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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, December 23, 2009

Blooms of Late December

On the official bloomingday the 15th of December, the word wasn't Flower but Flour - it makes me happy to send a few homemade cookies with the Christmas presents to our families. Last week's chilly weather also put me in the mood to stay close to the warm oven and use old favorite recipes while watching vintage movies like Casablanca and Heaven Knows, Mr Allison. World War 2 movies somehow connect to Christmas holidays from childhood - maybe that's what played on TV during those weeks off from school?

Today those packages have reached their destinations, we're almost ready for Christmas and who needs the oven to keep warm when the thermometer reads 69F?

Time for the Solstice T-shirt designed by my son, a few garden tools and a camera

I'd found ranunculus bulbs in a bargain bin on a recent trip to the big box hardware. I'd already planted bags of mixed colors, but these were pink and destined for the Pink Entrance Garden. The chart on the package showed planting in zone 8 as October to December, giving me just a few more days to get them into the ground. My new Diamond Hoe was still shiny and unused - trying it out was a good reason to go outside. Soon the bulbs were planted and the diamond hoe worked exactly the way it was supposed to in the parking strip.

Instead of another session with the leaf rake, I'd rather take notice of the flowers today. After a couple of freezes the survivors are the tiny flowers - white oxalis buried in pecan leaves
Creeping phlox in the front bed
Deep rose Gaura unstoppable in the Pink entrance garden
Seedlings of cilantro and larkspur sprouting near starts of Lunaria
Cold changed the roses- magenta tones appeared on the buds of the Mutabilis rose
Cold deepened the pink of 'Belinda's Dream'
and turned 'Julia Child' buds from butter yellow to orange sherbet

The coral honeysuckle still holds on to old leaves turned yellow even as new leaves and buds unfold. The hummingbirds are long gone - they'll never sip from these flowers and the goldfinches aren't interested in nectar.
The floweriest part of the garden is on the north side of the shed
The stems of the paperwhites Narcissus flopped down in the cold, but most of the individual blossoms remain intact
Only a few flowers of Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira' are left to drop rosy petals
But the new Camellia japonica 'Morning Glow' is just now beginning to bloom - two flowers are open today.

How odd to live in a place where something like this blooms for Christmas!
However you celebrate, Dear Friends, may your days be merry and bright.