Garden of E


My Info

Austin, Texas
I've lived and gardened in urban Austin for the past 8 years, after retiring from the last of my several careers. BR (before retirement), most of my life was spent in colder places like Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, and Boston MA. Best thing I've done AR-- becoming a Master Gardener. Other passions-- Austin Farmers' Market, grandchildren, and travel.

photo by Elsa, age 7

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When is a redbud not a redbud?

Answer: When it doesn't get any red buds! I watched it for weeks and nothing. Meanwhile my neighbor's redbud, a volunteer squeezed between her garage and my fence, is merrily blooming away. As shown below, mine just started pushing out a few measly leaves, mostly on the tips of the branches. This tree, which I call Quasimodo due to its shape, was here when I bought the house and has grown maybe 6 inches in 6 years. I think it's dying. Any thoughts?

When is a harlequin bug not a bad bug?
Answer: when it's a dead bug! Getting ready to pull the various lettuces and mesclun mix plants to get ready for tomatoes, I discovered brown stink bugs and harlequin bugs were on the tall, blooming arugula. When I saw an HB crawling on the edge of the bed, instead of catching it for my collection, my (gloved) hand shot out involuntarily and--- smash. Lesson: arugula is pretty when it blooms, but it attracts the wrong crowd. Sorry the picture is so gory.

When is a rose not a rose?
Answer: never. "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." And the Souvenir de la Malmaison " any other name would smell as sweet." Yesterday morning's gentle rain dressed up one opening bud and one full-blown bloom with what looks like pink pearls.

Finally, when does life imitate art?
Answer: When it reminds me strongly of one of Georgia O'Keefe's erotic flower paintings. The old-fashioned red-violet shade of this bearded iris also reminds me of my grandmother's garden in Kentucky, very long ago.


  1. The irises you gave me just started blooming. I love the color.

  2. Welcome to blogging. I have always thought I was the only person in Austin to have harlequin bugs. Watch out, where there is one there are at least 10 more! This year I have really worked hard on eradicating them but l bet they'll be back. Also I have more brown stink bugs this year. On a brighter note your roses are beautiful.

  3. Mrs. Elionor,
    hello I want to ask would you sell me one of your iris plant???
    just like the one you gave to your friend the purple...I had some of those when I live in san antonio, save some but I believe MY HUSBAND throw way by mistake(I hope), I love Iris ...ask my daughter she would tell you...I have about 10 now except the one I lost(have a special meaning)

  4. Lancashire Rose, you're right about the harlequins--I forgot to pull out the collards until a couple of days ago, and found many there.

    Jackie, the iris were just dug up and replanted in November. Alas, I gave away all the extras. Maybe in a couple of years? They originally came from my daughter's garden here in Austin, having been planted years ago by the elderly couple they bought the house from. She and I dug them up before they then sold the house and moved to the country. Typical passalong story.

  5. Wondering if your redbud ever revived? I have one that is in a similar condition to what you describe, and I'm scouring the web for solutions...