We threw a few gourd seeds into this container a few months back and with all the rain they went ballistic.


The first tiny gourds were met with excitement,

when we checked in on them the other day…


…the conversation immediately went to “so what are we going to make with them?”


I did notice that some of the smaller gourds have been cut from the vine this past week and I fear they are not for the creation of tiny tribal drums, decoration, or drinking vessels.


I think you know where I am going with this.

Moving quickly along…


Rain on top of rain on top of rain on top of Lamar Blvd.


It is a good thing these steps had a hand rail.

Pathways have turned into rivers many times over the past few weeks and I cannot recount ever emptying out the rain gauge so many times.


Some things never change even though his dimensions do.


This enormous sun flower had it’s stalk flattened and split by the rain and wind.

It continued to grow and curled around an old cedar stump before shooting up two feet to deliver this impressive flower.














Phytolacca americana

This pokeweed volunteer,

Phytolacca americana


has got very large at the base of my post oak.

I will let the berries mature for the birds.


Seems like yesteryear.

My sago palms have also responded to the moisture influx,


with lots of new growth,


and another one of these to put under my trench coat:


This high-rise came with some permanent residents.

largus nymphs

I guess these two Largus nymphs have not found my ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave yet.


I found this odd looking purple martian-mold earlier this year on an old post oak branch,


and now this striking tan growth, complete with velveteen texture.

These are about as interesting as lichen :-)



“He’s wittering on about mold and lichen again dear!”


See no weevil, hear no weevil, speak no weevil!


Okay, not so much a weevil as a whole bunch of bordered plant bugs (this time largus nymphs).


The adults attacked this plant earlier this year.


What is it with Largus bugs and ‘Macho Mocha’ mangaves?


Stay Tuned For:

“The Most Annoying Patches in the Patch”





evil_bilbo-thumb-300x300All material © 2015 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

{ 1 comment }

“Bridge Over the River Why?”

by ESP on May 2, 2015


I love the city brush pick-up…it is like I am getting away with something. 

I think this is because I am used to paying for dumpsters when I am doing installations.


This is what large brush pick-up looks like in the Patch after I have attacked my loquat trees, vitex (yes I still have it) and bamboos. If I have to stoop to walk under it, it ends up here.


I do have lots of perimeter screening foliage that contributes to the street pile,


and there are always the high-maintenance pecan trees.


My two favorite hand-tools for taking care of such brush business:


It took half an hour to remove my brush pile.


Moving Along…

Just when I thought he couldn’t look any more ridiculous,


he goes and grows these!

I came so close to snapping them off and adding them to the brush pile but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

stupid cactus man

“stupid cactus man with his stupid large and small ears”.


Looming high above the cactus man is this burgundy sand cherry which really pops with color set against a dark back drop like the shade of my post oak.


Spring color that looks like fall.


This wall of jasmine is made up of two types,




The white is Confederate and the yellow is Star of Toscana.

Both are great for screening and for spring fragrance.

DSC09661 2

Remember the curvy flower stalk on this ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave?


Here it is now, standing proud at about the 6ft 4″ mark.


The rust colored flowers


not only look good,


they also rotate to the touch in all directions…amazing.


Bridge over the river why?


Well, to add structure of course.

This large back garden in south central Austin did not always look this big and airy.


A number of Large ligustrums were imposing and possessing the space making it feel dark and claustrophobic.


Ba-ba DOOK!…Brrr.


They were the first to be exorcised by the teeth of a chain saw.

Here is the design visualization I generated for the client:

one copy





Eliminating the understory ligustrums immediately opened up the space visually.


DSC09247A weaving dry-creek bed slows water-flow and breaks up two flagstone patios on either side of the bridge.



Cast iron plants, sabal minor, fatsia Japonica and bamboo muhly will soften up the shady scene as an understory planting.


Loquats and clumping bamboos will add perimeter height and interest when mature.


After finishing the rear of the property, naturally we consolidated the front.





Stay Tuned For:

“Oh my Gourd”



All material © 2015 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.



by ESP March 22, 2015
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Tulips, inebriated cactus and a bit of history feature in this weeks episode. Grab a Mocha mangave, your going to need it.

2 comments Read the full article →

“Nosy Parker”

by ESP February 15, 2015
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Stitched noses, Scale infestations and a new installation feature in this weeks episode.

8 comments Read the full article →

“The Appendage”

by ESP January 23, 2015
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An x-rated Sago-Palm, frost damage and the odd ghost grace this latest entry.

3 comments Read the full article →

“Whats in Your Stocking?”

by ESP January 2, 2015
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Christmas…New Year…drunk Largus bugs? Plus the usual splattering of fried eggs and purple mold.

5 comments Read the full article →

“Barf or Peach?”

by ESP December 9, 2014
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This week suffer leaf-drop, bad puns and equally bad Photoshop. I get up close to a particularly large Tachinid Fly.

7 comments Read the full article →

“Shelling Out”

by ESP November 16, 2014
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Cold weather, large fires and child-labor feature in this weeks random dialogue.

8 comments Read the full article →

“Under the Knife”

by ESP October 23, 2014
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This week I try my hand at some cosmetic surgery…as you do.
The infamous villain “Mr Snout-Nose” is up to his old shenanigans and I contemplate how ear-protection would look set against an iced turban?…Random events you could go the rest of your life without knowing about.

7 comments Read the full article →

“Beans, Boots & Mullein”

by ESP September 28, 2014
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This week it is about exhaling work boots, birds nest fungi and a bunch of other nonsense that you should now be accustomed to.

6 comments Read the full article →

“Wail of a Weekend”

by ESP September 13, 2014
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This week we hop north with the Silver Thistle Pipe Band to compete in the Capital District Scottish Games in Albany. See what rum does to an opuntia and witness some mites sucking the life out of rosemary.

8 comments Read the full article →

“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.

7 comments Read the full article →

“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.

5 comments Read the full article →

“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!

6 comments Read the full article →

“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.

5 comments Read the full article →

“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.

8 comments Read the full article →

“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.

8 comments Read the full article →