by ESP on August 8, 2012 · 2 comments

I found this humorous one-eyed little ‘thingymajig’ on one of my

Madam Ganna Walska water lilies. I have no idea what this is, and I am not sure I want to find out. Still, it did make me smile as I performed a double-take on the entity. I could not resist stumbling through the undergrowth to give it a closer prod or two with a small stick.

Half expecting a little scream the ‘Whatchamacallit’ just flexed inside it’s transparent membrane before returning to its original shape…brrr, brrr and more brrr.

It is amazing what you can find staring back at you in a garden.

With temperatures now consistently into triple digits there are not too many plants that are still in their prime.

The pride of Barbados,

Caesalpinia pulcherrima


has to be one of the most flamboyant that is. These blooms work great against a shady backdrop, in this case a loquat.

The foliage also carries a lot of movement with broad bipinnately compound leaves…adjusts heavily taped up black glasses.

Waxy bean-shaped pods follow the flowers, starting green like mine are right now.

These will flush red, and eventually turn a rustic crunchy brown in the fall before splitting open.

“Ach ESP, ye ken I dunnae like those words mun.”

Oleanders also enjoy a good triple-digit roasting and no additional water.

This one near my hell-strip responds to the heat with these tropical colored blooms. Not being someone who plants a lot of flowers, I rely on specimens like this to punctuate color into a predominately foliage-driven scene, and oleander is one of my favorites – tough as nails, deer resistant with colors and hues that pack a punch.

Don’t let your pets or neighbors nibble on them or use them as barbecue skewers though, they do present cardiac glycosides. Of course Kumo seems to prefer man-made objects.

Now standing at 10ft, this King Tut papyrus also does well in the heat of the summer so long as the stock tank has a good soaking once a week.

Thyralis also does well in the heat and the shade though it also requires additional moisture to stop it looking sad and sagging.

The belting sun has pushed this barrel cactus to produce a lot more blooms,

although to date I have not witnessed any flowers.

Having a long and jaded relationship with this particular barrel I was reluctant to get too close with the camera.


This next one has me puzzled…

I took this photo of these pyracantha berries a few weeks back,

and here is the same shrub today?

I thought the berries went from yellow to orange to red?

Moving along…

This is “Nature’s Treasures”


it is where she spends ALL of her allowance. She would spend the entire day in here given half a chance.

They sell lots and lots of interesting rocks,

and many different crystalline entities,

fossils and minerals.

We came away with a great selection of new stones for the tumbler.

Hot work this rock picking!

And it really was, our rock bin was situated out the back of the premises,

outside in the blazing heat.

By the time the last rock was placed in the basket and weighed we were all feeling like Mars’ Rovers.

The trip also inspired some impromptu rock painting on these leftover chunks of Silvermist flagstone that I found lurking under the mud in the back of my truck…yes I finally cleared it out.


I will finish with some before and after shots of a poolside patio I have recently designed and installed for a client.


The scheme focused on two areas near the owners house which were struggling in both form and function. The left side was very cluttered due to many conflicting mediums, an over-sized prefab pond and unconsolidated planting scheme. The right side was populated by my old friend Asiatic jasmine, some struggling lawn and a shed too close to the house.

My primary goal was to open up the area, allowing it to visually and functionally “breathe”. This basically required a fresh start…everything, pretty much, had to go.

The existing furniture and utility storage bin were a work around.

Here is the design that I worked up:

The Silvermist flagstone and Tejas black back-fill gravel references the blue-grey color of the pool tiles and the new proposed house trim color. With the pond gone and a smaller invisible fountain replacing it there is a lot more functional space. A sparse and loose planting scheme softens up the edges and Mexican beach pebbles blend at the base of the fountain.

Here is the install almost completed. On the right side I introduced a stock tank (planted with cattails) to break up the expanse of that side of the house. The cattails should be just about the perfect height to sway around in front of the window. The shed was moved and replaced with a couple of fast growing cypress trees for natural privacy.

Inspirational concept of the week,

Rain Vase by to22 Studio:

“When was the last time you felt a part of a rain shower? Did you look into the sky with delight as each droplet fell? What if you could not only experience a downpour, but could bring some of it inside to remember, or even share. We want to invite you outside on a rainy day; enable you to have fun. The vase is all about preserving and then sharing that feeling.”



Stay Tuned for:

“Arch Nemesis”


All material © 2012 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


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1 Bob Pool August 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

Cut that thing open and see what it is. It’s for science, some things must die for science. I want to know.

2 ESP August 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hi Bob.

I would have, but as I was taking some water out of the tank with a watering can the entity gently rolled from the lilly pad to the murky depths below…

…never to be seen again. I did try and catch it.

I have witnessed these anomalies before though, and I will be ready with scalpel in-hand for a field dissection the next time I encounter one.

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