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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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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Whitebud is Late for March GBBD

Welcome to a pretty good Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post for May Dreams Carol! Spring looks more normal this year after rains have lessened the drought - my garden has more flowers than a sensible person could expect after the last 3 years, surviving hail, record heat, record drought, record cold and a sideswipe from Hurricane Hermione. Annieinaustin,honeysuckle & lady banks roseThe green of annual grasses gives the look of a lawn. The coral honeysuckle- Lady Banks rose combo on the arch are once again in synch
Annieinaustin,rose & honeysuckle on archThere was enough moisture to make Bluebonnet seeds sprout and grow. Salvia greggii is starting to bloom, the Blackfoot daisies lived through winter, the larkspur has buds, the white iris flowered and the cilantro is bolting. Annieinaustin,daisies,iris,salvia,bluebonnetsThe first fragrant peach iris opened todayAnnieinaustin,first peach iris
After months of bloom, the Loropetalum/Chinese witch hazel is still adding color - this time with bright new leavesAnnieinaustin,loropetalum & fu dogBattered but alive, the Banana Shrub scents the air and makes me smileAnnieinaustin,banana shrubSomething happened to the native Mock Orange that has suckered along both sides of the fence - a lot has died. But there's a big chunk living and blooming still. Annieinaustin,philadelphus inodorus
In 2011 the Meyer's Lemon tree against the garage wall was frozen, nearly died and had no flowers. In 2012 it reaches to the roofline and has hundreds of buds ready to open.
Annieinaustin,taller Meyer's lemon treeLast year the Texas Mountain laurel froze but it was beautiful this year
Annieinaustin,texas mountain laurelThe native Four-Nerve daisies haven't stopped flowering for months so no surprise there... but when the also hyphenated Blue-Eyed grass lives and blooms again it's an event!Annieinaustin,4 nerve daisy,blue-eyed grass
I bought a native Mexican Buckeye last spring, then chickened out as the heat came on, moving it into a larger container rather than planting it in the hard, hot earth. Last month with softened ground and more hope in our hearts Philo & I set it out under where the canopy of a live oak will shade it in afternoon. It's a small shrub so we had to look down to see the flowers.
Annieinaustin,Mexican Buckeye in bloomTexas redbud and old-fashioned Spiraea are paired again
Annieinaustin,Texas redbud & spiraeaBut the Whitebud is not only late for bloom day - it must be permanently known as the Late Whitebud. The flowers were beautiful in the March 2011 post for GBBD, but the tree was already in its final decline. The garden is named Circus ~ Cercis for the 3 kinds of redbuds but the star is gone! Annieinaustin,whitebud in 2011Tom Waits once sang
"tell me who will put flowers
On a flower's grave"

Actually, most gardeners do it all the time, planting new flowers when something dies. I dried my tears and bought a 'Muskogee' crepe myrtle, hoping it will handle the harsh west winds and sun in that front bed. When my turn as hostess for The Divas of the Dirt came last November, in addition to making hypertufa troughs we planted the new tree forward of the spot where the whitebud once grew. The leaves will not be heart-shaped but with luck the blooms will be beautiful.
Annieinaustin,Muskogee crepe leafing outA complete list of blooms with botanical names is posted on my Annie's Addendum blog.

(The lyrics for Flowers Grave can be found at the Tom Waits website and the song is on YouTube. )


  1. Beautiful blooms!
    I especially like the Coral Honeysuckle!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Wow your garden is up and running with blooms Annie. It looks marvelous. Happy GBBD. Isn't this just the best spring ever! I hope we can say the same about summer. :)

  3. It all looks wonderful. There is hope in every garden, isn't there?

  4. Lovely blooms. Spring has been especially kind to us this year, rains included. And haven't we earned it?

    Happy St. Patrick's Day and thanks for the Waits reference!

  5. I don't know that I've ever seen a whitebud before. Really a beautiful tree ... I'd forgotten about the mock orange. I grew one years ago in Austin. I love those; I'm going to look for another one.
    I have a question about my mountain laurel. Should I deadhead the spent blooms? I don't want to propagate more trees, and it seems to me that this would strengthen the tree if I remove them so the energy could go back to the plant rather than into making a gazillion seed pods. What is your recommendation? I can't find a clear answer on Google for our particular mountain laurel.

  6. Thanks for the comments and Happy St Patrick's Day!

    Sandy, your theory sounds logical to me! I do know that some people cut off the spent blooms of Texas Mountain Laurel because they don't want the toxic seeds developing in their garden and they still seem to get blooms. But since the buds for next year's flowers seem to form very early, my best guess is that if you're going to clip the old flowers, do it now.

  7. I can't believe how much that Meyer lemon rebounded! It looks great, Annie. :-)

    I love the Loropetalum, and the Texas Mountain Laurel, too. (If I could, I would be hunting down and planting those, just like I did the gorgeous honeysuckle I first saw on your blog.) Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

  8. So sorry to hear of the demise of your Whitebud, Annie, but everything else in your garden looks wonderful! So good to see so many blooms again after all the rough times you have had. The Meyer's Lemon is a great example of resiliency in the garden. I'm sure you'll enjoy the new crepe myrtle; I'm always envious of these beautiful trees in Southern gardens.

  9. We are enjoying your peach iris as much as you are. It has so many blooms this year- quite amazing. It doesn't seem to be as vigorous as my others, which is nice. A much drier spot. Thank you for the passalong. Happy belated bloom day.

  10. You have some wonderful blooms Annie. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of the whitebud, but hopefully the Muskogee crepe myrtle will flourish in that bed.

  11. Change can be good as every gardener must believe or they would not survive either. Your garden is so happy this year and I am happy for the gardener!

  12. Meanwhile my Meyer lemon, pampered in monotonously moderate weather is always yellow and sickly. The Magnolia figo died years ago.

    Well, if any gardens deserve some good weather for a change it's Austin's. Enjoy it!


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