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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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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for February 2011

Four years ago on February 15, 2007, May Dreams Carol invited us to post for the first-ever Garden Bloggers Bloom Day . The only flowers I could find were a few blossoms on the Carolina Jessamine and Coral Honeysuckle, a few yellow daffodil buds and 'Grand Primo' narcissus, some pansies, barely developed buds of Texas Mountain Laurel and a salmon geranium on the windowsill. Wouldn't you think there would now be more, rather than less?

The Carolina Jessamine/Gelsemium sempervirens began to flower 2 weeks ago -then was badly hit by the recent cold spell. Most of the plant looks like thisAnnieinaustin, Frozen Carolina Jessamine buds A few of the interior vines were more protected and look like this - my guess is that the buds that are browned will fall off but the yellow ones will open.Annieinaustin, buds of carolina jessamine
I planted hyacinths near the yellow daffodils and very warm 80º F weather in early February spurred them to show buds. The temperature dropped rapidly from the 70's to the 20's -not that unusual here - but then it stayed below freezing for several days and dipped to 14º F, which is not usual. Annieinaustin, frozen hyacinth and daffodilThe stems of the daffodils had broken but a few heads seemed OK -so as our GBBD Inspiration Elizabeth Lawrence might have done, I cut the stems and took them inside, hoping they'll open in a vase of water.
Annieinaustin, cut buds of daffodil in vase
For the first time since 2005 the flowers on these Narcissus 'Grand Primo' won't open.
The containers of pansies look much same as they did 10 days ago, but the Coral Honeysuckle lost not only flower buds but most of its leaves. And that 'Fantasia Salmon' geranium in flower for the first GBBD? I bought that plant on sale back in February 2006! I was quite pleased when it lived through the first winter, never expecting to someday look in the window and see a 5-year old plant still in bloom. Annieinaustin,Fantasia Salmon pelargonium geraniumThat's it, May Dreams Carol! Maybe you'll get a better GBBD next month. The bloggers with the inside bulbs have the flowers this time.


  1. This winter has been hard on a lot of gardens. I feel for you all in Austin -- it should not be that cold! Here's hoping that your next bloom day will be better.

    (And I'm impressed that you have a five year old geranium still blooming!)

    May Dreams Carol

  2. I hope your narcissus recover and bloom next year. I was worried for a second about your geranium...how nice that it is OK! Was it behind your protective curtain?

  3. Two miserable winters in a row! I think 2011 is even worse than 2010--it never got as cold in my yard as in 2010 but it stayed cold for so much longer. Everywhere I look in downtown and South Austin I see a mush of agaves.

    It's possible (if it's not too late) that you can open the blasted buds of the Grand Primo narcissus by hand. None of my paperwhite varieties are blooming. The leaves of my 'Grand Monarque' actually froze and withered brown. However, the cheap Costco 'Ice Follies' are blooming despite having frozen solid in bud.

  4. Usually, it's so uplifting to see the southern garden bloggers showing off their flowers this time of year, but what to say this year? My sympathies.

  5. It's always a treat to visit your garden any month of the year. Happy (belated) Bloom Day!

  6. That's an impressive geranium - pretty and long-lived.

  7. Happy GBBD. Your garden has taken a beating this winter. Thankfully we know it will soon recover.

  8. That's amazing that your geranium has lived so long! Mine all got zapped by the cold last fall before I remembered that I hadn't brought any in. You've really had some wild fluctuations in temperatures this winter; I hope that the real spring is on its way soon for you.

  9. Lovely. Any blooms at this time of year are better than no blooms.

    Goldenray Yorkies

  10. It is very impressive you know the name of your geranium, Annie! I know your Jasmine will be ok. Just remember sempervivum means tough as nails! :)

  11. It's up to 70ºF again, May Dreams Carol! For my 2006 project day I bought one geranium & one ceramic pot for each Diva of the Dirt as a thank you gift and kept one for myself... never expected it to last a year!

    It's inside on the breakfast room window shelf, Leslie - I took the photo from outside just for a little variety because that geranium has been on the blog so many times ;-]

    Things in my garden are definitely worse than in 2010, MSS of Zanthan Gardens - almost all evergreens look bad and dieback is everywhere. No saving those narcissus - the heads are like cooked asparagus. But now there is empty space!

    Sorry to let you down, Entangled - this would have been a good year to try forcing indoor bulbs!

    Not much of a treat, Birdwoman, but maybe next month will be better?

    I bought the geraniums from a sale rack at Lowe's, RBell - it gets some of John's Recipe pretty regularly so maybe that stuff does work.

    That's one advantage of cramming in plants, right Lisa at Greenbow? Might not be what we plan, but something should have flowers!

    I don't think a geranium could make it through a winter outside here - but it likes this window, Prairie Rose so it gets a reserved spot!

    Hello Sunray... it's possible you are real, but with only one post and an embedded ad it's also possible you are fake. Oh, well - since it's a dog ad, consider my allowing your comment as your "one bite".

    Yo, Sissy - the jasmine is also a native so could probably come back even if killed to the ground. As to the name... I try to keep the tags and enter all the plants onto a spreadsheet. If a plant dies I add "ZZ" onto the front of the name, so all the ZZ's move to the bottom part of the list, but still keep their alphabetical order. Right now about 1/4 of the plants on that list have ZZ as their first name!

    Thanks for the comments - and hope you're all getting some better weather,


  12. great to see some life in your garden! I hope you get some spring soon

  13. Lovely geranium. Sorry about the cold snap, that's always a risk around here too.

  14. Annie, I very much fear I'm going to lose Narcissus blooms ... I don't like how they're looking. Meanwhile, I see aphids on daylilies and fire ant mounds are popping up everywhere. What good is winter if it doesn't kill the blasted bugs? Hmmpph.


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