“Frost Bitten, Twice Shy”

by ESP on January 11, 2010


Oh yes we remain gripped in a Harry Potter craze in the Patch, can you tell?


Only this time the craze requires copious amounts of Ibuprofen upon completion of a reenactment.


The latest, and repetitive request in the ESP is to be repeatedly “flown” around the decomposed granite pathways whilst “the flyer” is playing a strategic fantasy game of Quidditch. I call it  Rubbish Quidditch because apart from the obvious, there are no hoops to score a goal through, and my Nimbus 2000 broomstick does not seem to function like it does in the movies.


Unfortunately for us, this hobbit is getting to the size that this activity can give the parental unit an immediate hernia. It is ridiculous to watch though. See for yourself… Oh, and who said that the golden “snitch” is hard to catch, pah! – not in Rubbish Quidditch, it is the size of a gazing ball:

Music by the EastSidePatch Recording Studios, Austin, Texas. :-)

DSC02059This player got a rogue bludger that knocked her out of the Quidditch field into this Variegated Pittosporum / Variegated Mock Orange. This shrub is about five years old, I keep it pruned up high.


Only another thirty five years to go until it hopefully turns into a monster like the one at Zilker Botanical Gardens.


This is a Pittosporum right?



Monsters, or “motners” as he calls them, are also not far behind Harry on the popularity scale, especially ones with strange hand shadows that is…


She found this sago stump in Zilker Botanical Gardens, here in Austin, I don’t even know what she had in her other hand, but she was having some eerie fun playing with her dinosaur claw shadows as you can see in the video, it really was quite effective, very film noir.


I love this ornate gate at Zilker.

Back in the now recuperating Patch…


It was time to access the true extent of the damage of the recent and continuous hard freezes we have experienced, damage that is only now showing its true devastating impact on our gardens. What was once a vibrant gerbera daisy is now a small and truly representative messenger of the damage the patch has endured. The frosts have hit a number of plants worse than others, though I think the damage looks worse than what it actually is (he says hopefully).  I am just happy that CTG did not film the Patch this week, though it would have been rather funny with Linda’s calming voice:  “ESP gardens with a keen eye for contrast, he loves the challenge of incorporating errr dead or decaying plants along side healthy ones and is never scared to adopt soft, decaying succulents in a mass planting scheme.”


My fingers are crossed for this Mexican lime tree that bore so much fruit this last year. The leaves, or what is left of them, are now looking like dead dragon scales. The trunk is still green so I think although it looks really bad, it will pull through.


All of my bamboos have taken a harsh cold beating also, here is my sad Buddhas Belly, looking as crispy as some Oscar Meyer’s bacon. Like the lime tree, the culms are still green which gives me some glimmer hope, hope that I do not share for my poor dwarf bottle brush shrub in the foreground of this picture.


Even my Giant timber foliage have turned a distinctive shade of silver, a first in the Patch.


My artemisia looking sufficiently “cool” with this winter sunlight hitting it. After the frosts and then all the rain it perked right back up.  I left it a little while longer then took a deep breath and walked to the shed to get my pruners. I hate to cut this plant back because it is like Jekyll and Hyde.  It looks fantastic most of the year until it comes to pruning time. I find that to get the desired look for most of the year you have to be quite brutal in the cut-back department a couple of times a year. When this plant gets leggy it really does get leggy and then it tries to hide the fact that it is even leggy at all.  The above mound of wormwood consists of a mere six plants.



“Oh yeah…Looking good now ESP”

I told you it was a Jekyll and Hyde plant, look at it now. I just won’t look this way for a few months until it fills back in!


Now what did I do with my blinkers?


Even the sago palms did not escape totally unharmed, Jack Frost picking off what he wanted.


“I will have THAT sago palm leaf, and THAT one…some of that, and a little bit of that, or my name is not Jack irritating Frost.”


The rosemary did not even flinch, this one seems to thrive on the cold, blooming, at least a little, once again right now.


I not sure this little plant was going to pull through, then it greened up with central new growth. Now if I could only identify it!  It is like a tiny sotol.


My ghost plants have shrunk back to the bare minimum, mostly stalk – very little plant, but they live, they live I tell you.


All the ivy has turned burgundy green, it really looks great at this time of year.


My pine-cone cactus fingers are now broken and appear to be pointing and gesturing as if they are trying to tell me something.


“Pssst..ESP,  treasure from the Black Pearl they be pointin’ too”!


“They better not be imitating my nose?

Finally, and I could not believe this early-year sunbather…


a winter dragon metaphorically hanging on for its’ life after the frosts.  This old man has one foot in the grave judging from his lackluster complexion and dull eyes. But here he his proving that warm weather life can still endure.  I have my fingers crossed for some life returning to all my warmer weather green dwellers in the spring.

Inspirational image of the week:

A word from the designer:


Stay Tuned for:

“Put the Petal to the metal”


All material © 2009 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by  late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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