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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, April 05, 2010

A New Song for Wildflower Time!

You might not think of me as a Wildflower Girl - all those old-fashioned garden plants, Banana shrubs and roses and iris aren't exactly native - but if I made a list of native plants fitted into the boundaries of our garden it would be pretty long and very colorful. Don't forget that the Carolina Jessamine, Coral Honeysuckle, Texas Mountain Laurel, Redbud trees, Creeping Phlox, many of the Salvias, all the Mistflowers, Purple Coneflowers, the Gauras, Skullcaps and even the wall of Mockoranges covered in buds are all really native wildflowers that have been lassooed and corralled in my yard.Annieinaustin,mockorange in bloom
The list of cooler-climate wildflowers that I grew in my Illinois gardens was pretty long, too, and if more of the free-draining, sun-loving natives would put up with my chunky clay and shade, my Native Plant Life-list would grow again. Sometimes it just takes the right spot or luck or maybe one dead tree coming down to make the wild flowers grow - after years of failure with Blackfoot Daisies they are thriving in the parkway strip and one bluebonnet grown from seed is blooming in the triangle bed. Time to celebrate - and time to sing!Annieinaustin, bluebonnets 2010
A place we've visited over and over since we moved to Texas is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - at first just trying to get our bearings in this strange landscape,going sometimes for information, sometimes taking visitors there and sometimes for the sales of plants, shrubs and trees. (The big sale is coming up next weekend)

When Lady Bird Johnson died in July 2007 I added a verse about her love of wildflowers to a post mentioning her passing. Eventually the verses turned into a song, and finally my husband helped me turn the song into a video for YouTube with many of our favorite Wildflower photos.

Our equipment is very simple - 1 acoustic piano, 1 old lady, one cheapo mic, no vocal processing equipment and a lot of nerve.

Click to play the embedded video or watch it on our YouTube station kaefka

This song is part of a musical play-in-progress called Roots in Austin.


  1. If there's one place I hope to get to one of these days, it's the Wildflower Centre, Annie. I am more than a little bit in love with your Texas bluebonnets, too, I have to tell you. Every time I see a photo of one it makes me happy.

  2. What a delight to sign on this morning and find a new song written and sung by you, Annie! And dog gone it, now you've made me want to just drop everything here and get on a plane to fly to Austin to see the wildflowers. It must be so pretty down there right now, the perfect time to visit!

  3. I bet Lady Bird is so delighted to find that not only has she encouraged so many to love wildflowers but that there is a song written for this great act of love she has shared with so many. One of these days I would like to see that bluebonnet extravaganza.

  4. Thank you for sharing that sweet song with us. Lady Bird really was quite an inspiration and I'm so glad she got to see her dreams come true with the Wildflower Center. Wish I could come to the plant sale too!

  5. It IS a time to celebrate and share wildflower love. Thanks for doing it with such style, Annie!

  6. It's great, Annie!! I always like your swingey style.

  7. What a beautiful and talented tribute. You are an exceptional person. Thank you so much for doing this. I know the Wildflower Center will treasure this as much as I do. Vicariously, Lady Bird was who got me interested in gardening as a kid.

  8. Annie, That was a sweet treat...great flowers with bees and your new song....I loved visiting Austin and thought the Wildflower center was fantastic...What a resource it is for all of us and since I use the research info site...I decided to join! I could go to the sale;) gail

  9. I am so thankful for Lady Bird and for you and your friendship. Love the song Annie. Thank you. I loved that visit we took to the wildflower center, and I wish bluebonnets were easier to grow here. I had them once, but had to buy transplants if you can believe that.~~Dee

  10. Those bluebonnets are so pretty. I think Pam may have give us Chicago bloggers some seeds when she came last year. I better check my stash box and sow some now that I see what they look like in your video.

    Love your music videos as always, Annie.

  11. Jodi - Maybe you will get to Austin someday! When I first read Lady Bird's Wildflowers Across America book it never crossed my mind I'd even visit...let alone live in Austin!

    Oh Carol -it sure is pretty this year! Rain at the right time has wildflowers and garden flowers pumped! Thank you for being delighted ;-]

    I'm sure there are other songs about her, Lisa at Greenbow, but it's impossible not to hope she would have liked it. Thank you.

    Her granddaughters said that even when she couldn't speak their names, Lady Bird knew which flowers were which, Jean - something pretty cool about that!

    Thanks, Pam/Digging - style is old-fashioned but so am I ;-]

    Thank you, Iris - was trying to channel Margaret Whiting LOL

    If you're trying to make me both blush and tear up at the same time, you've succeeded, Linda at Central Texas Gardener. As a teenager, I was more interested in the Presidential teenage daughters Luci Baines' & Lynda Byrd's adventures in the White House rather than in what their mom was up to!

    I couldn't resist those bee-butts, Gail, and let them sneak in. You and Frances had a very exploratory relationship with the Wildlife Center! I love the database, too.

    Thank you for liking the song but don't feel bad about the bluebonnets, Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings. Each year I plant seeds (scar & soak them, too) then something eats the sprouts and I have to go buy transplants. A field is wonderful, but at close range, even a few are charming.

    Don't tell any real Texans, Mr Brown Thumb, but Bluebonnets look a lot like some smaller lupines we saw in Wyoming! Scarify the seeds first and good luck. And thank you.

    Thank you all very much!


  12. Sounds pretty darn good for a 'cheapo mic', Annie! You are too modest. That photo of your mockorange will have me running toward the "M"s at the Wildfower Center Plant Sale come Friday! Wonder who I'll have to wrestle for a pot?

  13. Another great song, Annie! I'm glad I listened early in the day - you motivated me to rearrange my plans to include a wildflower walk today.

  14. What a nice tribute to wildflowers and LBJ! I've not made it to Austin, but I did see the Betty Ford alpine wildflower garden in Vail, CO! :)

  15. the lady bird johnson info is wonderful... always fun to read about.

  16. I know Lady Bird would have appreciated the tribute as much as we enjoyed it! She left a wonderful legacy for Texas and the nation.

  17. How lovely and thank you for sharing your song with us. Mrs Johnson made me into a wildflower girl. When we first were in Austin in 1968 we were wowed by the wildflowers our first spring. Then 27 years later when we came back and the Wildflower Center opened I became a docent. I now spread the word to our visitors from many places. Of course I am guilty of growing a few exotics too, after all I'm an exotic too!

  18. Annie, it was so nice to pop on and hear your sweet, sweet voice. Thank you for sharing! I was out at the wildflower center 2 weeks ago and I love that place too! Hope your spring is glorious!

  19. Love it Annie and you have made my cup of morning coffee that much more pleasant. I WILL get to Austin one of these days. During bluebonnet time, of course.

  20. Thanks, Caroline - isn't $15 cheap LOL? Good hunting! I think the Mockorange/Philadelphus at the sale will be the Hill Country species...mine is Philadelphus inodorus.

    Hello, Entangled - how wonderful to see your BlueBELLS, as well!

    Glad you liked it, Monica the Garden Faerie - the alpine garden sounds very special - and as Betty knew, wildflowers are addictive!

    Thank you Dirty Girl Gardening

    Thank you Cindy from My Corner of Katy...I remember seeing photos of Lady Bird & her actress friend Helen Hayes in magazine articles about their big plans - took lots of people and time, but what a result!

    Oh, Lancashire Jenny - you really were into wildflowers from the beginning, weren't you! I've seen you in action as a docent - love the part about the white dots on the petals turning red after pollination!

    I hope your spring is glorious, too Conscious Gardener - glad you liked the song.

    If you get here at any time, bluebonnet or not, Layanee - we'll be so happy to see you!

    Thanks for the comments,


  21. This is what I remember most about Lady Bird Johnson--what a wonderful legacy she left to all of us. Your song is a great tribute to her, Annie, and now I'd like to see the fields of blue bonnets in person one of these days!

  22. Kathy you are such a star, what would the garden bloggers world be without you? Certainly less musical. ;-)

    Like Ladybird I love wildflowers; I fell in love with them when I was about 2 years old and this love affair is still going strong. :-)

  23. How I'd love to stroll around Ladybird's Wildflower Center with you as a guide, Annie! Gracious is the perfect description of Ladybird.
    Your song accompanying the photos of the delightful flowers and bees is a special springtime treat this morning. It's a beautiful tribute to this lovely lady.
    I think of you each time I glance at our crabapple trees with their pretty red leaves. We're anxiously watching for flowers, hoping we'll have an abundance of blooms as we did in the spring of '06 when I called them Redbuds :)

  24. I love the song! And need to take a look at the musical play-in-progress link...fun.


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