“Put the Petal to the Metal”

by ESP on January 20, 2010

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Eeek, Eeek, Eeek, Eeek!

What manner of witchcraft is being performed here?

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She has been watching too much “Wally”.

It turns out it is “invention day” tomorrow at pre-school, which translates into “better rustle an invention up pronto.” I found this battery operated light that looked about the diameter of a chunk of Giant Timber bamboo. She wanted to make a light of some sort after all. I cut the culm into a small length then she marked out where I was to drill the holes, she totally disappeared as I drilled.

She HATES loud noises.

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I cut a small slot in the back of it to allow finger access to the on/off button, then I secured the light with some trusty old duct-tape, actually the same tape that I have used on the the Botox Lady a few times.

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The light / flashlight came out very tropical looking, casts a decent shape on the wall too.

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Temperatures have risen considerably in Central Texas this last week after our damaging freeze.  Bulbs are on the rise as is the desire to get planting, but for now I will resist.

jack20frostI have a bad feeling that Jack “irritating” Frost has not relinquished his rule quite yet, he is, in fact, trying to trick us into making that fatal too early in the year trip to the nursery…

oh, who am I kidding, where are my car keys…

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“How much further to the Natural Gardener sis?”

“I don’t care bro…I am writing in daddy’s crossword book, hehe.”

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Jack Frost always looks like he is present on my Arizona cypress ‘Blue Ice’ trees, even in the middle of summer.

Moving On…

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“The man in the moon came down too soon,
and asked his way to Norwich,
They sent him south and he burnt his mouth
By eating cold pease-porridge.”

I think this was left when the strange carnival folk packed up their colorful tents and canopies and moved mysteriously out of the patch.

DSC02128As colorful as the carnival folk, this dwarf miscanthus is incredible right now, I do not cut these back until the very last minute, until I see the new growth starting to emerge. Hard to beat this for winter color.

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The colder it gets the deeper the color of the foliage, this year has created some deep saturation.

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The extremities of this young barrel has been nipped, making for some unexpected coloration of its own.

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This was one tiny succulent that I did not expect to endure the frosts uncovered, but endure it did, in fact I rather think it liked the abuse.

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With some really nice weather hitting me as I picked up what seems like an endless amount of fallen leaves, it was down to a tee-shirt for me… in January!  I love Texas winters. Having bare arms is naturally the cue for me to end up gardening somewhere near my Sotol, it never fails.  I get so caught up cleaning and pruning, that I never think of stepping back to think that this activity really does call for some more appropriate arm protection.  Oh no, that would break the momentum, take me out of the present and that simply is never going to happen, anyway it was time for my annual arm flogging and the Sotol always delivers the goods. The lower razor-leaves were interfering with my leaf gathering activities as well as the aloe in the foreground, they had to go, and they had to go now.

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A healthy arm flogging later and it is all pruned up and myself? …

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Oh, I’m okay!

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The colors and patterns on this variegated agave ‘Americana’  looked like a satellite image of a martian landscape.


Inspirational image of the week:

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The Crazy House, Delat, Vietnam.

Antoni Gaudi would be proud!

On a final note I want to thank all of my friends on Twitter that are helping me.

Stay Tuned for:


“Jagged Little Pill-Bug”


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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