About Me
My Photo
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.
View my complete profile

Saturday, June 02, 2018

April 2018 Garden Scrapbook

April 2018 Garden Scrapbook

April Fool! Here’s what is left of that viola bowl.

The is the first time two blooms were open at the same time on these pale yellow Louisiana iris. They make a lot of leaves and take up a lot of space but are stingy with bloom.

The white eye ring makes me pretty sure this cute bird is a Nashville Warbler. They’re not here all year but they’re here for a lot of the year.

Iris and columbine – a favorite combination.

The unscented native Mock Orange (Philadelphus inodorus) was spectacular this spring, and even prettier with a swallowtail butterfly hovering.

At one time I had four clematis vines but I was not a good enough gardener to keep them alive. I’m grateful for the lovely no-name clematis that has survived.

This purple iris is usually the last of the bearded iris to bloom – this year it’s backed up by annual poppies and Coriander/Cilantro in bloom.

My Byzantine Gladiolus is a treasured passalong from a friend in the old part of Austin.

Against my advice, a pair of cardinals made a nest in the Lady Banks rose, two feet from the patio table, not far from the birdbath fountain. The male cardinal then attempted to chase every blue jay from the area. 

Since the Lesser Goldfinches are here all year long we sometimes take them for granted. When visitors get all excited to see them we remember how special they are. 

In the middle of April I saw a lone Monarch fluttering around one bed. Most of the milkweed froze and the few surviving milkweed plants were just starting to regrow. After checking out the bluebonnets the butterfly left.

Third week in April and the pecans are putting out leaves and pollen tassels… goodbye Sun.

After the green bowl smashed I rescued the violas and put them into a hanging basket. In the third week of April I added a hot pink calibrachoa.

Our pomegranate tree had a lot of blooms this year. We’ve never had a single pomegranate fruit – will this be the year we do?

Larkspur reseeds every year but the number of plants keeps going down as the garden matures and the sunny spots shrink.

The climbing mini-rose is called Red Cascade and it’s a real trooper.

Tiny wildflower Venus’ Looking Glass deserves a closeup photo.

When the hard freezes came most of the developing loquat fruits dropped off the tree. Only these three loquats matured. It’s OK – while I like the fruit, I like the tree more.

This post “April 2018 Garden Scrapbook” was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.    

Monday, May 14, 2018

March 2018 Garden Scrapbook

Bulbs of Leucojum aestivum AKA Snowflakes showed up in Costco a few autumns back. Adding a bag to the cart turned out to be a brilliant decision. They get fuller and more beautiful every spring.

Late freezes often kill the buds of Texas Mountain Laurels before they ever open – this year we were lucky and the purple, scented blooms were abundant. Hot spells often ruin the blossoms soon after they open – this year we were lucky and moderate weather let them bloom for the longest time I can remember.

The bluebonnet seedlings began to bloom in the second week of March. Bloom was helped by some hand-watering - late winter and spring were dryer than normal.

The entire top half of the Meyer’s Improved Lemon tree had frozen back and was definitely dead. When my daughter came to visit she picked up the big loppers.

The other half of the tree should be OK. The branches releafed but no flower buds appeared.

I first saw this unusually colored bird in January and managed to catch a photo in March. The knowledgeable birders on Twitter confirmed my guess that it is a partially leucistic chickadee.  

This was a good spring for all types of iris. Some heirlooms that had barely bloomed in 2017 were lovely in 2018. I’ve had this fragrant peach iris since 2001 and have shared divisions with Divas of the Dirt friends and fellow Austin bloggers. It’s fun to see it blooming in their photos!

We put this bench near the Magnolia figo. For a few weeks at the end of March and beginning of April it’s a pleasure to sit and smell the banana magnolia flowers

Before the pecans leaf out the back yard has sun. Many of the plants under the canopy rush into bloom before the shadows descend. 

This post, March 2018 Garden Scrapbook was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

January-February 2018 Garden Scrapbook

The indoor plants showed color in January – the garden was green and brown.

I’m glad I took this photo of the violas on the windowsill. That green bowl planter was a favorite and it’s gone now. After it went out in spring, some critter (cat? squirrel? raccoon?)  pushed it off the table to shatter on the concrete patio.

Can we still call it a Christmas cactus if it blooms in mid-January?

By the end of the month the self-seeded bluebonnets were growing. This one spouted in the joint of a wooden step where it would be both noticed and trod upon

We had some very cold days in January – down to 15°F early one morning. The Meyer’s Improved Lemon was not improved by this freeze. Looks like another year without lemons.

But a hardy little self-seeded violet bloomed at the end of the month.

A few days later the February camellia gave a preview of coming glory.

By mid-February the Loropetalum frills were out.

By the end of February what was left of the Carolina Jessamine showed buds. Poor thing was once gorgeous, but its corner of the garden is now too shady.

Also by the end of February the earliest camellia flower were falling apart while new buds kept opening.

The Spring show is just a few weeks ahead!

This post “January-February 2018 Garden Scrapbook” was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

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/