“Not so fun in the Sun”

by ESP on July 9, 2011

Our vacation shells have all been poured out around these baby jewels of Opar and this juvenile pinwheel sotol, the shells are a welcome reminder of our cooler and relaxing days spent at the beach. My brief holiday reprieve was immediately tempered on my return with an immediate 100+ degree jolt back into garden install reality. With my iced turban tying skills apparently lacking finesse (lack of practice), I have been forced to adapt to our current heated Texas temperatures the hard way…with a wayward turban combined with some plain old-fashioned hard work in the sun.

By the end of my first week back, I looked pretty grim.

I am hoping the Texas Sage,  (barometer plant)  that has been blooming all over town knows something the weatherman doesn’t.

One of my favorite tough shrubs.  Both of these will be getting a hard pruning after this flush of blooms.

My celosia plants are curling on a daily basis as if they are trying to protect and shade themselves from the scorching rays of the death star,

rays that seem to be getting hotter and brighter with every passing day. The baking sun has been good for one thing though…

It has dried out these dead giant timber culms enough that when I pulled on one the other day It surprisingly moved a little at the base. This could not be a good thing, massive culms teetering over my neighbors house. Oh no, these needed to come down immediately. The bamboo roots had completely rotted and with a sharp twist they came away easily at the base, no saws or machete hacking required! I was feeling quite proud of myself until I realized that I was now wielding a forty foot spear.

“Ach ESP, thats nuthin’ we’ve bult spears twice that lungth before…and used them against the English in batt…”

Pie-hole William, shut it.

After cutting them to size these culms made great additions to my ever expanding bamboo fence.

Talking of fences, okay gates, remember this east side design?


Here is the rendering (left), and here is the hardscape (minus planting) installed and awaiting a softening fall planting. The Tejas black gravel and pale boulders reference the home colors, offering the visual illusion of widening the preexisting pathway.

Moving on:

If this sunken stock tank did not have a Madame Ganna Walska growing in it (now there is something you don’t get to say every day) I would be in it, squatting to my neck with some ice from the corner store attempting to cool down under the canopy of this Arizona ‘blue ice’ cypress.

My goal is to train this beach vitex and keep wrapping it all around the perimeter of the stock tank. (Sorry Les)http://atidewatergardener.blogspot.com/

These purple fountain grasses,

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’


have sprung up so fast this year, basking and swaying in the heated breezes.

This grass will look good well into the fall.

I keep planting the seeds from the background pride of Barbados all down this fence line, every year I seem to gain another couple of plants…

well worth the effort.

Datura is also in full-flight at the moment,

pushing out its psychotropic napkin blooms.

I dug up this star hibiscus late spring and replanted it in a large pot, placing and treating it like a marginal plant in my pond (thanks for the advice Bob, http://dracogardens.blogspot.com/ ). It first went into shock, I kept a close eye on it, then it rebounded with vigor and is doing better then it ever did in the ground.  It has grown taller and developing a set of very decorative looking blooms.

Another stock tank experiment is slowly taking shape and filling in slowly with dwarf papyrus and horsetail reed.  This tank is commonly referred to as the “disgusting tub’ by my halflings for a number of reasons.  First of all I go around systematically prodding it with a bamboo cane, it generally responds with a few flatulent noises to the delight of everybody, secondly, as I filled the tank with Dillo Dirt, conversation wandered to exactly what Dillo Dirt was made from…well the “disgusting tub” obviously gained even more relevance. The event that sealed it as a place to avoid was when a bamboo prod led to the expulsion of the nasty stuff in a particularly violent air-bubble that sent some of the contents airborne and onto the side of my face. (Insert lots of ewwing).

 I no longer prod this tank.


Things tend to get quite surreal in the Patch when we hit three digit temperatures for a long period of time…

Brains get a little scrambled,

animals start going insane.

“Meoww…Kumo…look what I caught!”





“Is that a Carolina ‘pant’ Saddlebag dragonfly?”

Tramea carolina


” I believe it is my,eoww feather grass loving friend”

“Are you going to eat it?”

“Not immediately Kumo, I just need to torture it a little meow-more.”


Stay Tuned for:

“A Star is Born”


All material © 2011 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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