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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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Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Bloom Day for March 2011

The UN in Un-Bloom Day doesn't mean there are no flowers - it's just a little riff on the Unbirthday party in Alice in Wonderland - a way to remind myself that the flowers weren't around for 'Official' Garden Blogger Bloom Day on the 15th. If you're still interested, last week I made a GBBD list for Annie's Addendum, but this week it is Full-On Spring here in Austin - nights in mid-60's F and windy, dry days in the mid-eighties making bluebonnets and Texas Paintbrush pop. Annieinaustin, Bluebonnets and Paintbrush

The Divas of the Dirt have had a couple of projects; it's nursery-hopping season; with no rain many hours must be spent soaking, composting and mulching beds, and it's also the season for visiting friends' gardens in the real world. And since the Coral Honeysuckle and Ladybanks Rose are once again blooming together in that real world, it's way past time to make a post in the virtual world.
Coral honeysuckle and Ladybanks rose, Annieinaustin
The parade of dead and damaged plants is still straggling past - the larger Bay Laurel still looks dead and so does one of the Southern Wax myrtles. And the Mediterranean Palm took a real hit. I cut off the dead fronds and used a dolly to wheel the remaining stump from the patio to a more obscure area with best wishes for recuperation.

This week has fried the blossoms but last week the Texas Whitebud was lovely!Annieinaustin,Texas Whitebud, Cercis variety

The Texas Redbud came into bloom with the lance-leafed Bridal Wreath spiraea... next up will be a similar, shorter white spiraea with rounder, scalloped leaves.Annieinaustin, Redbud w Bridal Wreath
I like 'Thalia' daffodil so much that it's planted in little clumps all over the garden, some in sun and some in part shade. The first to open are already done but the last ones opened yesterday.Annieinaustin, Narcissus Thalia Daffodil
White iris - an old passalong type tentatively identified as Iris albicans - is usually the first one of the bearded types to open.
Annieinaustin White Iris albicans

The second triangle has a little bit of everything - bluebonnets from seeds that MSS of Zanthan Gardens gave me, a Texas Paintbrush, Blackfoot Daisies (one survivor and one new), annual white and purple phlox (the cultivar is humorously named 'Twentieth Century Phlox'), Salvia greggii not yet blooming, seedling cosmos with 'Amethyst Flame' iris from Pam/Digging in the background.Annieinaustin, bluebonnets, iris

A few more bluebonnets grow in the sunny end of the Yaupon border - this time with a Four-Nerve Daisy/Tetraneuris scaposa and some very happy Phlox subulata/Creeping phlox in a lavender shade. bluebonnets, Four-nerve daisy, Annieinaustin

The center of that bed is sunny now, but once the pecan trees leaf out it will be shady. That's where I planted the sticklike 'Snow Queen' Oakleaf hydrangea about 1 year ago, with fingers crossed that it had survived January 2010 in a container. February 2011 was even worse for cold, but the Oakleaf hydrangea had settled in and breezed through. Annieinaustin,Oakleaf hydrangea

Look at that developing flower head!Annieinaustin, Oakleaf hydrangea bud closeup

In the mixed sun-and-shade of the long fence bed a few Persian ranunculus survived February 2011, too - but just a few. Many more froze and dried up. I really like this white one Annieinaustin, white ranunculus

And this clump of yellow ranunculus is back for the 4th springAnnieinaustin, yellow ranunculusAt the back of this bed we planted a 'Ramona' clematis on a metal trellis a little more than a year ago. I hope the flowers come slowly, because the 'Julia Child' rose is slow this spring, and the combination of 'Ramona' and 'Julia' was spectacular last year.Annieinaustin, Ramona clematis, march 2011

Near the birdbath fountain another Four-Nerve daisy has not only survived but increased... joined by a sweet little Blue-Eyed grass from Barton Springs Nursery.Annieinaustin,Sisyrinchium & Tetraneuris scaposa

Not all the native plants did so well - although all four of the Texas Mountain Laurel plants survived the freezes, only one tiny floret was left unfrozen from the buds set last year.Annieinaustin, lone floret TX mountain laurel

I couldn't resist a Blue Sky Vine on sale, also at Barton Springs Nursery. It may not be hardy here, but garden forums suggest growing it in a container until fall, chopping it down to 2-feet and bringing the pot into the garage for winter. I'm giving that a try - it's now in a container next to the white arch in the Secret Garden, looking quite at home. Annieinaustin Thunbergia grandiflora
We bought tomato plants at Natural Gardener and Shoal Creek Nursery a while ago, grew them on in larger pots for awhile and planted them last week. Some of the peppers are in, but some are still in the pots until April. That worked pretty well last year. Annieinaustin, tomato plants in wheelbarrow

There are more plants in bloom but the one that said Spring to me today was this small-flowered member of the Magnolia family, bought in 2004 as a starter shrub at Red Barn Garden Center and now 7-feet tall. At various times it's been called Magnolia fuscata, Michelia fuscata, and Michelia figo, (Michelia always makes me think of May Dreams Carol), but it seems to be now called Magnolia figo... at least this week. Annieinaustin Magnolia figo flowerI haven't been a very good Garden Blogger this month - more like the White Rabbit saying "I'm Late, I'm Late"- but I'm still trying to be a good Gardener!

Happy Spring, everyone!


  1. Wow- I'm jealous! You have a LOT more going on in your garden than I have in mine! If it would ever stop raining here in California we could actually enjoy some blooms.... sadly a couple instances of hail have turned my daffodils to mush :(

  2. Just looking at all these blooms makes me know that you are a good gardener. After all you are out there tending and that is what counts. Love seeing all those tended blossoms. Happy Spring.

  3. Annie, I love all your white blossoms, and the combination of the four-nerve daisy with the bluebonnets and phlox. So sad to see no ranunculus in my garden this year; too dry, I suppose, and I am bad about watering. If I could train redbuds and whitebuds into bonsai, I would plant them in my garden. Happy Un-Bloom Day!

  4. Annie, you've got a lot of blooms! I don't think there is much chance for my bluebonnets. They are still tiny seedlings...maybe not enough drainage? Anyway, your iris are beautiful and I would be honored to add some to my garden ;)

  5. Well, waiting for the UN-Bloom day was definitely worth the wait! We're still playing the "Dead or Dormant" game in the Pacific Northwest, but we're hopeful to see some magnolia blooms within the next couple of weeks.

  6. Twentieth Century Phlox - you'd have to buy it just for the name ;-) - but the color is pretty too. I'll have to look for that one when shopping for annuals this year. And now I've got that song by the Doors stuck in my head. (She's a . . twentieth century fox...)

    Creeping phlox is just starting to bloom around here, and we're supposed to get 1-2 inches of snow tonight. I hope the forecast is wrong.

  7. How lovely. I am sorry for your palm, but honestly, your gardens look wonderful!

  8. Your white ranunculus is like a frilly petticoat. I am tempted to try some next fall. And I think I might be tempted by the Blue sky vine as well. I have just the spot for one of those as long as it would like pot life. So pretty.

  9. What a delight to see all these lovely blooms, Annie! I love the pure white of the daffodils, iris, and ranunculus. Last year one of the nurseries featured ranunculus for the first time that I can remember. It's an annual here, of course, but one of the few flowers besides pansies and violas that take our cold springs. With your warm weather, I don't blame you at all for being out in the garden instead of sitting at the computer!

  10. Thanks for all the comments - now it's two weeks later and half the actors have left the stage with new ones in the wings. Sure is not a long, slow spring... so hot that plants are in a rush!

    You've had too much rain in CA, Carri, and we've had none... seems that's how it goes.

    I keep trying, Lisa at Greenbow - am very lucky to own a patch of earth.

    Redbuds probably wouldn't like being pruned much, Caroline, but so far these Texas varieties grow very slowly so don't need it.

    Hi Cat - some of my late sprouters are trying to bloom now. I don't think they'll be big plants but they do have buds. Maybe your will try?

    Your spring may be slow but it will probably stretch longer Tigerlily - days in 90's are bad for spring flowers!

    The phlox are lovely but the name sure caught my eye, Entangled!

    In IL some plants lasted forever, Sissy - horticultural relationships are iffier here!

    Ranunculus may not last long Lancaster Rose but they're not expensive - and the SkyVine was only $5. I go for cheap thrills!

    Thank you, Prairie Rose - the garden seems to need much more time this spring but it's also very satisfying.



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