“Garden Coffins”

by ESP on July 9, 2010

Don’t panic, I have not buried anybody in my back garden. It is traditional that a deceased Naboo tribesman (right) is buried alongside all his tribal paraphernalia (left).

Have I not communicated that the Naboo are certifiable hoarders?

I am not trying to be morbid, but when I see an entryway planter to a restaurant looking like this…

I can feel the life-force drain out of me – what is this? (Apart from depressing).  A crypt with bits of a broken crypt scattered on top of it?

“Be strong Luke Strip-Mall-Walker”.

(whispers)…”I like the planter Sookie”…(whispers) “Me too Bill”.

All that is lacking here is an epitaph etched into the anemic concrete grave and perhaps a handful of mourners dressed in all-black surrounding it, staring at the floor and sobbing occasionally for dramatic blogging effect!

This cannot be a good first impression for customers walking up to a dining establishment, can it?…But you know what? I am a repeat customer regardless of this planter, in fact, this planter is the main reason I keep returning …I just have to see what is going on in this odd monstrosity!

As a patron, this scene has disturbed me for quite some time. The random selection of pots do move around occasionally, and I must say, this current layout has the concrete planter, seat, whatever, looking better then I have seen it for quite some time!  Oh yes, believe me, it has looked significantly “graver” (coughs), than this in the past.  To see the planting and broken pot shuffling activities in and around this planter, as a short, time-lapse movie would be riveting.  Zzzzzzz.

A few broken pieces of terracotta strewn here and there, a random hodge-podge of pots, (two are amazingly the same…could this be an attempt at repetition)?  Okay that was mean! And a few randomly positioned herbs complete this stark sarcophagus scene.  There must be a friendlier solution to this difficult, no irrigation, covered strip-mall scene?  I thought I would give it a quick go…

A lick of “Photoshop” concrete paint from a virtual paintbrush…dark at the base to visually elevate the structure then brown accents reflecting the door to the establishment make it a little less morbid.  A few small boulders, decorative pea-gravel and a xeric “oasis” planting scheme that is built-up and elevated toward the center, makes the structure and planting look a little more “intentional” and less flat.  A larger rustic planter in the background replaces the existing undersized one for a little more presence.

It is still a very, very odd structure, but at least it could be a visually warmer, more inviting one!

Talking of “Oasis” It is amazing what is going on up there:

Flying quickly back to the Patch:

A very trusting Neon Skimmer posed for me like a poorly waxed runway model this afternoon…are those tiny whitened teeth?  Brrr!

Libellula croceipennis

The surface of each eyeball is faceted with up to 30,000 individual ‘eyes’ called ommatidia.  If you zoom in to the above picture you can see them, (just keep clicking on the image).  These ‘eyes’ combine a surface lens with an internal cone-shaped crystalline lens which feed information and data to the tiny brain of the insect. This gives dragonflies multi-image vision and super-sensitive motion detection – moving objects pass from the view of one of the tiny lenses to another, making them practically impossible to catch.

Dragons possess 6 legs (like any other insect), but they are not capable of walking.  The creature has two sets of many-veined, long, rigid wings which beat alternately (when one is up the other is down).  This gives it excellent aerodynamic efficiency and precise flight control.

“Oh come on ESP!!!”

The wings beat 1,600 or more times a minute…no wonder they are often found resting on agave spikes!

Against all the odds of catching a dragonfly it has been a popular hunting activity in the Patch since they first appeared this year…

She is determined to prove my “you just can’t catch them” statement wrong…if successful, I would never, ever hear the end of it:  “Well daddy said you couldn’t…blah, blah, blah, blah… (repeat until):

There is one other popular activity I failed to mention, it involves tadpoles, buckets and copious amounts of mosquito spray…

Although it all looks rather uncomfortable, hand-catching tadpoles keeps her quiet for at least an hour.

Talking of net hunting, this Pride of Barbados really pulls in the butterflies, particularly the swallowtails, when it is in full bloom at this time of year.

Moving on…

Looking like striped sea-side rock or candy canes, (if you are American), the variegation on this Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr Bamboo’ is quite something.  I have a bunch of new culms shooting up right now.  Each new segment on the same culm offers a completely new and uniquely striped design and color scheme.  This clumping bamboo makes an excellent privacy screen, getting up to about 15ft in height and remaining quite compact in its habit.  Interestingly, it also did better then my giant timber, Buddha’s belly and my Mexican weeping and black bamboos through our harsh winter.  The giant timber was hit the worst, especially this one, sadly my oldest one:

I am still in denial about it…I know I should cut these culms down, it is like I just cannot admit to myself that they are DEAD…DEAD,DEAD,DEAD! Perhaps thinking what I can use these culms for, might push me into getting my hook-saw out of my shed?  Perhaps an enormous bamboo chair? (These culms are each about 40 feet tall after all) or…

…how about a new water-wheel to harness all the rain that has been flowing down my decomposed granite pathways recently?  Mmm, could be a bit tasking for a complete novice?  I probably have just enough bamboo to construct a new Patch structure, a bit smaller then the one on the right naturally…wait, I have it!  Why had I not thought of this?

A Tiki-hut!

Not having ever built anything with bamboo before, and like my garden bench, http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2010/04/garden-benches/ there will naturally be no construction plans in sight.  This promises to be a somewhat interesting endeavor that has all the hallmarks of a potential future Darwin award, an award I am no stranger to: http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2008/05/wind-chimes-and-my-post-oak-a-darwin-award-nominee/

Even more disturbing then my dead bamboo…you guessed it:

Cactus Man “junior” apparently has a lazy right eye! I fear this could this be the result of in-breeding?

I still cannot believe that this opuntia paddle is:

a) Growing in almost the identical position and orientation as and where I murdered the original “Cactus Man”‘ RIP (along with his family and friends) with my naive face carving exploits: http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2009/10/halloween-2009/ Could he be reanimating himself to reap his revenge?


b) This is the only paddle to develop these very animated eyes with absolutely no “help” from me this time whatsoever, this has to be a good thing…It is HIM I tell you!


Lily Pads have officially taken over my pond!

Can somebody please tell me what this is?

I believe this is a weed, but I quite like it, well, at least enough to allow it (perhaps foolishly) to grow to maturity (about three feet). It has a very distinctive waxy, smooth stem, but those seed-pods are now beginning to concern me! …anybody?

The ESPatch putting another bright Moi Grande bloom in her lapel.

Everything is enjoying these frequent summer soakings.

Stay Tuned for:

“Kate Bush – Withering Sights”

All material © 2010 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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