My photo
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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

For those who are "Apes at Heart"

This post was written for Annie's Addendum by Annie in Austin.

The Garden Bloggers Book Club selection for November was Green Thoughts by Eleanor Perényi. When Ms Perényi refers to an engraving from 1841 in her chapter on tree houses, some of us could look at the engraving as we read the book, but others, like Entangled from "Cultivated" were left guessing as to this reference. Why? When the book was published in 1981 the tree house was on the cover but the cover has changed with recent editions.

My copy is the old one with the mid-Nineteenth century tree house on the cover. I think Eleanor Perényi would like you to see what she was seeing as she wrote so I've posted it, and hope that the photo will enlarge if you click. What's the trick to that?

The title of this post is a quote from her wonderful book, "Tree houses acknowledge that we are still apes at heart.....I have before me an engraving of a maple carved into a three-story pavilion complete with windows and a roof with a finial. It is dated 1841 ... although I have been unable to discover exactly what were the techniques employed."

This post is part of my review of Green Thoughts by Eleanor Perényi, posted on the Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

There's been more than enough talk of Pecans at the Transplantable Rose so I posted the Pie over here. Making a pie with our own pecans was quite thrilling for a couple of Thanksgiving garden geeks like Philo and Annie in Austin!
We can't grow cranberries, but added a few Meyer's Lemons from our small tree to the store-bagged kind for Lemon-cranberry relish.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Identities needed

Pam/Digging recently had a post about Lost Maples State Park with its Bigtooth Maples. Philo and I had been surprised to see maples growing a couple of miles from our house - we rode our bikes over and scooped a few leaves. They don't seem to be Pam's Bigtooth Maples - and with 3 lobes, don't match things like Silver Maples either... anyone know the ID of these trees?

Here's another mystery plant. This photo was taken last spring at Zilker Park. I've looked around but can't put a name to this flower.

Edit July 2010: found out awhile ago that people in my neighborhood did plant Silver Maples in Texas! And as to the beautiful pink vine, it's probably Bauhinia corymbosa. More information

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Zone Map From 1936- with Key

This old map from 1936 was supposedly the first to designate national hardiness zones. It divides the continental USA and Canada into 9 hardiness zones, and it doesn't include Alaska or Hawaii. This is a different system, so the numbers are completely different from more recent maps with finer divisions - they usually put Austin in zone 8B, and my old garden in Illinois into zone 5.
You might like to check out a recent thread titled "Hardiness Zone Changes" on the Texas Forum of GardenWeb . A member has posted a map from 1960 that was different from the 2006 Arbor Day version.
Added Oct 17 - I apologize for not finding and adding the key for this system when I first posted the map. All zone numbers are based on "the average minimum temperature of the coldest month" and are expressed in Farenheit degrees.
Zone 1 average minimum temperature is zero or below. [spruce and fir forests]
Zone 2 average minimum temperature is zero to 10º above. [red & white pine]
Zone 3 average minimum temperature is 10º t0 20º above [beech-birch-maple]
Zone 4 average minimum temperature is 20º t0 25º above [box and English holly]
Zone 5 average minimum temperature is 25º t0 30º above [beginning of Southern plants]
Zone 6 average minimum temperature is 30º t0 40º above [upper limit for cotton]
Zone 7 average minimum temperature is 40º t0 50º above [great cotton belt]
Zone 8 average minimum temperature is 50º t0 60º above [relatively safe for citrus]
Zone 9 average minimum temperature is 60º or above [some frost-free, some rare frost]
According to this map, Austin would be on the border of zone 7, with an average annual minimum temperature of 40º t0 50º above; on the 2006 Arboretum map Austin is listed as zone 8B with an average annual minimum temperature of 15º t0 20º above zero F. The areas where certain plants survive according to the key seem similar to today - did the term average minimum temperature mean something different in 1936?
If any additional information comes up I'll post it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blue Pea Vine

Here's a photo for Kate who gardens in Saskatchewan. I don't know if the summer there would be long enough or warm enough for her to grow this beautiful blue annual flower, but she's very successful with blue morning glories! Blue pea vine is also called Blue Butterfly Pea, and by its botanical name, Clitoria ternatea.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Annie, Your Grass is Past

The only way I can join the bloggers who are posting photos of their ornamental grasses is to get out a photo album from Illinois and scan something from my old garden. This Miscanthus zebrina was the anchor for a bed of yellow, white, silver and blue. The grass had five blades when it arrived from Wayside Gardens and the surrounding border evolved over time. This is how it looked in July of 1992, which was about season four for the Zebra grass. Can you see some Perovskia/Russian sage at left, and a tall yucca stalk at right?
I think Layanee of Ledge & Gardens made the original post.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Odd Way to Build a Garden House?

The wood trim was attached to the siding with a branch of an adjacent tree in between board and wall.

This was taken at the partially completed garden house in Zanthan Gardens.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Garlic Chive Insect

I've been looking at the garlic chive photos taken by MSS at Zanthan and Pam at the Micriobial Laboratory, and decided to see what was on my container plant. My camera can't really capture small insects, but this looks a little like the one on Layanee's blog. Maybe it's a metallic green bee .

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stevie Ray Statue, Austin Texas

Philo took this photo of the large statue of musician Stevie Ray Vaughan on the South side of Ladybird Lake [the new name for Town Lake]. If you reuse the photo - give credit to this blog. The area is called Auditorium Shores Park. Practically everyone gets their photo taken with Stevie - it's a favorite with marathoners after the run.