About Me
My Photo
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.
View my complete profile

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, April 2010

It's April Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Austin, Texas! Wasn't it easy to find my house after I reminded you to look for the big Mutabilis Rose with lavender blue creeping Phlox in front? (All photos should expand if you click on them.) Annieinaustin, mutabilis rose & phlox subulata

Watch out when you get out of the car - please don't step on any Blackfoot Daisies or Bluebonnets -you saw them in the wildflower video, remember? This Teucrium fruticans, Silver Germander just started to bloom for the first time. Annieinaustin, silver germander
Take a closer look at the mutabilis (or maybe you'd prefer its other name...Butterfly Rose)
annieinaustin, mutabilis rose closeup

and then cross the drive to the Pink Entrance Garden... sweet enough this April to make your teeth ache. Last fall I ran across a bag of 30 pink hybrid Ranunculus bulbs and there's been a Pink-splosion of Ranunculus with 'Telstar' Dianthus...

annieianaustin, ranunculus and dianthus
And with tall, fragrant purple iris & Bridal Wreath Spiraea

annieinaustin, purple iris & pink ranunculusThe unexpectedly sturdy Weigela 'Rumba' is more like a large woody perennial than the Cardinal Shrub Weigela of the North, but it blooms every spring and slowly increases in size.

Another pink-splosion may happen when 40 buds-in-waiting on the 'Belinda's Dream' rose unfurl their petals
Annieinaustin, Belindas Dream rosebud
Other bags of Ranunculus came in mixed colors - those primary colors look pretty wild when you come in the garden gate
Annieinaustin, long border
In other years I've tried to make a Texas spring look like an Illinois spring - but today these colors remind me of the bluebonnets, paintbrush, daisies and verbenas along the roadsides. I keep trying to get bluebonnets & paintbrush and native daisies to grow here in the garden, too - a few bluebonnets are open but the paintbrushes were late for bloom day, although their relatives appeared in my "Lady Bird Loved Wildflowers" song and video.

Annieinaustin, orange & gold ranunculusLook right as you clear the gate and greet the pink climbing rose hidden behind nandinas and sapling crepe myrtles when we bought this house.
Annieinaustin, pink climbing rose
There are 20 plump buds and full-blown flowers this year and they smell very old-fashioned. Every year I ask if anyone has a guess as to the name of this rose, but she's still a mystery.

Annieinaustin, pink rose in hand
We'll pass the recovering Meyer's Lemon and the in-bloom Mexican Lime tree and look on the other side of the back door where another faithful spring bloomer, a Clematis sold as pale pink- is budding in a deep burgundy that lightens to reddish purple as it opens.

Annieinaustin, burgundy clematis
On the other side of the walk a new annual Phlox, '21st Century hybrid White' is looking very cool - found it at The Natural Gardener.
Annieinaustin, 21st Century white phlox
Across the herb patio another mutabilis rose blooms in a terracotta pot, and beyond the table the pearly clematis/yellow Lady Banks rose/Coral honeysuckle combination seen in the last post is nearing its end.
Annieianaustin, patio with mutabilisLets duck into the house via the patio door to grab a cup of coffee (or maybe you'd rather have iced tea?). On the windowsill is the final flower on the Hippeastrum/Amaryllis 'Red Dragon' , rebloomed from 2008,
Annieinaustin, Amaryllis Red Dragon

This bowl of yellow 'Julia Child' roses gives a hint at how well she liked the cool winter with adequate rainfall
Annieinaustin, bowl of Julia Child Roses

We'll carry our cups out and wander around the edges of the garden where some less flashy, new-old friends hang out. I grew Hyacinthoides hispanica/Spanish Bluebells in Illinois but never thought it would survive here. Then the blog of MSS- Zanthan Gardens showed Spanish Bluebells blooming year after year in her Austin garden. Last fall I found a bag of mixed Hyacinthoides at Countryside Nursery...here's a bluebell just opening in front of the loropetalum. Annieinaustin, blue Spanish squill
- more white & blue Spanish Bluebells are going to open with these green & burgundy oxalis. Annieianaustin, Spanish Bluebells
A new abutilon from Barton Springs Nursery has one bud - practically every Austin gardenblogger already grows this plant so I'm copying
Annieinaustin, abutilon budNear the back fence the Michelia figo/Magnolia figo has had a very good spring, producing hundreds of buds and flowers. The old leaves on this fragrant Banana Shrub look ratty - some still bearing hail damage from March 2009, but look closely and you'll see all the new leaves ready to expand.
Annieinaustin, Michelia figo
The banana shrub is near the edge of the canopy of one of the pecan trees - it gets enough sun to bloom when the leaves are down. Near it a Salvia roemeriana/Cedar sage does okay with filtered shade. The white buds in the background are on a fragrant vine, Confederate AKA Star Jasmine/Trachelospermum jasminoidesAnnieinaustin, Salvia roemeriana

This hummingbird bed extends out from under the tree canopy where it gets more sun - enough for the Mockorange/Philadelphus inodorus to bloom against the fence, for flowers on another Bridal Wreath spiraea and for several shades of Salvias greggii and Salvia 'Hot Lips' to thrive. Annieianaustin Philadelphus And salvia

Walk in closer and you can see there are also Red 'Telstar' Dianthus in a ceramic planter, 'Butterfly Blue' Scabiosa and another plant favored by Pam/Digging, Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'.
Annieinaustin red hummingbird border
There are tomato flowers and a few pepper flowers in the vegetable patch, but I forgot to photograph them so keep going and we'll be back at the other end of the long border. More ranunculus are blooming, but this one is in pristine white, very refined with Lambs Ears and the foliage of Achillea 'Moonshine'Annieinaustin ranunculus and lambs ears

A budded plant waits near the ranunculus, just in case a migrating Monarch happens by.

A note from the director of Keep Texas Beautiful passed along information from Monarch Watch, suggesting that gardeners, farmers and transportation officials help to get Milkweed planted as a lifeline for these butterflies. The number of migrating Monarchs appears to be down to their lowest numbers in decades after terrible killer storms in their winter home in Mexico. It's also proposed that the annual ornament from Keep Texas Beautiful should be a Monarch Butterfly design this year.

My huge milkweed plants were frozen down to the ground this winter - it will be months before they recover - if at all - so I planted this 'Silky Gold' Asclepias in back - think I'll look for another milkweed plant for the front yard.
Annieianaustin, asclepias Silky GoldWe're now standing in front of my favorite floral pairing on this April Blooming Day, Clematis 'Ramona' and Rosa 'Julia Child' Annieinaustin Julia Child rose and Ramona clematis

If this were a film camera instead of a digital point-and-shoot I'd have gone broke paying for developing... I can't stop taking photos of the butter yellow rose and deep lavender-blue clematis

Annieinaustin, ramona clematis and Julia Child rose Okay - one last shot from the other side of the triangle bed and I'll send you on your way to the next garden on May Dreams Carol's GBBD roster.
Annieinaustin, ranunculus and roses
Complete lists of what was in bloom (including botanical names) for many Garden Bloggers Bloom Days can be found at the Annie's Addendum Blog.


  1. Thanks, Annie, I really enjoyed the tour... it was just like I was there. Beautiful blooms in a beautiful Texas garden.

  2. What beautiful gardens you have...I planted ranunculus bulbs last fall and have not been disappointed at all. They are still going strong!

  3. You have a wonderful garden, thanks for the tour. Have a great day.

  4. I have pink and yellow rununculus too, coming back for the second year now, and I love them and want more! Yours are a splendid mix and giving me all kinds of ideas. Annie, your garden is exquisite right now! Those clematis still take my breath away, and your roses are lovely. Hooray for spring!

  5. Everyone in your garden looks so happy to be putting on such a grand show!

  6. I think the clematis are my favorites. Haven't had much luck here with anything other than the fall clematis. But, there's always another year to try!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Bloom Day!


  7. I love pink & red together, and my teeth don't hurt. It's all so bright and luscious, Roses and Clematis, and wildflowers - oh, my.

  8. Beautiful ranunculus, Annie! And that climbing rose is out of a fairy tale.

  9. What a great tour, Annie. I surely enjoyed your garden. What a difference some rain makes, huh?

    You have so many roses, I wish I had better luck with them here.

  10. Oh wow... 'Julia Child' and that blue clematis really hit it off! (I think you should name it 'Paul'... :-D)

    The refined ranunculus is elegant, and the others are just so darn cheerful they could make Scrooge smile! But I really really really really really "heart" the banana shrub. Its all kinds of gorgeousness! Is it called that because it smells like bananas, or because its fruit clusters like bananas, or... ?

  11. I sure enjoyed your tour, Annie! Everything's beautiful, but I agree that the yellow rose w/clematis combo is stunning.

  12. Annie, your garden looks fantastic. The Mutabalis rose is spectacular, ours has only a few blooms at present. I wish our Banana Shrub would bloom but if it needs sun to do so, that could be the reason.

  13. Oh! the irises, and roses, and clematis, and amaryllis! I love the pinks, purple, blues, and lavenders brightened by the occasional yellow. April is the brightest month on the Austin calendar and your garden looks fantabulous! (I'm glad the bluebells worked for you.)

  14. Your garden looks so pretty! I liked many of your combos. Possibly the ranunculus, spiraea and iris combo is my favorite.

    Your mystery climbing rose looks very much like Zephrine Drouhin. That one doesn't have that many thorns and the ones it does have are not that big. Is yours like that? One year I brought some roses from my garden to the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham to help me identify them. They seemed pretty certain of their ID so I took their word for it. You could try the same thing.

    Happy GBBD!

  15. My goodness! So many blooms. The roses are gorgeous (and driving around Austin is like roses gone wild right now), but I especially love that white ranunculus against the silvery foliage of lambs ear and yarrow. And that clematis!

  16. Stunning. Just got back from a garden seminar and then I find this! I hope I can have a little of this color in the weeks to come.

  17. Ah, I feel refreshed just looking at the photos. Now if I could only stop and smell the roses. ;-) ...and the jasmine and the banana shrub...

    I saw a farmer's market vendor selling cut ranunculus a couple of weeks ago, and made a mental note to plant some. I think I like them even better in your garden than as cut flowers.

  18. The sun finally came out just as I was sitting down to see your Bloom Day post. It was a perfect accompaniment to seeing your flowers. I can certainly see why you are taking lots of photos of the Julia Child rose & lavender clematis. They are lovely together. Julia Child makes a beautiful cutting rose too. I like the bouquet of them in another photo. The Spanish bluebells are gorgeous as is the unidentified climbing rose. Your hummingbird corner looks so pretty. I love Ranunculus in all their colours. Every so often, I see them at the grocery store and buy them. If only they were hardy here. I was also admiring your Lady Banks and Honeysuckle combination. Just gorgeous ~ and maybe one of these days, I'll see a flower in my garden!

  19. Hi Carol - can't resist being part of GBBD - wish you were here, too ;-]

    Thank you, Darla - only a few return, but it's worth planting some each fall.

    Welcome A Garden of Threads - hope your day is great, too.

    Not just colors but shapes are different in the mixed bag, Robin Get Grounded - always a surprise! The clematis had a good winter & spring, didn't they?

    Thanks so much Tina Poe - it's a little over the top, but that's okay in spring ;-]

    We've moved a few times, Katie-Garden of Words...have planted a 'Ramona' clematis at three houses -I love them, too.

    After last year I'm not as color-cranky as I used to be Mr McGregor's Daughter - pink and red is looking fine ;-]

    You're the person who told me Ranunculus would grow here, Julie at Human Flower Project so thanks! Wish I knew which of 4 previous owners planted the rose.

    We know this weather is temporary Healing Magic Hands, but I've soooo enjoyed cool nights and rain all winter. I think it's not just rain, but a chance to grow roots in cooler soil that's made the difference.

    Oh! How tempting to rename Ramona, Blackswamp Kim - guess I can call it 'Paul Child' as long as I'm growing it rather than selling it?
    Yes, the banana shrub is strongly aromatic and smells like banana... but more like banana taffy than a piece of fruit. It was a small shrub in 2005 - now I can finally stand upright & see the tiny magnolia flowers at eye level!

    Thank you, Iris - the planned colors for that long border were my favorite purples, yellows, pale gold, blues, lavenders and whites with a pop or two of orange. Most of the year that's what blooms, but spring breaks all rules.

    Your garden is truly fantastic, Phillip - so that means a lot! Pecans leaf out late, so the banana shrub gets almost full winter & spring sun, but filtered shade all summer. Plus lots of coffee grounds... maybe yours wants some French Roast!

    It's pretty lavish right now, MSS at Zanthan Gardens - think there will be cilantro and larkspur blooming next week, but my poppies have been a bust so far. The Spanish bluebells really make it feel spring to me ;-]

    The Grapey iris and spiraea have done well together for a few years, Jean - never would have put the mixed ranunculus in there, but a bag of pink ones seemed like a sign LOL
    The rose canes are quite thorny and the flowers are large with thick, very regular petals - maybe 36-40 on each bloom so not Zephirine Drouhin, but thanks for the excuse to get to the Rose Emporium!

    Hello Amy Farrier - these plants are so pumped compared to last year it's like living on a different continent, isn't it?
    Two years ago the lambs ears covered the whole front of this bed -last summer most died but a few clumps made it, thank heavens!

    Should have quoted Steel Magnolias, Katina - and said the Pink Entrance Garden had been hosed down with Pepto Bismol LOL

    We had rain today after a few dry weeks, Tabor - so maybe some of the color won't be fried too quickly. I hope everything blooms beautifully for you!

    The roses do smell nice, Entangled, and I love the banana shrub. The Confederate/Star jasmine by the front porch can make you swoon on some nights...but you know what smells strongest? My neighbors' waxleaf Ligustrum!
    I've been cutting a few of the ranunculus for the house - the individual bulbs made more blooms this year!

    Hello Kate Smudges - if I had your long winter there would be many, many flowers bought from the store, not just for the color & scent but because we crave the feel of petals, too. Ten years here in Austin have spoiled me because we have many months when there is something to cut. The stems on Julia are short, but I like bowls anyway!

    Thanks for all the comments and Happy GBBD!


  20. Beautiful flowers; glad to see we share some of the same shade plants (gives me hope).

  21. Annie - I am in love with your Clematis and your Julia Child rose - wow. And I think the burst of color inside the garden gate with the snaps and ranunculus and poppies is just beautiful. But then you know I like vibrant color!

  22. t was preeti good site then other when i visited last month
    and got good information about work from home

    work from home

  23. Oh Annie, you have a bevy of beauties in your spring garden. Love the R. mutabilis. So many colors on one rose.

  24. You've overloaded my senses on this soggy NY morning with this tour of your beautifully blooming spring garden, Annie.
    Rununculus, roses, clematis, salvia, Amaryllis...oh my! So much beauty! Your loving care certainly shows in this happy garden
    I do prefer the other name for the pretty pink mutabilis...Butterfly Rose :)
    And oh yes, that combination of the yellow rose and blue clematis is very special indeed!
    Your garden is an absolute delight!
    Happy Bloom Day!

  25. Annie, I've always loved Ranunculus but had some trouble growing them. You've convinced me to try again!

  26. What a beautiful tour!

    Do have any suggestions on where to find milkweed? I've been wanting to plant some this year, too.

  27. I love that first rose.. not sure of the name, even though I have one. They grow like weeds!

  28. Outstanding bloom day! And your plants all year round are incredible. I see a CTG shoot in your future.

  29. Annie, I think your garden looks gorgeous - and more 'mature' than I've seen it look in the past - so much has filled in this spring! It looks like everything is in bloom. You guys are definitely ahead of us here.

  30. Such a terrific riot of colour, Annie. I could almost smell the fragrances and feel the textures of the blooms. So different from mine, and so blissfully filled with colour and joy.


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.