“Beans, Boots & Mullein”

by ESP on September 28, 2014


I usually go through work boots as fast as cowboys-of-old would have gone through beans and mullein.


No idea where that analogy came from.



Most disintegrate within a year but these Timberlands just keep on going like stinky protective slippers.

This is year three and I must say, apart from some disapproving downward glances from the flamboyant mustache brigade in my local Quickie Pickie they are holding up ‘relatively’ well.


With the leather long-worn from the toe (exposing bone), the boots pair remarkably well with a disheveled iced turban on a hot work day.

I refer to them as having ‘character’…you know…soul

(oh dear).

Smoking-GunBut the best thing about these old boots is the fine particles of decomposed granite that now waft out of the prow when feet are inserted.


‘Smokin’ hot boots’!

Staying with bowls and beans for a moment:


The recent rains have grown a dense mat of these “birds nest fungi”,

Cyathus striatus



The nest acts as a splash cup…when raindrops hit the nest, the eggs are splashed out at a distance. If they land on a suitable medium they will grow into new fruiting bodies. These fungi usually grow on wood and mulch and are common in the fall months, (very hard to spot though).


I did notice some subtle differences in the eggs.


Okay, perhaps the reptile guarding this gold was a little more…


Moving humbly Along:


Pyracantha berries are ripening up for Halloween.


“Yes but let me see you get a candle in there.”

Here is a silvery pairing that works really well:


Whales tongue agave and thunder cloud sage,

Leucophyllum candidum



Inland sea oats are now wearing their fall coats.



These decorated plants transform so much throughout the year you can guess the month by looking at them.


panning back a little:


 Mexican firebush,

Hamelia patens


also starts to bloom this time of the year. This plant dies to the ground in the winter but quickly gets to 5ft by fall.


Whatever you do do not fall asleep…


…on my garden bench.



This evergreen wisteria would envelop you overnight…there is a reason we no longer sit on this garden feature.



Some great Japanese Aralia on Trinity.


First blooms from duranta ‘sapphire showers’ (Picotee Sky Flower)


Bambusa multiplex ‘Fernleaf’ (one of my favorite Clumpers along with alphonse karr).


Stay Tuned For:

“Unwanted Visitations



All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.



“Wail of a Weekend”

by ESP on September 13, 2014

Kids at grandparents…check

Photo ID…check


Bagpipes…check, hmm not quite?


We were off with the Silver Thistle Pipe Band http://www.silverthistle.org/ to compete in the Capital District Scottish Games, Albany, NY but first I had to get a set of highland bagpipes through airport security as hand luggage.

Bagpipes are a tricky instrument to play and equally tricky to travel with.

Vintage sets containing ivory mounts now require extra permits, inspection fees and run the risk of confiscation and delays.


I stood in line and privately winced as my multi-chambered set slowly rolled (with a few raised eyebrows and general chatter) through the airport x-ray security machine.

The inverted image looked like a ‘portable’ Bangalore torpedo, naturally I was pulled aside.


Pipes, drones, tubes, tongues, zippers, stocks, valves, flaps, gussets (well it is a funny word), drone-reeds (that resemble small plastic projectiles), you name it, this instrument has it all.


I won’t even get into the moisture control systems that reside ‘inside’ the actual bag itself.

A few “so what does this bit here do?” questions later and we were flying high.


“och its just a moisture control system, that’s a’ it is”


The following day we were at the games surrounded by some great weather and scenery.


Warming up:

Capital District Scottish Games

Very warm at this point:


Then it was onto the battlefield with our Medley Selection performance:


Back down to Earth:

Remember this swash buckling opuntia?


Well it appears all the rum and debauchery has finally taken its toll.

After witnessing it stagger uncontrollably under this bamboo muhly canopy, I found him,

grasslying face down in a pool of his own paddles.


While the rum is taking care of my opuntia, it is the spider mites that are sucking the life out of my rosemary bushes.


A common problem in the warmer, dry months.

Spider mites are not insects but are more closely related to other arachnids like ticks and spiders. Like spiders they produce silk from a pair of glands near the mouth.

Itching yet?

spider-miteThe silk strands allow the mite to spin down from infested to non-infested leaves and before you know it…your rosemary could look like this.

A regular blasting of water from the hose usually takes care of things and our recent rain will help, these mites hate the water.


This front area is about to be reworked.

Small flagstones will be replaced with large slabs, brick walls will be removed and some large boulders positioned.


Here is the area is almost prepped…but should this vitex stay or go?

I do feel like I have been polishing this particular



for way too long.

I have hacked limbs off it for years to raise the canopy and still it grows over and onto my roof where it insists on making irritating little grinding and squealing noises as it tries to claw its way inside the house.



Here is the side of my house after my latest frenzied attack on it…ugh.

DSC07224This poor tree already had ‘issues’ when we inherited it over a decade ago and I think they are only getting worse.

Inspirational Image of the week:

rooftop terrace

TERRA fluxus LLC:  Design for a rooftop terrace


Stay Tuned For:


“Beans Boots & Mullein”


All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


“Pain In The Neck”

by ESP August 17, 2014
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This week I get up-close to some damselfly parts.
A peek under one of my stock tanks causes me to break into yet another non-adjudicated Highland Fling.

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“Oh Drupes!”

by ESP July 29, 2014
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Snakes, drupes, you name it, I will be running at you with any dead critters I happen to come across in the Patch.

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“A Change of Scenery”

by ESP July 10, 2014
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This week we pack up the car and venture to Gulf Shores, Alabama and New Orleans. I make a heron friend and we check-in to a hotel that is not a Best Western!

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“The Normandy Phase”

by ESP June 20, 2014
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This week get to witness what the ‘Normandy phase’ of an installation looks like on a front garden in South Austin. I take a quick trip down memory lane and highlight a couple of plants that have waged war on me.

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“Oh Frass!”

by ESP May 26, 2014
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This week I discover a new word and use it way too much. Best put your food down to read this latest splattering from the Patch.

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“Uncle Wiggily wants his Ovaltine”

by ESP May 18, 2014
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Munching and hoarding insects, wizard wands and buried treasure this week in the ESPatch.

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