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

Monday, July 16, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2012

My neighborhood has been very lucky! 
Over the past 9 days we've had a series of storms with time in between for the rain to sink in - six precious inches of rain as of last night. That's enough to make a real difference after last year's heat and drought. 
We'll probably heat up again soon, but for now, the trees have had a deep, quenching drink. If you are living in one of the places that needs rain now, I wish & hope that it comes to you soon. 

Every day we see hummingbirds sipping from this salvia. Years ago I bought two colors of the reseeding annual Salvia coccinea (the standard red Hummingbird Sage) and the lovely Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'.
Seedlings sprouted in following springs - some light coral, some red and some white. I love the white version and have let it reseed all along the edge of the patio. 

 Last year this dark coral version appeared in a patio pot & the hummingbirds were crazy for it. Instead of being annual, the plant died back to a stub in winter then quickly regrew to make hummingbirds happy again. 

The Crocosmia is back! There were few flowers in 2010, no flowers and few leaves last year. I wondered whether the small stand had died out but here it is, blooming again with Purple Heart/Setcreasia

We always grow a few vegetables every year but had not tried cucumbers in Texas until this spring. A few seeds of Sweet Marketmore from the Natural Gardener turned into rambling vines with huge leaves, yellow flowers and edible cucumbers. I like to watch them grow but don't eat them - Philo has had 9 or 10 so far and says they're delicious. I have a feeling this is beginners' luck because the squirrels haven't seen them growing before... might be a different story if we try again next year!

One stalk of an Amarcrinum 'Fred Howard' opened flowers about 10 days ago which was appreciated but not unusual. The a few days ago this second stalk came up on the same clump - totally unprecedented.

My friend Ellen gave me a passalong plant of Blue Butterfly Clerodendron a few years ago. In 2010 I bought another and then cloned a few more. Right now there are 4 plants in my garden, one in bloom, one with only leaves and two plants in bud. These buds are near the Amarcrinum, making big promises.

Tropical milkweed has lived over in some places and seeded in others. This seedling near the back door had a caterpillar on it. We see more Queen butterflies than Monarchs here so I'm not sure but there appear to be only two sets of filaments so it may be a Monarch caterpillar.

It's dropping blossoms now but on Saturday the Cenizo was gorgeous!

 Early last summer every pepper plant in the garden collapsed and died. In July I found a few new plants for sale, planted them in containers and got a few peppers. I used containers again this spring and we've had a small, steady supply of small peppers for weeks. The 'Cubanelle' and 'Carmen' are sweet but the 'Mariachi' can be pretty hot.

More than 50 years ago my grandmother grew a white garden phlox in Chicago. She divided it and gave pieces to her children, who divided it and gave pieces to their children. I gave some to my son and it's grown well for him. My dear son brought a piece to me last spring and I struggled to keep Grandma's Phlox going through last summer. Here it is, small and way shorter than in Illinois but every bloom is precious to me.

The red Turkscap is having a very good year... twice the height it was last year and covered in red flowers. These blooms were at eye level ... you may also have heard them called Wax Mallow or Malvaviscus.

You can see more of the tropical Milkweed in the background but what's in front is not really a flower. It's a developing Meyer's Improved Lemon, on the tree that froze back to a leafless, stubby framework in February 2011. I don't know if the dozen or so lemons can make it all the way to fall & maturity, but it is certainly a novelty having little lemons hang overhead when you walk down the sidewalk.

The finches were probably relieved to see seedlings of the cosmos sprout up - much later than in other years. We've seen both housefinches and goldfinches hanging on the plants like ornaments, trying to get the seeds.  

My attempts to divide and clone this plant have failed so far but I'll try again. It's a hybrid Skullcap called 'Dorota Blue', supposed to be a useful groundcover in some places but a pampered pet here. I really like the color. 

Watering the rainlilies doesn't work - they are not fooled by a hose! But real rain brought them out of hiding. This pink rainlily came from Plant Delights nursery, but in the front yard I saw buds emerging from native white rainlilies and native yellow Copper lilies - maybe I can catch them in flower, too.

Thanks for visiting the Transplantable Rose ~ I wish you enough rain and enough sun to make your garden happy and many friends to enjoy it with you!

For the complete list of what is in bloom and a few more photos, go to my Annie's Addendum blog.

To see a roundup of gardeners who have joined in for the July 2012 edition of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, the invention of May Dreams Carol, go here to Carol's blog.