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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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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for November

This post, "Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for November", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

In addition to starting the book club, Carol from May Dreams Garden has asked us to post about what blooms in our gardens on the 15th of each month. Go to the comments to see who else is posting for November. The year is winding down for gardeners - will we be showing houseplants next month?

Since we haven't had a frost, there are flowers to be found here in November - not masses of bloom, or a riot of color, but tucked in here and there. If that frost arrives on schedule this will be the last bloom day for most of my flowers. In the mailbox bed the Pavonia lasiopetala, also called Rock Rose, still blooms.

You can't see much if you stand back from the borders, so move in close to see the Salvia 'Coral Nymph', with flowers open and seeds ready to start the next cycle of sprout, bloom and reseed. It's also growing in the pink entrance garden and around the far side of the house.


In the footprint where the Arizona Ash grew most of the wildflowers show only leaves but Gregg's Mistflower has a few fuzzy puffs to attract butterflies.

Along the veranda the lilac-pink impatiens and white flowered oxalis keep opening new flowers, but the sweet potato vines are looking ragged and tired.

Over in the pink entrance bed that pink Gaura keeps blooming and the native pink skullcap does the same. A large pink Cuphea blooms nearby.

When we go through the gate to the back, this Salvia guaranitica is near the garage wall on the right. I cut it back severely when trying to combat mealybugs so it's good to see a few flowers.

Around the corner the plumeria has finished flowering, and I don't see any buds on the 'Julia Child' rose - after so many months of bud and bloom, she deserves a rest!

The pink and orange cupheas are fuller than ever back here. This is the orange one, called 'Cigar Plant'. I tried to get a photo of the pink cuphea, but it was too windy - every shot was blurred.

After freezing down to 10-inches tall last winter, the brugmansia grew strongly all summer and now the flowers hang above my head. They're in a fairly sheltered place next to the back walk.

I like the leaves of the 'Bengal Tiger' cannas whether or not they're in flower. This Perovskia/Russian Sage was right in the middle of an area that was dug up during the recent border redesign by the Divas of the Dirt . It was a little battered looking afterward, but soon recovered and rebloomed.

I was able to get this photo of the Cuphea llaeva, also calld Bat-faced cuphea, but the Pineapple sage refused to appear this month, even though it's still blooming. Something about the wind and angle of light defeated me.

For Kate in Canada - there's one flower on the 'Butterfly Blue' Scabiosa, and a couple of buds-in-waiting.

Down near the vegetable patch a milkweed grows, with a few Monarch caterpillars and a zillion aphids attached to the leaves.

What's this ? A confused iris in bud?
It wasn't labeled as a rebloomer, but then again, it wasn't labeled as a pale peach iris either but that's what color the flower will be. This plant was labeled purple when I bought it.

The Mexican mint marigold is in full bloom, with a few lavender stalks joining in the herb party.

This unnamed clematis blooms in spring, then sort of pouts all summer with most of its leaves turning brown. I pick them off in September and wait for the autumn show.

At its feet I let the blue Plumbago romp all over and cover the step - cold weather will kill it back to a stub to start again in mid-spring.

Near the shed a Sasanqua camellia has a few buds just beginning to show color. Please don't tell this evergreen that it's not supposed to grow in Austin.

Let's go around the far corner of the back yard and then turn around and look back at what we just walked through:

Isn't this a cool arbor? A friend of Pam/Digging owned the arbor and was looking for a new home for it. Wonderful Pam remembered that I was using white metal in this part of the garden and told her friend I'd love to adopt it. This 'Secret Garden' has been coming along very slowly, but thanks to two kind gardeners, it now has a proper entrance and that makes it feel more real.

Last winter my mom and sisters gave me a 'Champagne' mini-rose which was split into three small shrubs. One grows in the pink entrance garden and two are in containers here, blooming better now than in spring.

The other white ginger plants have finished, but in the Secret Garden, this one is still opening buds.

Also found in the secret garden is a wonderful Sweet Olive- not one bit showy, but its tiny white flowers cast one of the sweetest scents you've ever smelled.

Let's go back out to the patio and see what's waiting to be planted in the next few weeks.

Here in Austin the pansies and snapdragons grow in the cooler months - we're expecting a frost sometime in the next month, and these winter annuals will replace the impatiens and add some color to the long border.

I'll also be planting this rose soon, so that its roots can grow while the ground is cooler, giving it the strength to make it through the long, hot summer. This is an antique China Rose called 'Mutabilis', one that I'd wanted long before I came to Texas.

That's just one plant growing in a large raised bed at Zilker Park - I'd better give this Antique a lot of space. Happy Blooming Day to all of you!

This post, "Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for November" was written for my blogspot blog, The Transplantable Rose, by Annie in Austin.


  1. You've got some nice things blooming there, Annie!
    Your clematis looks like my 'Niobe.' Could that be it?

  2. Wow, there is so much still going on in your garden! It looks like what a mid-summer day would be like in my garden. I do like the new arch, what a great find! Happy Blooming Day to you as well.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  3. Another wonderful collection of plants and blooms. I grew 'Coral Nymph' last year and loved it. Couldn't find it this year.

  4. I knew I could count on you to have lots of flowers. I'm visiting all the southerners early and often this Bloom Day. ;-)

    Your Mexican mint marigold appears much taller than mine were. The plants are still alive here, but the flowers froze off a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed growing it this year, and tried it after seeing it here first. Thanks!

  5. I'm so glad you posted an abundance of photos for GBBD; seeing them really brightened my day. How wonderful to have brugmansia blooming right at eye (and nose) level. Here in PA, I'm lucky to get them much more than hip-high, and the blooms simply aren't as spectacular there as they appear at greater height. Thank you for sharing your garden!

  6. Gee, where to start, Annie? I wanted to comment on each plant as I strolled with you on your virtual tour.

    I love the brugmansia and am envious of the clematis (my native one pouts during the summer too) and the camellia. I won't say a word about it's growing in alkaline Austin; I'll just be grateful to see it in bloom!

    I'm thrilled that the arbor worked out so well as an entrance to your secret garden. And I love Mutabilis rose too. I can't wait to see yours grow and bloom over the years. I'll have to enjoy it vicariously, as I have too little room for one of my own.

    Let's see how long until our first frost. For your garden the bell will toll sooner than for mine, I suppose, but it won't be long for either of us.

  7. I love my 'Mutabilis.' It is indestructible and has been blooming in my Zone 7B garden all spring, summer, and fall. First blooms by the first week in April and still going strong. Beats the Knockout roses, hands down.

    Was looking at a tea olive yesterday at our local garden center, and keep thinking about where I could put one; love that scent.

  8. Oh wow... I now have a wishlist a mile long, starting with that near-white brugmansia and ending with some of that white-flowering ginger. (I think I could lift it in the fall, right?) And the color of that clematis is to die for... well worth picking off some brown leaves and being patient in the summer.

    The white arch is beautiful--amazing that it was a gift from another gardener, because it looks like it was meant just for that exact space. I bet it makes her happy to know how great it looks in its new home. :)

  9. THank you for all this beauty and color! Austin is looking more and mroe attractive!

  10. What a great list...I see there is still lots going on there. I love the arch, too...it looks just perfect there! I had a cistus many years ago that was also known as rockrose and looked similar...Sunset doesn't list pavonia..I'll have to Google it. I do like the flower!

  11. Your garden still looks like a blooming paradise. I've been lazy about watering this last month and the plants are paying me back for the ill-treatment.

    I planted out the white ginger you gave me because it was getting too big for the pot. Will it survive outside all winter or do I need to repot it?

  12. Annie, great post. I'm jealous you have a ginger blooming. Mine did nothing for me this year, but they may still be settling in having been transplanted from a holding bed they were stuck in when we moved to this house.

    The clematis color is stunning. And I don't ever see that pale pink salvia color.

  13. Wow! Your Bloom Day was terrific! Thanks for sharing...I can almost smell them!

  14. When I look at pictures such as these at this time of year I could just pack my bags and move to Austin.

    Coral Nymph Salvia is a dear. I grow it about every year and some years it seeds itself around the garden. It is fun to find it where I haven't planted it.

  15. holy smokes! You live in paradise! Look at all those blooms! (drooling)

  16. Annie, your Mutabilis rose is very beautiful and the multicolored look is quite lovely. I like the simple single roses the best. And I do miss white ginger, I can almost smell the flower just looking at it. The bud of your Camellia sasanqua looks huge, more like a C. japonica. My sasanqua has rather tiny buds, I'm always amazed the flowers are so huge, every bit as big as the japonicas. Almost nothing blooming in our garden now so enjoy looking at your still abundant flowers.

  17. Annie, your garden is so beautiful...! I love coming by to look at your pictures. The clematis you have posted here looks very similar to mine, jackmanii.

    Everything here in Vancouver is gone, and it's damp and dreary.

    I tried to post on your blog last night, but something was wrong with blogger, and it kicked me out. Cross your fingers... :-)

  18. Of all the plants you show here that I can't grow, the one that causes immediate plant lust is Rosa mutabilis. I think it's hardy to zone 7, so it definitely wouldn't do up here in my zone 5 garden...but I'll admire yours and that will fill my needs, I'm sure.
    Amazing display of variety--you and Yolanda Elizabet may be two of the few who carry us through the next few months.

  19. Annie: I too enjoyed your tour with so much in bloom! The 'walk through' was great and I love the fact that you have a 'veranda'! That is a great word and a great place for people and plants!

  20. A lot of blooms for November Annie! When do you expect frost? Over here we had the first night frost last night, so just after GBBD. Serendipity! ;-)

    Love that unknown clematis of yours, the colour of the flowers is gorgeous and does remind me of Niobe too, just like Kylee.

    That iris of yours is one of a kind, don't you think? Changing from purple into peach and now flowering in the Autumn instead of Spring. ;-)

    Those monarch caterpillars are very pretty, I like those stripes they have.

    Cupheas and Salvias are thriving in Austin I see.

    It's nice to know that you have a secret garden but doesn't my knowing mean that it isn't secret anymore? :-)

    Have a lovely weekend!

  21. I got sidetracked with your Annie's Addendum question about the Maple leaves and now I've forgotten all the previous thoughts I had :)
    Looking at all your plants I could comment on each one...but won't...that would be more like an e-mail :)
    I paricularly love the color of your 'pouting' clematis :)
    And I'd love to smell your White Ginger and Sweet Olive.
    That free arbor is delightful!!
    Lucky you to have a Camellia tree..with buds, no less!
    I saw that same color iris blooming at a home nearby (3 big blooms on very tall plants) at Halloween and was totally amazed!
    Are those Salvias perennials?
    Loved seeing your November blooms Annie :)

  22. Your garden looks great this time of year. I have to remind myself that it's too hot for me in Austin in the summer, otherwise I'd have to packup & move there.

  23. It has probably already been IDed but add maybe the clematis is Star of India?

    I'm also envious of your brug. ;0)

  24. Hello Kylee - it was mislabeled 7 years ago - supposed to be light pink! I don't think it's 'Niobe', which I grew in Illinois - this one is less red in person. In April it looked more violet, barred with a reddish purple.

    Carol, in midsummer the clematis would be brown and many of the other plants 'resting'. Thanks for thinking up this day.

    Digital Flower Pictures - I only bought it once and had it reseed - if you can't find it next spring and mine reseeds, let me know.

    Entangled, we can hold on for awhile, but then the tropical gardeners and houseplants will be our solace.

    This Mexican Mint Marigold is about 2-feet tall, in one of those hypertufa troughs. How cool that you found it!

    Welcome Nan Ondra - this is probably the most photo-heavy post I've ever made ~ somehow it seemed the right thing to do this month. This brugmansia surprised me, too - it will probably be frozen back pretty hard.

    Pam/Digging, thank you for strolling with me. The camellia didn't bloom last year so I'm quite thrilled to see buds.

    The arbor is great - I'm grateful to be on your garden-share list!
    I think the Mutabalis will go in front - more space, air and sun!

    Oh good, Nancy - that's just what I want to hear about this rose!

    I've got two tea olives - one in the ground and one in a fairly large container. I'd read about them in southern gardening books back in IL and bought one within months of landing in Austin.

    You do the same thing to me, too, Blackswamp Kim! The ginger was in a container for about 4 years, brought in and out of the attached garage for winter, so maybe you could do it, too.

    When Philo & I brought it home we were amazed at the exactness of the fit - we couldn't have planned it any better than serendipity did.

    Austin can be a beautiful place, especially when you guys are frozen, Healingmagichands - but it's not so wonderful when we have 40 days over 100 degrees ;-]

    Hi Leslie - you have even more flowers than we do this month! The Pavonias are related to Mallows... just shares the name Rock Rose with Cistus. This one's a native.

    Hello MSS - I always water the containers, but because of all the transplanting have been pretty good about those borders, too. But the grass looks pretty bad under the trees.

    I thing the ginger will survive - sure hope so, since mine is in the ground now, too. I mulch them, the tops freeze off, and then they come up from the base in spring.

    Hi Bonnie - I hope yours will bloom next year for you - is it the white Hedychium coronarium like this one?

    The coral nymph salvia usually reseeds all over the place - if there are seedlings in spring I'll give you some.

    Thanks, Lisa - google will probably figure out a way for us to do that some day!!

    Hello Lisa at Greenbow - my husband made his first trip from Illinois to Austin at the end of November - maybe that's why we ended up here!

    This is the second garden where I've let 'Coral Nymph' wander around wherever it wants.

    Hello Nickie - you might like it - lots of places to hike!

    Ki, another name is the Butterfly Rose - there's something about the shape of the flowers that just gets me! Did you have the ginger in Hawaii? That's where I bought my start of this one. Could you grow in in a container and bring it in for winter?

    The sasanqua leaves are only about 1 and 1/2 inches long, so the flowers are pretty small. Actually the whole plant is still small. It was sold to me as 'Shishi Gashira' in fall 2004.

    I had some posting and commenting trouble myself in the last few days, Josie, then other times it works fine! Thanks for not giving up easily.

    I've had Jackmanii at other houses - it doesn't quite look like that in person. I read there are more than 800 named clematis, so I'll just call this one Back Door clematis!

    Mutabilis was the object of my plant lust for years, Jodi. If ten years ago someone told me that I'd live where it thrives, I would have wondered what they were smoking. It's compensation for no tulips, lilacs, and peonies.

    Check out Leslie's CA garden for lots of flowers!

    Hello Layanee - when I came here it just seemed like a porch... here's the story of the Evolution of a Veranda.

    You should know from lots of blooms, Yolanda Elizabet! Frost usually follows Thanksgiving, but there's a lot of variation in when and how cold it gets.

    The Iris always knew who it was - it's the people attaching labels who are confused ;-]

    I think it's funny that all of you garden bloggers know I have a Secret Garden, but people in my neighborhood would have to read this blog to know it exists behind the privacy fence.

    Thanks for reading and commenting on the maple leaves, Kerri -and thanks for strolling with me. The camellia is just a low shrub - they get to be trees in some parts of Texas and I was stunned at the size of camellias in Washington State.

    Some of the salvias are perennials but the coral nymph is a reseeding annual.

    Mr McGregor's Daughter, when it's like this we Austin gardeners try to forget how awful it can be in summer and just glory in the moment!

    MrBrownThumb, I just went to look at some photos and think you have named it!! This is very exciting! Thank you very much.

    And thank you all for the visit~


  25. Hi Annie,

    I admit that I am stunned to see so much color in Austin! Your garden tour was fun with great photos - I especially enjoyed the Mistflower, Salvia, and Brugmansia - very pretty! It looks like a day in June around your house.

    So, you are getting ready for pansies? I should have them planted by now but it seems no one in these parts is planting anything at all. Nurseries have closed for the season as sales are so low. Kind of sad. But I'm looking forward to spring and using the garden hose again (hopefully)!

  26. Funny, Annie, I'm showing houseplants THIS month! One thing we have in common in the garden is the pink gaura, though mine is prostrate. You have so much in bloom and I'm having a hard time getting my mind around bedding plants yet to be put in at this time of year!

    The white arbor has found the perfect home in your white garden, too.

  27. That's a beautiful and a substantial bloom for this time of the year. It is sad that soon frost will eclipse and damage all this beauty, but blooms or no blooms, I am a fan of your writing and expression and will look forward to everything you have to say in frosty days:-)

  28. Annie, I'm finally am getting around to see your November blooms, and they are lovely. I'm especially fond of your camellia, I miss seeing those. The camellia is Alabama's state flower; yours makes me a little homesick.

    How wonderful that you were able to adopt that lovely trellis. You had a perfect spot for it.

  29. Whoa. That's a lot in bloom! The salvia is gorgeous. I must look that one up.

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  30. The sasanqua bud - how wonderful! And how nice that you are working on a secret garden - they are my favorite places - the white metal entranceway looks perfect. Regarding the salvia - 'Nymph' - I keep forgetting to get seeds of that one. I love things that reseed so easily, and what a sweet color. Your mutabilis looks great - they are popular (and happy) roses here in Charleston, and mine was one of my first purchases after moving here.

  31. I really like the mutabilis rose, too. Lovely.

  32. There's also a Shishigashira (Lion's head) japanese maple. I wasn't aware there was a Camellia with the same name. I saw a photo of your camellia on the Monrovia site and it has a gorgeous flower. You picked a really beautiful one.

  33. Annie,

    Your Brugmansia must be gorgeous and huge. I love the look of them as I do the Salvia. I could look at your pictures all day long.

    And thank you so, so much for the Butterfly Blue Scabiosa photograph and for thinking of me. What I wouldn't give to have one alive in my back garden. Instead, I'll be making some trips here to have a look. I love Scabiosa.

    I think you have inherited a lovely arbour that fits in very well with the secret garden. The white ginger and the sweet olive are pretty. Your secret garden must be a special place.

    Hope you have a good week!! It is good to be able to visit here and see some colour and lovely blooms.

  34. hello and thank you for leaving a comment on my blog..
    The small rosebush with the little flowers has a nice, warm and sunny spot in front of our sunroom.
    My hubby bought this plant over 20 years ago.
    cheers from Canada

  35. It warm here today but we've already had a couple of freezes. Only thing I've seen blooming is yellow wood sorrel, LOL.

  36. Hi Mary - Austin is considered sub-tropical, so this looks pretty normal to me now. Last year we had hard freeze the morning of December 1st in my part of town.
    The drought stories in the SE are so terrible! I hope you get some real rain soon.

    Hello LostRoses - pansies were planted in spring in Illinois, but we had a couple of years in South Carolina so I knew about the winter annual idea! Your warnings on ferns didn't stop me from buying one ;-]

    Thank you so much, GreenThumb - I enjoy your posts very much, too. Some of these pitiful plants need a freeze!

    So you see camellias and get all nostalgic, Robin? That would happen if I saw a lilac, but my first meeting with a camellia took place within the last 10 years. They're exotic to me!

    Welcome Robin Bumblebee - maybe you can grow it, too?

    A couple of them opened now Pam, in a very bright rose color. The secret garden isn't moving fast - but it's moving!

    Unlike some of my impractical southern plant dreams, like the gardenia, the mutabilis is actually a recommended plant here - finally plant lust and bowing to reality can mesh ;-]

    Jenn, I'm glad you like it, because it will probably end up on these pages quite frequently!

    Hi Ki - thank you for the Monrovia lead. The site was helpful since this plant came with so little information and was not blooming when I bought it. Even though it's in my not-favorite rosy pink, I like it, too.

    Kate, if it acts like last year, the Brugmansia will die down quite low. I'm amazed it can grow 9-feet tall in one summer. That scabiosa had flowers in early spring, then looked like heck in summer. It just started to perk up. I hope your week is a good one, too.

    Hello guild rez - your crafts are beyond me but I like to see you doing them! A sunroom must be a wonderful thing to own in Canada!

    Rurality - I hope the weather turns for you and that you get rain. It would be good to see the animals dancing in the raindrops on your CritterCam.

    Thanks for the comments,


  37. Hey Annie,

    Seeing that Camellia made me homesick as well. It's wonderful to see so many blooms still going on in your lovely garden. I also love the look of the brugmansia.

    I wouldn't mind the 40 days over 100 if we had a nice mild winter like you do in Austin. Of course you may be one of those folks who like the Chicago winters ?


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