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, July 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, July 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, like Tax Day, falls on the 15th of the month. Carol of May Dreams Gardens may not haul me off to the pokey if I don't pay up in petals, but a skipped GBBD means no Permanent Record of what-happened-when in the garden.

{Most photos enlarge when clicked.}

Unlike the sweltering summer of 2009, this July hasn't topped 100°F yet and there has been real rain. We love looking out at the garden and birdbath fountain from the breakfast room. Annieinaustin, through window

The 'Little Gem' Magnolia has a few flowers, orange cosmos and self-seeded sunflowers add bright colors to the center of the back garden and a blue/purple haze near the yellow chair contrasts with the shockingly green grass.Annieinaustin, back yard with cosmos

Those purple, white and blue colors come from a 'Catawba' crepe myrtle, Mealy-blue sage, 'Miss Tilly' balloon flowers, a division of the 'Blue River II' hibiscus and 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia.Annieinaustin, Catawba crepe border
Behind the euphorbia is Salvia vanhouttei, of doubtful hardiness, but at $2 for a starter plant that's already shrub-size, worth growing because the hummingbirds love it.

It looks like this now... a little ragged but still intense in color - and you can see that it seems designed for hummingbird bills!
Annieinaustin, salvia vanhouttei flower
Ten days ago I caught the partially opened buds - part of a Red, White & Blue post that never happened.Annieinaustin, salvia van houtteii text
In the smaller triangle the starter plants of 'Black Pearl' pepper are settling in, with white, yellow and orange Portulaca around it. This year I added some stubbier Flowering Purslane to the reseeded and more delicate Moss Rose types. White Zinnia linearis also reseeds, adding daisy shapes to the scene.Annieinaustin, black pearl peppers and portulaca

In the larger triangle bed it was a surprise to see that the Hemercallis fulva (AKA Ditch daylily, a passlaong from Lori) sent up a scape loaded with buds. It bloomed in May - what is going on? At the left on the obelisk you can see leaves of the Blue Butterfly Pea winding upward in preparation for an appearance at the August GBBD.Annieinaustin, ditch daylily buds
Perennials are wonderful, but Green Bones that add mass and form along with bloom give solid satisfaction - here is the 'Little Gem' magnolia framed by white semi-dwarf 'Acoma' crepe myrtles, my neighbor's common pink crepe and a froth of evergreen Abelia at mid-level.Annieinaustin,
Along the bed to the left the Cenizo/Purple Sage is in full bloom - some people say the blooms are a promise of rain, but others say it's a response to rain. Another nickname for this plant is "Barometer Bush". Annieinaustin, Cenizo in bloom

Near the back door the blue Plumbagos have rebounded from last winter's freezeback, blooming blue with a self-seeded tropical Milkweed and the purple oxalis which has decided to rebloom rather than go dormant.Annieianaustin, blue plumbago with milkweed

A few feet away the first blooms have opened on Amarcrinum 'Fred Howard' - pink and fragrant.Annieinaustin, Fred Howard amarcrinum

On the patio the Blue Butterfly Clerodendron looks a little smug after being the subject of its own post last week.
Annieinaustin Blue butterfly clerodendrum

Around the corner in the Secret Garden green prevails, with color coming from a tall crepe myrtle showering watermelon-pink petals from high overhead, a few coral-pink canna buds at the 3-foot level and this pink false indigo down close to the ground.

Annieinaustin, pink false indigo

There's a new pink flower in the Pink Entrance Garden - John Fanick's phlox. The passalong phlox that came from my Illinois grandmother is barely alive and not blooming but this Texas Superstar was selected to do well here. Annieinaustin, John Fanicks phlox

Another passalong from Illinois seems to like Texas just fine - it's a small, reblooming daylily bought at Mileager Nurseries of Wisconsin in the mid-1990's as 'Pinocchio'. Every summer it has an initial flush of bloom, rests and regroups, makes a smaller number of scapes, rests a little longer, then pops a few more. Those are more 'Miss Tilly' balloon flowers in the background.
Annieinaustin, Hemerocallis Pinocchio daylilyBy next week a list of everything in bloom today with botanical names will go up at Annie's Addendum...

but next up will be the TOMATO REPORT, a long overdue post with a new song.

Have fun checking out a world of garden blogs in bloom right here.

JULY 22, 2010
The complete list of blooms with botanical names and a few more photos is now up at Annie's Addendum


  1. I can tell that your garden is getting enough rain this year Annie. It looks lush and the blooms set off the garden well. Happy GBBD.

  2. Your garden always has blooms in it! Thank you for sharing them with us for bloom day, once again.

    Now I can hardly wait for your tomato report, with a NEW SONG! Don't wait too long to share that with us.

  3. Hahaha... the clerodendron DOES look a little smug. But hey, who can blame such a beauty? I especially adore that salvia vanhouttei. Such a rich color it has.

    Seems like you've payed plenty of petals this month, Annie. No pokey for you! :-D

  4. I love that Salvia vanhouttei. Must get some! Happy summer!

  5. Can't get enough of those Miss Tilly balloon flowers. I especially like your combo of blue plumbago, oxalis, and milkweed.

  6. It's so good to see your garden looking fresh and green in the middle of summer. It's like the plants are celebrating.

  7. 'Fred Howard' is a much too delicate pink to be named 'Fred'. I love that shade. He's gorgeous--if something named Fred can be said to be gorgeous. And I also love the blues of the Blue Butterfly Clerodendron.

    Glad to see that your garden weathered the workmen so well. I have to laugh at your window shot. That's how I spend most of my time looking at the garden right now, too.

  8. Lovely blooms, Annie, but it's especially nice to see all the green in your garden, especially after last year's drought. The red sage looks like one I found here this spring called 'Wendy's Wish'--I love the red/hot pink blooms for a change of pace. 'Fred Howard' has such a lovely delicate pink bloom; seems like it should have a more feminine name:) Good to see your garden doing so well!

  9. Lisa at Greenbow - those photos were mostly taken the 14th & it doesn't look so lush now - hot & dry again so I'm hauling the hose around.

    Thank you, Carol - it's like the monkeys typing Shakespeare... if you plant enough stuff, something has to live and bloom, right?
    And thanks for liking the Farewell, Tomato post!

    The flowers just kind of float, Blackswamp Kim- they do hover like butterflies! I like the S vanhouttei, too - like rubies.

    The Salvia was one of those plants I'd read about but never seen for sale, Birdwoman - so was pre-primed to grab it ;-]

    I've lost other balloonflower varieties here so keeping Miss T. alive makes me happy Iris! I planted the plumbago & oxalis, but the Milkweed just blew in from across the yard. So I'll just take credit for recognizing the seedling and not weeding it out ;-]

    It must looks sparse after the gardens you saw in BuffaloMr McGregor's Daughter, but is quite a party here!

    Thanks for the push,MSS at Zanthan Gardens - I've wondered about Fred Howard for a decade and you made me poke around. Frederick Huber Howard was a well known horticulturalist-nurseryman Montebello, Los Angeles in the first half of the 1900's. He was supposed to have had a magic touch with roses (there's also a 'Fred Howard' rose) but I'm not sure if the Amarcrinum was so much named after him, or if it was more like "look at this - it's the Amarcrinum Fred Howard has been working on." Haven't found out whether the human Fred was as gorgeous as the flower, but I do know his wife's name was Minnie, which charmed me to pieces.

    Prairie Rose, it's still too hot for me, but much better than last year, and with the lakes in better shape when it doesn't rain, I just go water. The Salvia vanhoutteii is some selection of Salvia splendens - sounds like the parentage of Wendy's Wish is a mystery that popped up in an Australian garden. Love the story!

    Thanks for the comments,


  10. Gosh, you have so much blooming and your grass looks so lush!
    I was looking at the picture of your Chicago vegetable garden in your tomato report - wow, so big!

  11. What a pleasant view you have from your breakfast room.
    Salvia vanhouttei is beautiful, especially in the 2nd photo. I have several of those posts-that-never-happened languishing in my drafts on Blogger. So much to share but so little time!
    This spring I was excited to find 2 new-to-me salvias at our little local nursery owned by friends. I can always count on them to have an interesting selection of plants. I also found a pretty cuphea! Shopping there is like a treasure hunt :)
    I love the Amarcrinum, plumbago, Blue Butterfly Clerodendron and....well, everything!
    Your summer garden is looking bright and beautiful, Annie.


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.