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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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Monday, March 22, 2010

Finally Time for March 2010 GBBD

The Central Austin garden bloggers first called Spring when their redbuds and Texas Mountain Laurels began to bloom on March 11th.

Eleven days later the Texas redbud in my far NW Austin garden has poked out little pink tongues so I'm calling Spring here, too!Annieinaustin, redbud closeup
We've had frost warnings the last 2 nights, with the actual low temperature falling to 34°F/1.11ºC each morning.

Now it's time to once again take off the thermal covers from the Meyer's Lemon and the Mexican Lime and switch off the Christmas lights. The weather looks pretty good for the next week - are we done with freezes?annieinaustin,freeze wraps on citrus
Are there flowers today? Yes! It's a week late but today I'll join Carol of May Dreams Garden for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

The Mexican Lime has buds and tiny new leaves that stayed safe under the thermal coveringAnnieinaustin mexican lime buds
The top branches of the Meyer's Lemon died and most of the leaves fell off, but it's pushing out new leaves and making blossoms, too.Annieinaustin meyer's lemon buds

At their feet Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea' blooms happily after recent rain
Annieinaustin Oxalis burgundy
The Texas Mountain Laurel is a little squashed from the sheet thrown over it last night
Annieinaustin, Tx Mountain laurel buds
One yellow Lady Banks rose shows petalsAnnieinaustin Lady banks rosebuds

The Spiraea on the back fence is in full bloom
Annieinaustin Bridal wreath Spiraea

The Carolina jessamine has passed its peak flowering time but still smells sweetAnnieinaustin Carolina jessamine
There are enough yellow flowers left to please the beesAnnieinaustin, bee in jessamine

Earlier yellow daffodils have wilted - my muse 'Thalia' takes her turnAnnieinaustin Thalia narcissus
Only one of the Pale Peach colored iris has opened but there are many buds
Annieinaustin, pale peach iris
Most of the white 'cemetery' iris, a favorite Austin passalong, are already blooming
Annieinaustin, white iris
Blackfoot daisies are finally happy here, making flowers in the parkway bedAnnieinaustin, blackfoot daisies
The Cherry sage/Salvia greggii blooms there, tooAnnieinaustin, Salvia greggii

A single mutabilis Rosebud is ready for its closeupAnnieinaustin mutabilis rosebud
And there's a hint that the most famous sign of spring in Texas, the Bluebonnet, is on the wayAnnieinaustin, bluebonnet bud

But even without open flowers the garden has been exciting to watch every day

Cedar Waxwings arrived a few weeks ago to strip berries from the evergreen hollies and act like kids in the birdbath fountain (23 seconds)

The song of the Mockingbird called Spring before anyone else was sure it would come (about 1 minute)

Pam/Digging holds Foliage Followup the day after GBBD - my foliage is appearing today not because it is spectacular... but because the leaves bear witness that these plants are alive

I've left the Shell Ginger outside in other years - but it spent this winter in the garage
Annieinaustin Shell Ginger

I was sure the Amaryllis planted outside would be gone after 13°F/-10.5ºC , but MSS of Zanthan Gardens thought they could make it - she was right!Annieinaustin, Amaryllis tips emerge

If my pomegranate is alive maybe that means Rock Rose Jenny's will be alright, too?Annieinaustin, new pomegranate leaves

The Japanese Painted Fern disappeared during last year's heat and drought but it's appeared again, ready to face life in Texas for another year. I hope we humans can do it, too. Annieinaustin, Japanese painted fern


  1. It's always an amazing display of blooms in your garden, Annie, no matter when you post!

    Thanks for joining in!

  2. Lovely blooms and foliage, Annie. It truly is Spring, isn't it? It seemed like it would never come! I love your fountain, and by the looks of it, so do the birds.

  3. Your spring blooms make me yearn for more in my garden Annie. How exciting to see the lemons developing too. It was nice to hear the Mockingbird serenade us while looking through your photos. The Cedar Waxwings don't share bath time as easily as they do berries. They are such handsome devils.

  4. Annie, Both videos were fun. The cedar wax wings have never visited my garden so it was really fun to see them a lot closer up then usual. I hope that all your plants make it through the next few weeks of ups and down in the weather! Happy Spring, gail

  5. Oh to be in such a nice climate! Love the Cedar Waxwings. I've not seen them here yet, although I'm told they are. They like our serviceberry trees when they have berries.

  6. I'm glad you're amaryllis made it. Yay! It's good to see your flowers all coming back, even if they were a bit slow to wake up. My pomegranate is just starting to leaf out too. Everything that did survive is huge with all the rain. My meadow is usually knee deep but this year it is hip deep and looks pretty sloppy.

  7. Yay for the amaryllis and the pomegranate! Between the birdsongs and the cheery red salvia, I'm ready to take off my shoes and socks and stretch my toes out into the warm sunshine... but that will have to wait for a bit, up here. Thanks for sharing so much spring on a dreary northern Monday, Annie! :)

  8. Great blossoms - I am also in NW Austin, but think my shade is holding back the flowers. Really enjoyed the videos (my red berries have all been scavenged too!). My Painted Ferns faded away over the years - how have you kept them going?

  9. Love to see the wildlife as well as the flowers. Thanks for identifying the mockingbird for me! One was singing to us every day while we were on holiday last week in the Dominican Republic... now I know what it was. That bee photograph is a charmer.

  10. Annie - you have a lot of beautiful blooms for GBBD. I'm surprised to see the Blackfoot daisies and the salvias in bloom - I haven't seen any of those out and about. I had to buy new BFs this year - mine were several years old and this winter did them in. Your citrus makes me smile - those buds are precious.

  11. Hello Carol - there were flowers on bloom day, but they were the same flowers as the previous month... this way they are different ;-]

    Hi Morning Glories - these last few nights made me wonder, but now it sounds like eighties for tomorrow... from winter to summer?

    It won't be long, Lisa at Greenbow - you'll be awash in what still looks like real spring to me. Wasn't that one Waxwing a brat? I've watched them pass berries so politely!

    Thanks Gail - they used to come for Juniper berries in Illinois but this year is the first time they came close enough for photos here. Maybe my new small yaupon will become a future stop.

    This was a good berry year, Kylee from Our Little Acre so they stayed in the area for days instead of hours. Maybe they headed up to Ohio now!

    I don't know if there will be flowers on the amaryllis, MSS at Zanthan Gardens, but they'll live to try again. All the pomegranates seem to be okay but no sign from the Barbados Cherries or duranta.

    Yesterday was chilly & windy, Blackswamp Kim, but today was a Sandal Day! There are iris buds everywhere but few flowers.

    Welcome RBell - it's fun to meet another NW Austin gardener. My garden has sun now because the pecans and Arizona Ashes haven't leafed out yet - there is sun on one end of the back yard and on a front bed where one of the Ashes was cut down, but the rest will be shady, too. The Painted Fern is about 5 years old - never really thrives but seems to come back from the brink after a good rain.

    I'd never heard or seen a Mockingbird until we moved to Texas, Helen - just knew them from photos and the famous novel/movie. They're not so wonderful at 3 in the morning!

    This is the only Blackfoot Daisy plant with a flower, Diana - think there are 4 or 5 others just sitting there. I'm sorry you lost your variegated lemon - hope you can find another one. I'm thrilled the combination of a housewall, lights and thermal covers worked to keep this one alive.

    Thanks for the comments (except for the deleted porn spams!)


  12. Annie, great video of the waxwings; so cute! Your garden is ahead of mine - my Mountain Laurel is just beginning to open a few buds, and salvias haven't started yet. I have so many plants still playing the "dead or dormant" game, don't you? What a year we've had; we'll all hope for a better summer this year than the last two.

  13. LOVE that video of the waxwings! What a nice birdbath fountain too. Now I want one!

  14. My favorite has to be the waxwings as we get them but they are shy and hidden in the cedar. Spring in Austin is wonderful. Ours should arrive in a week although the wild weeds are blooming as are the first of my daffodils.

  15. What a delight this post is! First you dazzle us with your beautiful spring blooms and then enchant us with birdsong and play. We don't see waxwings here and I've never heard a mockingbird sing before. I've only seen one here for a split second once last summer, so your videos were a real treat. I called hubby to share them and we enjoyed them immensely.
    The oxalis blooms are so delicately sweet, aren't they? I'm coveting the red salvia, Meyer lemon and Thalia, among others.
    Your bee photo is superb!
    Thanks for such a pleasant morning surprise, dear Annie.
    Happy spring!

  16. I can't believe everything you already have in flower! And how awesome ou can grow lemons and limes! I'm curious what a Texas redbud looks like... the macro looks nice. We have redbuds, here, too, but they're not even thinking of blooming yet.

  17. You could sew bright satin bows & swagging on those thermal covers and call it art. There is a beauty in the way the fabric drapes. (Help! I've gone off the deep end this time.) It's always a treat to see shots of the Mountain Laurel, one day I hope to smell its perfume.
    How nice that your painted fern has reappeared. Mine are still sleeping. I hope you and your garden have a better summer than last year.

  18. I'll have to go outside today and look at what's actually blooming...I only think the toadflax is...my yard is looking a little bare without all the other stuff.

  19. Wow, Annie! You have so many beautiful blooms now! I need to get more oxalis. Your blooms have inspired me: trip to the nursery tomorrow! Thanks!

  20. Everything is abloom in your garden but the most wonderful thing was the little film of the cedar waxwings in your fountain. What a delight.

  21. Oh, it's nice to see so many flowers. We're just getting started here in Virginia.

    I love the Spiraea, even though some of the other flowers may be showier.

    I haven't heard a mockingbird yet this year (in my yard). It may have moved on since the robins and waxwings ate all the holly berries here early in the winter.

  22. It felt like spring would never come, didn't it? It's so good to see it coming to life in your garden!

  23. Looks like the cedar waxwings are really enjoying their spring bath! I thought for a moment I was playing this in fast forward mode:) It certainly does look like spring in your neighborhood, Annie; lots of lovely blooms to be happy about. I saw my first Texas mountain laurel in person last week...in Arizona. I can see why everyone loves it so much!

  24. Thanks for including the cedar waxwing video! I LOVE your birdbath fountain. Mind sharing where you got it?

    We're in the Hill Country west of you, spring is here in our area too. Bluebonnet carpets.

  25. Wow! You thought things would never bloom and look at you! My iris are just starting to open but the Lady Banks is in full glory. That's interesting. I absolutely love that little oxalis. Great bloom day, no matter when. And I love the cedar waxwings too. They swarmed the yaupon last week & took out every berry. The mockingbird tried hard to defend it but no luck: one mocker against 60 waxwings.

  26. So fun following spring's march north Annie! Your blooms and spring 'greens' are lovely to see. I hope Austin has a milder, wetter 2010 summer.

  27. I just loved that cedar waxwing video! How great was that? I fear that robins kept the waxwings a bit at bay this year - it has never happened before, but I had tons of robins and they loudly consumed the Savannah holly berries and the waxwings just didn't enjoy all of the fuss. It was quite interesting.

    I fear the cold winter/late winter might have nipped my Texas Mountain Laurel flowers - I might get a few, they haven't started emerging yet and the buds look pretty meager.

    Spring - finally! Let's have a toast.

  28. those buds are adorable... love the signs of new growth in spring.

  29. Hi Robin Get Grounded - now it's April 4th and the Mt Laurels have fallen apart in heat! A few plants are still in question but others are alive but greatly reduced in height.

    Thanks Rurality- besides letting me get photos and videos, I'm pretty sure this birdbath fountain saves little birdie lives, too.

    Every year I skulk & use the zoom on my point-and-shoot, Tabor - it was so cool to have the waxwings stamp our garden 'approved'!

    Aw, thanks, Kerri - aren't birds fun? I love your splendid shots at your birdfeeders - and many times birds I don't know from real life...so glad I found your blog 4 years ago!

    This is my 11th spring in TX, Monica the Garden Faerie, and I'm still taken aback! I should have taken a photo of the redbud after it opened but forgot.

    We thought the thermal covers were beautiful with the Christmas lights glowing and a live lemon tree after 13 degrees, Mr McGregor's Daughter!
    The TX laurels grow so slowly in my garden - hope both laurels & I last long enough for flowers to open at 6-feet level instead of crouching to 15 inches ;-]

    Bet by now you have lots of flowers, Katina - it's been so warm these last couple of weeks.

    These oxalis are all descendants of a few plants I had in pots at the previous house, Iris - kept taking pieces from the outside of each clump and transplanting them.

    Hello Lancashire Rose - thanks, Jenny - I love their little peeping voices, too, but their all-berry diet has left traces on the lawn furniture!

    The daffodils were here and gone in a flash Entangled - spring is too short! My parents grew similar spiraeas and Philo & I grew them at our 3 Illinois houses...seeing them with purple iris makes Texas seem more 'normal' to me.

    The Mockingbirds show up all year here - but I've only seen waxwings in spring.

    I've tried to put enough tough plants in so there will always be something for spring, Cindy from MCOK- but last winter sure left question marks!

    The waxwings appear all at once, move quickly and then disappear in a flash, Prairie Rose - fun to watch!
    We moved here in July so I didn't see either TX laurels or bluebonnets until the next spring. Our first Austin house had a huge, glorious, mature TX mountain Laurel. Wish someone had thought about planting one at this house! We had to do it ourselves and now wait.

    Hello Kathleen Scott - your Hill Country blog is beautiful - how amazing your hummingbirds are back!
    The birdbath fountain came from Hill Country Watergardens - here's a post about buying and installing it.

    Hello Linda from CTG - now in early April what's in bloom changes every day! Lady Banks is VERY happy this year ;-]
    The waxwings are still coming to the fountain but they must be getting berries somewhere else - our yard is stripped!

    Heard it was already 80's in Michigan, GardenGirl - hope it's a lovely April for you in Chicagoland, with the right amount of rain for all of us!

    Supposedly there are Robins in another subdivision nearby, Pam in SC, but I don't see them here - fun to hear which bird rules in different gardens. We had berries on yaupons & burford hollies and neighbors have Waxleaf ligustrum and nandinas.

    Sure hope you get a few TX laurel flowers - at least 1/3 of our years here they've been frozen so I know how sad that is!

    Will toast to you & spring tonight!

    Thanks, Dirty Girl Gardening - in the last few days leaves appeared on a Barbados Cherry and a Bauhinia/Orchid tree - two more lived through winter - whoopdedoo.

    Thanks for the comments,


  30. Your mockingbird's song aroused my cats and caused much excitement. Your birdbath is superfabulous.

  31. Wow- you have so much blooming so early in the year! I need to plant more spring blooming plants- I think 90% of mine are all summer bloomers!


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