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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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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Garden Blogger's Muse Day for May 2010

Annieinaustin, white flowered tradescantiaThat is May, the month I love the most, and when my turn comes to make the world, as surely it will, I shall make make my May ninety days long. December, January, and February shall be allotted ten hours each; I have not finalized my plans for the other months, but none of them shall exceed May.

Jamaica Kincaid in MY GARDEN (BOOK):

I've been rereading Jamaica Kincaid's book and read the above quote yesterday. I still like the words, but the desire for May ran stronger when I lived in a northern city.... here the month to wish for might be April - or even November! Annieinaustin, Purple clematis
Another quote from this book works wherever one lives:

I have really learned this as a gardener: listen to everyone and then grow the things you love. I have learned as much through my own conceitedness and from my own mistakes as I have from all the great gardeners I have met.
Annieinaustin, Climbing Iceberg Rose w Siberian IrisThis month, this May - Jamaica- you are my Muse!

Happy May Day, Lei Day, Derby Day and Happy Muse Day at Carolyn's Sweet Home & Garden Chicago blog.


  1. Aww... I love the idea that one might get a turn to make the world like that. (But my month that no other should exceed would probably be October!)

  2. Great quotes. I do love May in the garden and am looking forward to this May as much or more so than many other Mays.

    Happy May Day!

  3. So true about the "Listen to everything, then throw caution to the wind and plant what you want." Gotta always try something new.

  4. May is a busy month at my house, Annie. My birthday on the 1st , mother's day, and my two children's birthdays and anniversaries. We are usually poor by the end of the month.

    Thanks for joining our Muse Day with your lovely post.

  5. She's a very wise Muse indeed. I will have to check her out as she expresses similar thoughts to my own. Yes, I've learned a lot about gardening from reading and from other gardeners, but all my mistakes have taught me so much, too. But most of all, I would love to make May 90 days long! Of course, when I was teaching, it did seem that long:)

  6. Your second quote reminds me of something some speaker in Saskatoon once said (paraphrased): we gardens love to learn. We read all the latest books and magazine articles, search online, go to seminars and classes, talk with other gardeners... and then do exactly as we please anyway. I love that!

  7. I like both of these quotes but I like fall as much as I like spring I must say. I do like to talk to gardeners and read all kinds of garden books. I still do what I like to do in the garden. Isn't it funny how even with good intentsions I still go back to my own ways.

  8. I adore Jamaica Kincaid (My Favorite Plant ... a favorite book). A lovely Muse Day post ... thank you for sharing.

  9. Ah but would the plants be happy with those shortened winter months. It's their time to sleep. Living in the south it's easy to appreciate winter. It's a time when we gardeners can take a break too. Like you I think April is the best month- at least in my garden, followed closely by October. Darn it. Another year gone without replacing my clematis. Yours is beautiful.

  10. Jamaica Kincaid's words are so poetic, Blackswamp Kim - I usually say something like "if I were queen of the world" with hands on hips and a complaint added.

    You have us all trained to think of you when we think of May, May Dreams Carol!

    Plants can certainly surprise us, Katina - what lived and died in Austin this winter did not go according to any normal advice, did it!

    Enjoy all the celebrating, Carolyn Gail -and Happy Muse Day!

    This book by Jamaica Kincaid connects plants to politics and history, conquest and slavery, Prairie Rose -yet she cannot help being a gardener. Bet she's fascinating and difficult in real life! I wouldn't want an Austin May to be 3 months long... March- maybe!

    One of the things Jamaica Kincaid found out over time was where the microclimates were on her land, Monica the Garden Faerie - guess no one else can teach us those wonderful things!

    Sometimes November is a wonderful month in Austin and so is late February, Lisa at Greenbow. You seem to do pretty well with your own ways ;-]

    Thanks, Joey at the Village Voice - I've only read the garden book - maybe should check out her more famous works next?

    Jamaica Kincaid was writing from Bennington, Vermont, where May is early spring, but down here we sure need those winter months, don't we, Lancashire Jenny? It's MY time to sleep, too!
    I've had pretty good luck buying small clematis plants and keeping them in pots, stepping up the container size for a few years so they have really large root systems before they go in the ground.
    Good luck if you try again!

    Thanks for commenting and happy May,


  11. I agree, May is the explosion of life around here...it should be the longest month!

  12. Ah, I've been wanting to read that book and now that I've seen more about it, I will definitely pick it up. I'm with you about April being much better than May when living down south. I also like October as well.

    I never knew that tradescantia came in white - very pretty! Is it as aggressive as the other colors?

  13. I love these quotes but I'm already hating May! Seems like your garden is welcoming it with open arms, though.

  14. Annie, it looks lovely there in May. I hear the weather is almost agreeable too. Here, I'm enjoying May as long as I can. July will be here someday.~~Dee

  15. Your clematis looks great. I've thought about getting that. Just another on the list of things to do in the garden.

  16. Love those blooms ( but don't one always want what you can't grow? LOL)
    The top white ones do remind me of bauhinia acuminata.

  17. May was a bit of a blur here but the garden was such a pleasure to see. These are the things that keep us grounded!
    Your Clematis is so beautiful, Annie. It looks very healthy and happy. I love the color!
    I like Jamaica's quotes. May would be the month I'd stretch as well. It's such a lovely transition time here in the northeast.


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