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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, September 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for September 2017


By AnnieinAustin for her Transplantable Rose Blog http://annieinaustin.blogspot.com/

Do you see what I see? That patch of red School House lilies means that the hours of daylight are reduced in number and the chance of a 100F day is almost zero.

Whether you call them School House Lilies, Oxblood Lilies or Rhodophiala bifida, they’re beautiful and welcome.

Only one Hurricane Lily has popped up so far – they’re planted in 6 or 7 places in my garden but they don’t bloom every year. [AKA Red Spider lilies/ Lycoris radiata.

The School House lilies and Hurricane Lilies bloom only once in late summer or early fall but other plants have kept color in the garden for months:

Alyssum, prostrate rosemary and basil keep bees happy with small white flowers in the herb troughs.

Two really deep freezes in an otherwise warm winter knocked off many container plants. Those empty pots were depressing! When guests were expected in March I picked up a few big-box store begonias as temporary replacements for frozen Calibrachoas. To  my surprise they have thrived and bloomed all summer. 

With hummingbirds in mind, we moved one of the obelisks from the shady back bed to the sunny triangle and planted Cypress vine at the base, where Salvia coccinea in coral and red and Salvia greggii in lavender and white already grew. Adding a punch or orange is some self-seeded milkweed.

A mystery plant showed up on the edge of the patio in spring – probably the seed was dropped by a bird. I watched it grow all summer, topping out at 7 feet, then forming seedheads.

At one point I thought it was Frostweed, but the tiny, fringed, flowers have no collar of petals like Frostweed. A friend made a tentative ID of Eupatorium odoratum. There is a definite pleasant fragrance so that sounds right to me. Butterflies and bees love it!

Staying low and gently spreading on the edge of the patio is Cobweb Spiderwort, once kept in a container. Last year I flipped a few broken-off stems onto the gravel and put small rocks over the ends. Tradescantia sillamontana loved the gravel, rooted and grew beautifully. When the cold weather killed most of the original plant, only the tips of this clump were damaged and it repaired itself speedily.

You won’t see much of a show today from the Blue Butterfly flower (AKA Rotheca myricoides, formerly Clerodondrum ugandense). A few bleached blooms remain on the plant in the triangle bed and the other big plant has only buds.

The daisy-shape in this little scene used to come from native perennial Blackfoot Daisies but they were barely annual here, not perennial. This year I put in the very similar looking Zinnia angustifolia. Only a few cosmos sprouted this year and I am glad to have them.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to all of you and to Carol at May Dreams, ringmaster of this monthly floral circus. http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/2017/09/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-september-2017.html

By AnnieinAustin for her Transplantable Rose Blog http://annieinaustin.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Oh Please, Dear March, Don't Turn Into a Lion

In early March 2015 late deep freezes blasted the Texas Mountain Laurels and I wrote this lament.

This year March arrived sweetly, and everything has been pretty peachy so far - but crazy early.

The oldest Texas Mountain Laurel bloomed unfrozen for the first time in years. It's fading now but wonderful to see.

The fig, Forest Pansy redbud and dwarf pomegranate have leaves.

A few Bluebonnets have opened with Blackfoot daisies.

and the white-flowered, passalong Cemetery iris have started, too.

A bag of Leucojum/Snowflake bulbs were an impulse buy last fall - oh, how glad I am this spring that I gave in to temptation!

Closeup of the snowflakes - we can't have snowdrops and we can't have Lily of the Valley, but by gum we can have Leucojum 'Gravetye Giant'.

Yesterday the Lady Banks rose began to pop.

And the peach iris began to stretch their flower stalks up to the sun.

Tonight Austin is under a watch for thunderstorms with possible hail so as usual it's fingers crossed for no bad surprises.

Annie in Austin, writing at the Transplantable Rose blog

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Groundhog Day What's In Bloom List

This post, “Groundhog Day What’s In Bloom List” was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog. 

My neighborhood had some cold nights recently but I’m pretty sure the temperature hasn’t dropped below 28F and there are still flowers around the yard. I think many of these blooms will be frozen in the expected next round of cold weather. Instead of waiting for the 15th, it seems like a better idea to make a Ground Hog Day bloom list. This is what I saw outside today.

Abutilon hybridum 'Patrick's', flowering maple, think it's named after Patrick Kirwin

Antirrhinum majus, Yellow snapdragons

Asclepias curassavica, tropical milkweed that had been cut back has regrown

Bryophyllum daigremontianum syn. Kalanchoe daigremontiana  AKA Mother of Thousands, Alligator Plant – blossoms just opening.

Camellia japonica 'Pius IX', rose-red camellia a few buds showing color, but also showing damage from cold.

Clerodendrum ugandense – Blue butterfly flower, rooted cutting on windowsill. A few buds.

Cuphea llavea – small pink & lavender form, possibly 'Twinkle Pink' still blooming

Gaura lindheimeri, self-seeded, some pink flowers, some white flowers in two borders.

Justicia brandegeana, Pink Shrimp plant blooming in Secret Garden & Gateside garden. Flowers slightly damaged by frosts

Justicia spicigera/ Mexican Honeysuckle many buds and partially open flowers

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana? Florist's Kalanchoe, two of three plants blooming in breakfast room window.

Lantana, unknown varieties blooming in both lavender and trailing white

Mahonia bealei Oregon grape holly, 3 blooming stalks on plant in large container

Narcissus tazetta?/ unlabelled paperwhite hybrids just finishing

Narcissus tazetta ‘Grand Primo/ small daffodil, highly recommended for Austin area by Scott Ogden, many buds and opened flowers in front near steps.

Narcissus, unnamed yellow daffodil, came with house. Blooming in front Butterfly bed and Parkway

Osmanthus fragrans/Sweet olive four shrubs, three established, one in large container, one new near herb patio

Oxalis crassipes 'Alba' (dotted around and in containers)

Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea' (dotted around and in containers)

Punica granatum 'Nana'/ dwarf pomegranate in container

Rosa 'Belinda's Dream', Pink shrub rose faded flowers and a couple of buds

Rosa ‘Champagne’ mini rose, couple of fading flowers

Rosa 'Climbing Iceberg', couple of fading flowers at top of arch

Rosa 'Julia Child', one flower and one bud 

Rosa mutabilis back a few flowers, many buds; front some buds

Rosa 'Red Cascade', mini-climber bought in spring 2010, one flower, a few buds

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' - Prostrate Rosemary w pale blue flowers.

Rosemarinus officianalis, upright Rosemary in container
Salvia coccinea Deep coral plant near patio, pale coral in Secret Garden

Salvia elegans/Pineapple sage 3 plants blooming

Salvia leucantha, Mexican Bush Sage still in bloom at corner of garage.

Salvia madrensis AKA Forsythia Sage, edges of some leaves are browned, earlier flowers have browned edges but newer flowers are pure yellow.

Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips', front plant in light bloom

Schlumbergera truncata, Thanksgiving cactus – near end of bloom in breakfast room

Tecoma capensis Cape honeysuckle, in container, tender perennial blooming in garage

Tradescantia pellucida syn Gibasis pellucida, white flowering groundcover in light bloom

Viola spp– annuals, various hybrids of Pansies and violas in containers and hanging baskets

Viola self-seeded; probable ID Viola odorata in Yaupon bed.

This post, “Groundhog Day What’s In Bloom List” was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Insistence of Violets

This post "The Insistence of Violets" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

According to my plant spreadsheet, I was at the annual Zilker Garden Fest on March 27, 2010, and spent a few dollars on one young plant of Sweet violet/ Viola odorata 'Royal Robe' from Emerald Garden Nursery's booth. Violets grew wild in the grass in Illinois but I had never seen any in Austin and I missed them. The little plant was tucked into the center of the back yaupon bed but if that violet ever bloomed, I missed the show and didn't take a photo or add it to a bloom list. On the spreadsheet, the plant name had been moved to the Dead section with a brief note: No sign, spring 2012.

Last fall I planted a few snowflake bulbs, shaking cayenne pepper over the ground in hopes it would keep squirrels from digging them up. Oh, what’s this? There was is a little clump of what looked like violet leaves. I set a rock next to it as a mower guard and checked it once in awhile.

This week I was surprised to see an open flower and a few buds, looking very much like the photos of 'Royal Robe' online. So what happened? Even if I saw no flower petals, many violas can make seeds from closed, self-pollinated cleistogamous flowers that grow near the ground.

Perhaps the original plant made seeds that refused to germinate during five long years of drought and heat, but when the rains came and the reservoir lake refilled last year, this violet was persuaded to give Austin another chance. 

This post "The Insistence of Violets" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.