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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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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for August

Today is bloom day, but where are the flowers? To the south there are deep green shadows under the pecan trees, with the only color coming from a bright yellow chair. The shade is welcome since Austin has had several weeks of normal dry summer weather with temperatures hovering near 100º F.
Around the corner to the right, past the green settee, is the 'Incense' passionvine, star of the August 5th post. A hungry Gulf Fritillary caterpillar takes the place of the purple flowers that hung there a week ago.
From the patio I can see two red flowers - a Cypress vine~Ipomoea quamoclit, and the faithful native Coral Honeysuckle~Lonicera sempervirens, entwined to form a hummingbird's delight.
The vines cover the top of the metal arch - how could there be a bloom day post without a photo of that arch? Through it a spot of red is visible along the long back fence...

I called this tropical tree a Plumeria when I showed you the buds ten days ago, but Kerri knows it as Frangipani, a beautiful name that means both the flower and the fragrance.
Crossing to the gate and looking forward to the northeast brings the length of the North fence into view, with a few flowers remaining on the two 'Acoma' crepe myrtles, a 'Bengal Tiger' canna, and the tall self-seeded sunflower at right on the back fence.

Looking to the right while standing at the gate, one sees a bed along the housewall. The Brugmansia finally bloomed and the expanded Angel's Trumpets are yellow - very pale and lightly fragrant. Even with flowers the Brugmansia plant looks like a big weed to me, and the blue tumble at its feet has a weedy habit, too.
This flower is the semi-tropical Plumbago auriculata - grown for that wonderful blue color.
In the front of the house, Impatiens and Oxalis bloom in baskets along the veranda, and a small pink crepe myrtle leans into the picture.
August Lilies/Hosta plantaginea bloomed in my Illinois garden, spilling fragrance near Grandma's white phlox. I brought some of the phlox to Texas and in some summers it's looked happy. But this year's rain nearly drowned my phlox - it finally made one flower this week.

The fragrance no longer comes from August hostas, but from Hedychium coronaria, White Ginger. After I brought one tiny root back from Hawaii, six summers in Texas turned that root into several plants, enough to share with MSS one recent afternoon.
Fragrance also comes from Cestrum nocturnum, the Night-blooming Jasmine, which has a demure and dainty appearance in the daytime, but whose evening personality is rated at least PG-13.
It's evening now, and the jasmine scent insinuates itself into the landscape as one last flower uncurls - atop the obelisk the Moonvine has climbed over the Blue Butterfly Pea and raised one white disk to the dark sky.


  1. Annie,
    Your Austin garden is pulling through the hot summer beautifully !

    I'm awe struck that you can grow a Frangipani !
    Wowza ! it is hot !

    Here are a couple plants that are blooming in my garden this August along with one photo of a garden in Napa that I recently completed ( design and installation )
    link : http://deviantdeziner.blogspot.com/

    Happy Bloom Days.

  2. You have quite the tropical theme going on there. I bet it smells wonderful especially at night with all that jasmine and Brugmansia and ginger, yum.

    I still love that yellow chair. I think I told you already that I have two bright purple and two bright red Adirondak chairs. They're great.

    Try to hang in there through the heat:)

  3. Annie,
    Thanks again for participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. The white flowers surely make the evenings more pleasant in the garden, don't they? In my own garden the August Lilies (and I wonder if they are the same as the ones you mentioned) smell even sweeter at night.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  4. Annie: I love the shot through the arbor! It looks cool and inviting in spite of your hot temperatures! I love your Plumeria and have one also but I don't think we have a long enough season here for it to bloom. I will not give up hope!

  5. Your chair looks quite inviting for a hot afternoon. The Frangipani is gorgeous. I think that Brugmansia is different than the datura angels trumpet that I have. Mine doesn't get anywhere near that tall but then again the season is short here. My dad had jasmine in Florida and I loved to sit outside in the evening. I've seen some for sale that might overwinter here and may try it next year.

  6. What a lovely trip through your garden! I wish I could small that jasmine! *dreams*
    Your garden has been too hot and dry, while mine has been too wet and cold! We have hardly had any summer here, feels like spring went strait into autumn.
    Let's trade weather for a few days! tee hee

  7. I didn't know that plumeria and frangipani were the same thing. The things you teach me!

    I love the blue butterfly pea and can hardly wait until my passalong white ginger grows up and flowers.

    By the way, if you ever want any garlic chives, I have bunches!

  8. Annie, I always enjoy seeing the unusual (for me) plants in your gardens. And I love the yellow chair in the shady spot. Good idea.

  9. Dear Annie, we have lots of plants in common. My Hedychium, Plumbago and Crape Myrtle are in bloom too.
    My Plumeria rubra and Jasmine are not in bloom yet whle the Cestum nocturnum has finished its first flush of fragrant blooming.

  10. Annie, I just noticed your "Leave your comment" comment and I like it.
    I also like the splash of color from your yellow chair. The shady area looks like a great place to sit and cool off while gardening in the summer.

  11. Hello, Annie

    My garden in Scotland is mainly foliage at the moment too – lots of shades of greens and other colours too. I love foliage plants don’t you?

    I also have jasmine flowering up trellis at the moment - the perfume is simply wonderful!

    Happy Gardening!

  12. Annie, you have so many scented flowers. One of the rewards of a hot summer is intense fragrance at night fall. Wish I could grow a jasmine.
    That yellow chair is perfect.

  13. Aha, the compensation for enduring the heat is beautiful tropical plants. I tried a Hedychium once during my tropical phase, but it bloomed about 5 minutes before frost, or in other words, too late. It's nice to see yours prospering and blooming.

    Love the nighttime picture of the moonvine!

  14. I bought a stick of plumeria when I was in hawaii a couple months ago; of course it just rotted ASAP.

    Did you sell me a cutting of Cestrum nocturnum on EBay last year? I know I bought it fom someone in Austin.

  15. Hello Michelle - the plumeria/frangipanis do pretty well for Austinites if they're stuffed inside the garage for winter. I've admired the glamorous homes and landscapes on your website - and remember seeing some photos of your own garden last year.

    Hi Chigiy- it would smell better if the scent of mosquito repellant weren't the dominant element!
    I haven't been brave enough for purple or red ... but yellow is at least a real color.
    Having off-and-on days around one hundred degrees is normal here , but the last couple of summers were brutal - way too many days of 108º and above.

    Hello Carol - you really started something! The August Lilies I had were Hosta plantaginea, and they looked like the ones on your blog... but I can't verify the smell without a plane ticket to Indiana ;-]

    Hi Layanee - Thank you! Maybe if you can just trigger an inflorescence, it will continue to develop after you bring your plumeria inside to a sunny window?

    Apple, I think that the daturas usually face upward while the brugmansias face down... but they're closely related. I've seen Brugmansias that were 15-feet tall and the same width! A lot of my tropical stuff overwinters inside the house.

    You should have seen us a month ago, Salix Tree - record rain, flooding and temperatures in the mid-eighties, practically a cold wave! That's why so many of my flowers are blooming late this year.

    MSS - that's something I learned on that trip to Hawaii!
    If you want to try the Blue Butterfly Pea next year, there are usually a few seedlings around in May. It's Clitoria ternatea.
    Thanks for the Garlic chives offer - I have mine in a container... should I set them free??

    Bev, with so much dappled shade and heavy clay in my yard, plants like your Agastache are unusual to me!

    Hello GreenThumb - we do have some plants in common. Our seasons must be a little different, since my Cestrum just started blooming this week.

    It was Kate from Kate's Smudges who taught me about the comment possiblilies, Robin. The yellow chair seemed daring at the time, but now it seems right!

    Hi Shirl - I'll have to see how you garden in Scotland - and I also love foliage - maybe that should be a post?
    There are so many wonderful jasmines; I'm glad you found one that's happy where you live.

    Gloria - I keep planting them, but most are only fragrant when you get up close... if I keep going, maybe the scent will achieve critical mass so that even people walking past on the sidewalk will swoon.

    I'm still in my tropical phase, Entangled, and am in no hurry to move on. When it was in a container, the ginger didn't bloom until September - it's acting different since I planted it in the ground.

    I haven't done EBay yet, Chuck, so it must have been another gardener - should I try to root some Night blooming jasmine for you?

    The ginger came from Hawaii and it lived, but I bought a couple of plumeria sticks on the same trip, which both rotted. We were in Hawaii in late June, the wrong time of year to strike a cutting. The red one came as a passalong stick from a woman in Austin; the yellow Plumeria began as a stick I bought at an Austin garden fest... both obtained in early spring.

    Thank you for the comments,


  16. annie - Your blooms are beautiful - I love the color on your Plumeria - I posted mine, too, but it is a pale yellow. I have a smaller one I think it pink, but it isn't blooming yet. Your arch is also wonderful. I want more texture and old world feel like that in my garden. I love looking at the long shots, too - reminds me I should do that as well. Happy Bloom Day!

  17. Uh, oh, looks like Austin may be in for more rain from the tropical storm. I'm really impressed how quickly the plumeria bloomed. That combined with the white ginger would make anyone visiting your garden think they were in the tropics. Hedychium is one of my favorite scented flowers along with any of the many species of Jasminums. I hope you will take a macro photo of your brug flower. I do like the look of your Acoma crepe myrtles. The small tree form is interesting and adds a nice tall element when interspersed with the smaller shrubs and flowers. I wonder how a small copse of three Acomas would look?

  18. Oh, you have night blooming jasmine. How lucky you are! We used to have it when we lived in Marin County CA, and I miss being enveloped by its scent as I walk down the path. Beautiful garden you have here.

  19. Nice! I really like your white ginger - how beautiful. You mentioned so many things that have a nice fragrance - that is true for this time of year, isn't it?

  20. Your garden looks shady, tropical, and cool, Annie. With the exception of that hot yellow chair that calls out for relaxing with a glass of icy lemonade.

  21. I't great to see nourished and thriving flowers with pliable leaves that look to the sun...

    Marvelous, Annie! Just beautiful.

    Maybe my garden will be revived one day soon...

  22. Great flowers, Annie! They may not be as numerous as in the earlier summer, but I think they are cool....especially that moon vine!

  23. Oh, Annie, only you would have a PG-13 jasmine! I love it, and your great shot of the moonvine reaching for the night sky. Your garden looks very serene and lovely despite your high temps and recent drenchings!

  24. I love the little note you have above in your leave a comment area.

    Your garden looks so wonderful and fresh and inviting. With those temperatures, I'm surprised everything isn't burnt brown.

    Gosh, you garden is so wonderful, and I'm so pleased that my hollyhocks bloomed, and they're gorgeous. But nothing like your garden.

    I'm going to look Austin up on Google Earth. I'm not quite sure where it's located in Texas. It looks beautiful.

  25. Your Cypress vine looks impressive alongside the Coral Honeysuckle ... my Cypress is short and straggly so this is a real treat.

    I would love to see more pictures of the blue butterfly pea. The Plumbago is gorgeous - a wonderful blue. I was happy to see that the Angel Trumpet flowers are yellow. They are gorgeous.

    Mostly I think I would love to sit in your garden at night and breathe in the scents of the Jasmine along with the White Ginger!

  26. Your yard is sure looking nice and green despite that 100 degree weather. All the white flowers give it a cool feeling.

    It's 7:21 a.m. in MI and 44 degrees. Yes, 44 in August.

  27. Annie... sorry I don't have a plane ticket to Indiana for you, but then I wouldn't let you (or anyone who hasn't seent it before) near the garden this year since it is sooooo dry.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  28. I love your vines climbing over the arch. Is there more than one type of vine there for color at different times of the year? It looks so full and graceful.

  29. Annie...you've still got a lot blooming...and so many lovely fragrant plants!

  30. Hello Diana - I have a yellow plumeria, too - not blooming yet. My house was built nearly 30 years ago - which in Austin may not be old world, but at least is pretty old, isn't it! The yard isn't large, so 'long shot' is relative.

    Hi Ki - we didn't get much up here from Erin, but Dean may be different. Some parts of the garden do look tropical now- and there are lots of different canna leaves which look tropical to me.

    Welcome healingmagichands - the scent is nice outside, but was not so good in a vase in the kitchen. The nursery where I found it last summer has closed, so I was very glad this plant overwintered for me.

    Pam, does your pink ginger have a similar scent?

    It looks cooler than it is, Pam/Digging - I'm glad we can see most of the garden from the breakfast room bay window!

    Mary - it was so awful here last summer, and now you're suffering through the same kind of year. I sure hope your rain will come!

    Howdy, Lisa - they're far apart, but I'm very fond of many plants that bloom now. I'm hoping they'll grow well and have more presence in a couple of years.

    That photo pleased the heck out of me, LostRoses, one of those press-the-button-and-hope shots. It had just been mowed, so the tidy factor adds to serenity, I think.

    Hello Josie - Kate in the comment below told me how to change the comment box. I'm watering containers and new plants again now, but we had enough rain to keep the grass green. I never could get the geography wedge in Trivial Pursuit - and did not really understand where Austin was until my husband got a job offer to move here. I love Google Earth!

    That vine is practically invasive here, Kate. with too many seedlings popping up. I weed out all but a couple. I'll try to get a decent closeup of the Butterfly Pea, another annual reseeder.
    My ginger went in last fall so there are only a couple of stalks and you have to go close to smell them. I've seen established stands where the scent really wafts, and hope that will happen here.

    Most of the plants are heat tolerant Zoey, and some are drought tolerant. And I spot water so they'll bloom. I love white flowers!
    Forty-four?? Whoa! I heard it was in the forties in Seattle in the morning, too... looks like you guys got a short summer this year.

    Hi again Carol - go back and look at MSS/Zanthan's garden video from last year and then go turn on the hose!

    Marie, there are four main climbers on the arch - a yellow Lady Banks rose with a clematis weaving through it for spring, the coral honeysuckle which has a long bloom season, and the annual Cypress Vine which reseeds and starts growing in May, then zips up to cover everything. In the middle of this March post there's a photo of the honeysuckle and rose blooming together.
    I do a lot of pruning to keep the peace between the four plants!

    Thanks for the comments,


  31. Ooooh! Wonderful tour of your beautiful garden, Annie!

  32. Annie your gardens look so beautiful!! So much different from last March when I visited your blog every day!!
    I do miss my brugs. That scent is wonderful!
    Take care!!

  33. Hi Leslie - there do seem to be quite a few flowers for August - the moonflowers have a nice scent, too.

    Thank you, Kylee!

    Sissy! You're back! Did you grow your brugmansias in containers or in the ground? The flowers are pretty, but the leaves are all chewed and ratty looking.

    Thanks for the comments,


  34. A bit of romantic writing towards the end there Annie :) I wish I could smell some of those scents, especially the white ginger, and the PG-13 scent of the Jasmine.
    Your garden has so many of the tropical plants my mum used to grow in Australia. I adore the color of that Frangipani! I've only seen the yellow ones in "person".
    Thanks for the link :)
    I had a giggle at MSS's comment on your Circus~Cercis post...forgot to mention it. The Bengal Tiger reminded me :)
    My impatiens have been sick for the past 2 years, while in '05 they were the best I've ever had. They grew like they were in Australia...because we had a very hot spring, summer and fall (I LOVED it). I think they might need dusting for spider mites. We'll see what happens.
    I enjoyed seeing all your blooms!


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