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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, April 11, 2008

Post-Fling Rambles

It's been a week since Spring Fling but the cards are still spread out on the dining room table - the seeds from Nancy of Garden Spot and Cindy of My Corner of Katy await planting and the seedling hellebore from Faire Garden Frances has been potted up with crossed fingers.

The camera's focus has been erratic so I only have a few photos, just little reminders of Spring Fling moments.

The Banana shrub reminds me that I made May Dreams Carol take a sniff of the little magnolia-type flowers.

When I water the container of 'Hot Lips' salvia it amuses me to remember baking "Hot Lips Cookie Crisps" with cashews and habanero powder. The recipe was from a China Bayles book and I made them because Carol, Cold Climate Kathy, MSS and I were part of Susan Albert's blog tour. Here are Susan and Kathy at the Wildflower Center.
I'd given orders to a few plants to bloom for Spring Fling, but they listen as well as my children used to. The mismarked, no-name clematis by the back door

The unnamed, fragrant, floppy pink climbing rose near the gate

The Siberian Iris that's not supposed to bloom in Austin

And the 'Julia Child' Rose. All these plants were in bud while guests were here, but they didn't open until this week.

I mowed the lawn today but haven't tried out my cool Cobra Head garden tool door prize won at the dinner at the County Line. Anneliese warned me it was sharp, hence the protective coating for transport.

Maybe it's time to peel off the wrapper and take my new garden toy out to play.

Pam/Digging has compiled links to all the posts about Spring Fling - written by bloggers with more coordinated thoughts who have taken wonderful photos.


  1. I want to go to Spring Fling again!

  2. I remember smelling the Michelia figo and seeing the iris in tight bud along with that clematis. The cookies were delicious and I just finished off the ones you sent home with me.

    But mostly I remember all the wonderful people I met, gardeners like me, going out of their way to make my visit to Texas one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken.

    Thank you, Annie in Austin!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Hi Annie, has it already been a week since that wonderful fling? The memories will stay with us always. I bought that tool, having been in the car with Anneliese and Geoff, am posting about it soon, it really works!

  4. That garden tool looks like something I could use grubbing out the quack grass that has taken over one of my flower beds.

    Since you don't feel like you can write a blog post or have enough picutres to show about the Fling maybe you can write an Ode to Spring Fling and sing it to us.

    It looks like your garden is perking right along with those beautiful roses blooming.

  5. I loved meeting you. You're just like your blog, thoughtful and kind. You were one of the first people to come and visit mine.~~Dee

  6. What a nice garden blog you have.

    I finally finished getting all my spring fling seeds planted yesterday.

  7. Annie,

    Your rose is exactly how I love to see them climbing on a trellis with their beautiful rose color and fragrance. ...it reminds me of a garden from my childhood. The cookies look delicious.


  8. You could write "The Garden Visit Blues." It seems that whenever I visit a garden, the gardener always tells me that I should have visited "last week" or "next week." Why the plants never cooperate is just one of those things.

  9. I have loved all the posts about the get-together there - what fun it looks like. After our seminar this week we toured a local garden and I saw/smelled a banana shrub for the first time! The gardener urged us to take some of the little flowers home in our pockets. We smelled like banana candy all night long. :)

  10. Oh, do write a ditty about the Spring Fling, Annie. I'd love to see an encore.

    All my roses but one refused to bloom for the Spring Fling, but one week later they're all in full flush. Ah well.

  11. Hey, those Hot Lips Cookie Crisps were really good! I'm singing the Post-Fling Blues. What am I going to do with myself this weekend? The answer: plant flowers! :-) Spring Fling was certainly inspiring. Now if my Mower Monster will just stop murdering my new plants... :-/


  12. Ooo, nice looking tool. I've always seen them in catalogs and wondered how it works. Please let us know.

    The banana shrub flowers and leaves look very much like magnolias. I love the flowers outlined with the dark red purple color.

    Habanero cookies eh? Wow that will give an unsuspecting someone a big surprise. I always laugh when I see the aptly named Hot Lips salvia. What a cutie.

  13. What lovely collections of things. I, too have a pile of cards and seeds to plant. The ribbon grass and hellobores went into the garden and have survived thus far. You'll have to tell me how that great CobraHead tool works - I'm headed out to weed the veggie garden now and wish I had one! I can't believe it's been a week already.

  14. I like the look of your new tool and will be interested to know how well it works.
    Those plants are thumbing their noses at you Annie :) I'd love to have a clematis in that color. It's gorgeous! If only I could get roses to bloom like yours!
    Susan Albert's blog tour was fun and that's a great photo of her and Kathy.
    The hot lips salvia really appeals to me, but I'm not sure I'd like those cookies, since I'm not much on hot, spicy foods. I'd be game give them a try though :)
    It's fun reading all the post Spring Fling thoughts. It certainly was a huge success judging by what I've read. Glad you all had such a wonderful time.

  15. Annie, I hope you find your Cobrahead as useful as I have mine. Today I plan on breaking in the long-handled one that I won at the Fling. Question for you re the banana shrub: have you had any problems with chlorosis? The foliage on mine is yellow-green, not the healthy dark green I see on yours. I love the fragrance of the flowers and really don't want to give up on the shrub. Any input?

  16. Nancy, there were so many things going on at once! I was going nuts trying to listen to everything - it would be nice to do it on reshuffle to get the full experience ;-]

    Thank you Carol of May Dreams - your presence was a dream come true! You had an entire weekend of people grabbing you by the arm and dragging you off to see some plant or other - we had to squeeze it all into a couple of days.

    Frances - you're definitely part of everyone's memories - the fun part ;-]

    Hi Lisa at Greenbow - my husband and son-in-law both love their Cobraheads already.
    Most of my songs just appear on their own, frequently in the shower - it might not be possible to write one to order, but who knows?

    You have a great blog Dee! I'm glad I found you and am very happy we were able to meet in person.

    Thank you Linda~Herself - you're more efficient than I am!

    The rose has a mind of its own, Gail, but the trellis that Philo built helps keep it from smacking us when we go in and out the gate. Yes, it's a Grandma garden in many ways ;-]

    It must be a universal ailment, Mr McGregor's Daughter - Maybe the only cure is having our friends visit every 3 or 4 days?

    That's right,Rurality...it doesn't smell like a fresh banana, more like banana taffy wrapped in waxed paper. Felder Rushing made me want this plant while I still lived in Illinois. His Passalong Plants book bears some of the responsibility for my consenting to move to zone 8 Austin!

    It took 4 years to get the Salvia song onto YouTube, Pam - look for the Spring Fling song when we're traveling to Holland for Fling IV, LOL!

    They kind of sneak up and become addictive, Dawn - Philo really liked them, too.
    I still have little pots waiting for me to plant them.
    Could you make warning flags with dowels and red fabric so the mower people know what to avoid?

    Hello Ki - I'll post about it soon.
    The flowers are small and Felder Rushing likens it to "a small, stately magnolia". It's not at all showy.
    Go to the link for the recipe and give it a try, Ki - I used half the habanero powder, so these cookies are not just a novelty. They still had a kick but are really good.

    My husband especially likes the Cobrahead for the vegetable garden, Diana. I was afraid to put the plants from Frances directly in the garden - darn squirrels have been rampaging. They've killed a few annuals.

    Kathy looked serious in some photos, but this one reminds me of how darned much fun she was! At least you two are in the same state Kerri so maybe a meeting is in your future, too!
    My tolerance for hot foods keeps going up the longer we live here - and now I crave cilantro, a very unexpected development.

    When Philo saw that long-handled Cobrahead you won he was a little jealous, Cindy! And thanks for making it easy to comment on the new blog.

    So far the Michelia is okay and so is the Camellia sasanqua, but the Camelia japonica looks anemic. Ever since I planted them they've had coffee grounds and a foliar seaweed with iron but I ran out and need to get more. I don't know if this made the difference or if it's just luck!

    Thank you for the comments!


  17. So, how were the cookies? I could use one right now! Love your new tool! I can almost smell your roses and your banana shrub!

  18. Annie, your photos are wonderful! I love your Julia Child rose. I hope you had a chance to rest up since the fling. I sure you all had a fantastic time.

  19. That garden tool looks like a weapon to keep the lawn guys in line.

    That 'Hot Lips' salvia is neat, is it really as bright as the photo?

  20. I think the little garden blogger cards are almost like their own form of seeds--planting ideas and creativity in our live, no? Who knows what will grow from that weekend!

  21. I bought a little Michelia figo just recently. M. doltsopa, a tree, is more common here. Let us know what you think of the Cobrahead. I manage to do everything I need to do with a trowel, but trowels bend and break.

  22. What't taht? Did I miss something? Are we having Spring Fling nr 4 in my country? Yes, please!!!!

    Lovely post Annie. I'm still trying to catch up with all the posts on SF. Such a lot of fun was had by all. I'm green with envy. ;-) Cool new tool but be careful, that tip looks lethal.


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