up with blogs and blooming day posts in a week or so.
May your garden make you happy this month, too.


  1. You have some excellent blooms going here Annie considering the awful summer your garden just experienced. I am glad to hear that you finally got some rain. Those oxeblood lilies that are popping up all over the internet are so pretty. I hope the rest of them emerge for you.

  2. Annie - your garden is so perky, especially after that rain. I love your Oxblood lilies and the Brugmansia - mine never produced anything but 8 leaves. I'm so sad about it. Where do you have yours planted?

  3. I'm glad you finally got some rain -- it looks like it did the trick. Those pale pink lilies are gorgeous! Everything in your garden looks lovely, in fact.

  4. I noticed your comment at Carol's place last night as I was leaving mine..."after midnight" :) We must've finished our posts about the same time.
    It's so good to see all that water in your garden. Perhaps getting it gradually would've been better, but I'm sure you're not complaining.
    Those Barometer Bushes are amazing! Isn't Mother Nature clever?
    You have a patriotic theme going on in your garden with the red, white and blue!
    I love seeing all your blooms, but the Salvia Black and Blue really catches my eye. What a color! I wonder if it would grow here for me. I'd love to try it. Must have a go...as they say in that song, "My Boomerang Won't Come Back!"
    And there's that glorious Moonflower again! The Butterfly Peas is beautiful too, and the Oxblood lilies, that huge Hibiscus, those gorgeous pink Crinums.....
    Lovely, all! Thanks for the walk through your September garden, Annie. Have fun with the Divas!

  5. I'm so glad you got some rain. We are getting it too. I love the oxblood lilies. I was just looking at them on another blog.

  6. Annie, I am thrilled that you got some rain, as did so many in Austin. The blooms looked thrilled, too. So many of them! It's an awakening in so many ways.

    And yes, the Oxblood lilies are definitely blogalong passalongs!

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

  7. I'm so glad you finally got a good rain. The flowers sure responded quickly. I love your Plumbago & Duranta.

  8. I'm so glad you finally got some rain there in Austin, I could hear the cheering from here! But could you guys please send some up here to Central Ohio? We are dry as bone, but at least it's cool here. Your September blooms are lovely! I had forgotten about growing garlic chives like so many gardeners do. I'll get some next year.

  9. Oh my gosh! It's all so lovely. Am going back through your post to make lists for my garden. Great pictures too!

  10. What a terrific Bloom Day! I'm glad that you didn't get the destructive flooding that I saw on the news! :)

  11. Great Bloom Day presentation. Aren't Oxblood lilies just such fun?

    Sorry I'm late to the show, server issues for 2 days.

  12. Annie, it's so good to see the rain finally reach you! Now, could you please send a little our way?:) Seriously, your garden has really perked up with the moisture--everything looks lush and green once again. Great photo of the soldier fly!

    I wanted to thank you for the comment you made on a recent post of mine. I chuckled at the thought of you playing a mandolin and me trying to tune my guitar. At least you keep up with your singing--my alto voice went baritone sometime ago...and off key as well:)

  13. Thanks for the link love. It always makes me happy to see my little oxblood lilies making their way in the world.

    I love that white hibiscus. I also have a plumbago planted next to my oxblood lilies and when the white lantana blooms the garden gets the same patriotic color scheme. It only happens for a week or so each year and it always makes me laugh.

    For some reason (the drought?) very few of the oxblood lilies I divided and replanted last year (2008) flowered this year. I don't even see many leaves coming up. I've never had any problem before and so I'm sort of concerned. Hopefully they just need an extra year to kick into shape and your missing ones will be blooming next year.

    If not, I'll just give you some more.

  14. Annie, your pic of the rain is wonderful--I would like a repeat performance of last weekend. All your blooms look beautiful--it's quite amazing how quickly everything perks up when it rains.

    I need some Dirt Diva action in my garden--or maybe a big burly man to do my bidding. ;-)

  15. Lovely blooms, as always! I am drooling over those Oxblood lilies in particular. I think I'm going to have to take a chance and try those here in a very protected area... I just can't resist that gorgeous red!

  16. Well Annie, I sure am glad and relieved that your garden finally got some rain. And it has worked its magic, hasn't it, if your pictures are anything to go by.

    Now I'm left with one burning question: did you get that $#@%^&* record? ;-)

  17. Ahhh, rain. Six inches! That's almost half our annual rainfall in a good year here in rural San Diego. Lately, we've had less than our "average" of 12" per year.

    Looking at the lovely color in your gardens, I imagined the fun you must have had walking around with your camera. Each time you turned around, there was more lovely evidence of your green thumb.

  18. somehow I lost track of you dear ...just "dug you up" over on an old post of mine ....let's chat

    I see you are still posting your wonderful gardening passions ....yippee

  19. Sheesh that's a lot of rain all at once. We could use some here. It is suppose to be a wet winter, I'll believe it when I see it.
    Your garden looks gorgeous despite the heat. Is it humid in Austin or is the heat dry? I have never been?
    I love the Moonflower. I wonder how it would do here?

  20. We've had a lot of rain in the last two and a half weeks also. The garden seems to love it though. I have got to get me some oxblood lilies so I can start having a fall grouping like you Texans. Looks like I'll be visiting The Southern Bulb website.

    Always Growing

  21. I was so glad to see rain coming your way - and here to see that you got over six inches of the stuff! Your garden certainly did respond, and as always - I so admire those oxblood and rain lilies. They're gorgeous!

    Oh - and who doesn't love Patsy Cline?

  22. Is it oxblood lily time again? Love the look of these and your red, white and blue after the rain flowers.

  23. Sorry I never answered all your great comments on this GBBD post - being hostess for the Divas of the Dirt project took over my life, followed by yard cleanup and obsessive genealogy and a few other things.

    And another thing...does anyone reading this watch a show called Mad Men? Philo and I rented the first episodes last month and are now moving through the first two seasons. I might have to write a post about that show.

    The oxbloods that bloomed were beautiful but they're all done for the year. Some clumps made no flowers, but now I see leaves, which may build up the bulb enough to bloom next year.

    Kerri - I've seen Salvia black and blue as a windowsill plant in a pot on Kate Smudges blog up in Saskatchewan. Maybe you could grow it in the ground in summer and take cuttings for winter?

    We didn't get the record for days over 100 degrees F - needed one to tie and two to win. There are more 90's ahead but probably no 100's.

    It seems we've had more rain in the last 6 weeks than we had in all of 2008. May all of you get some if you need it, too.

    Chigiy - it's not usually as humid as Houston, but it's enough to have the mold counts soaring! Moonflowers are annuals - related to morning glories and they grew in IL so maybe for you, too.

    Thanks for the comments... only a week until the next GBBD.



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