("Thought Pops" started in September 2006 - this is Edition 7)
At the Start of Year Six
On June 7, 2006, the Transplantable Rose blog featured a photo of 'Blue River II' Hibiscus. In swift succession came a complaint about hot pink crepe myrtles, a link list of other blogs in the sidebar, my thoughts on three movies (Prairie Home Companion, Jumping Off Bridges and The Puffy Chair) , a lively discussion with several commenters about mislabled plants, dips into genealogy & passalong plants, notes on a local nursery, ruminations on the botany found in the book Gone With the Wind, a look at the Austin Pond Tour and a photo of a bowl of tomatoes.
During the first few weeks comments came from local Austin people and others very far away. MSS of Zanthan Gardens, Pam/Digging, RSorrell, pioneer bloggers MarthaChick and Linda Ball were all from Austin. But Amy Stewart, Trey Pitsenberger, Andrea & Bliss-ful Angela were in California, Anthony was in New Jersey, Amy in Alabama, May Dreams Carol in Indiana, Illegal Hannah and Blackswamp Kim were in Ohio, Lost Roses in Colorado, Xris in Brooklyn, Kerri in New York State, Janet in Ontario, Christopher in Hawaii (he's now in Carolina), Silvia in Ireland, La Gringa in Honduras and Stuart in Australia. What a thrill! Visiting one blog led to another and I reordered the ever-growing linklist by geographic location. It made me feel good when people said my idea helped them find other gardeners with similar conditions.
Five years isn't long ago by most standards but blog-years may be more like dog years. Many blogs I loved to visit are now dormant or disappeared (oh, Hank! How we miss the County Clerk!). Some of those first commenters are gardenblogging superstars! Blogs both active & dormant are in the old sidebar list. Active blogs are also in the blogger list module on Annie's Addendum.
As for me, I'm still here - the posts are less frequent and more conversations take place on Twitter than in the comments, but it's still good to be part of the garden blog world.
Hibiscus 'Blue River II' and Crepe Myrtles
The 'Blue River II' Hibiscus moscheutos, subject of my first post, has bloomed for me every year since 1993, moved from Illinois to Austin house #1 to this house. Early heat & no rain have kept the stalks under 4-feet tall this year... in rainy years they've stretched to more than seven feet. Although the pink crepes in post #2 still reign in the neighborhood, my crepe myrtles also bloom in white and purple. I love the white of the hibiscus with the purple of this young 'Catawba' crepe myrtle, which is about the same height as the Blue River 2. Another youngun was labeled 'Zuni', but until it blooms we can't be sure.
Tomatoes of 2011
In cooler 2006 the tomatoes didn't even get going until late June. In super hot, super dry, super windy June 2011 we already had tomatoes in late May ... some large enough to slice for tomato & red onion sandwiches,
Most of the larger tomatoes are already gone and what's left has been pulled off their crisping stems to ripen inside. The regular tomatoes turn red slowly, 2 or 3 at a time along with a few Juliets. We'll enjoy the steady, modest supply while it lasts. ('Juliet' and a couple of cherry tomatoes are the only tomatoes still forming new fruit.)
This year we even savored vine ripened(!!) tomatoes thanks to a couple of passalong wire compost bins from the Wabi-Sabi Home & Garden. (And thank you RBell/ The Lazy Shady Gardener for loading them into my car!)Instead of using the bins for compost, my idea was to flip them over to keep squirrels from eating the tomatoes. The protective cages looked pretty cool after Philo painted them and added handles salvaged from previous projects. (That counts as Wabi Sabi, doesn't it?)This cage covered a container planted with 'German Johnson'. MayDreams Carol calls this her favorite tomato, a memory of her grandmother, and I wanted to try it! Would it grow in a pot? With plenty of compost, organic fertilizer and water it did OK - we harvested 5 beautiful tomatoes - true slicing size and absolutely delicious. Since critters have swiped most of the netted 'Black Krim' tomatoes that were planted in the garden, my plan is to try 'Black Krim' in a pot under wire next time!
Those are NOT 'Black Pearl' Peppers
In 2011 I bought a couple of 'Black Pearl' ornamental peppers and quite liked them, although birds or critters also liked them so the peppers didn't stay on the plants very long. In late fall I potted one for the windowsill. It survives and now decorates the patio table with its round, almost black fruits.
This spring I noticed unlabeled, dark-leaved peppers in the vegetable section at Countryside Nursery and planted three of them nearer the house. Well, surprise, surprise... my original ID was obviously wrong since the once-dark leaves surrounding the almost-black peppers are purple and green and cream. A search of varieties makes me pretty sure this is 'Purple Flash' pepper. 'Black Pearl' looked good in the triangle bed last year with the orange cosmos, but this one looks just fine in the wall bed.
The Annual Pond Tour
In July 2006 I made four short posts about the Austin Pond Society's annual Pond Tour (at the time, it was really difficult to upload more than one photo per post to Blogger). We returned for the next tour in July 2007
For 2008 we did something a little different - my husband Philo made a music video of my Garden Pond Song filled with photos and video footage of many beautiful gardens we'd visited on the tours. We couldn't attend the 2009 tour but reported on both Saturday and Sunday in 2010.
The 2011 Pond Tour will be held this weekend, June 11th & 12th. Details are at the Austin Pond Society website, linked above, with a preview at KLRU-TV's Central Texas Gardener You-Tube site. One of this year's ponds was a favorite in 2008 - a genuine original home made Austintacious tropical paradise - where even the humble water closet became a water feature:
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to leave a comment over the past 5 years. I will keep hoping to meet many of you in person some day.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
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