by ESP on September 22, 2012 · 9 comments

“Ahhh, Differential grasshopper.”

Oh come on, what was I going to do?

Melanoplus differentialis


Did you know that one of their favorite gourmet meals is Giant ragweed?

Ragweed is a plant synonymous with late summer hay fever, and one I struggle to clear my throat of every year. The plant is generally considered the greatest allergen of all pollens in North America.

Today, there is no area in the US that is free of ragweed pollen.

So chomp away my spiny-legged pest, but you better move immediately away from my Mex. Leucantha, if you know what is good for you.

The design on this insect is quite something, the armored plating, the militia graphics on its thighs, the hooks, spines and alien eyes.

“Get them off me…I have agavephobia you know!”

Calm down Gandalf!

I will thin them out soon enough, and I had no idea.

Def.   Agavephobia is a condition where the sufferer becomes anxious in environments that heavily feature members of the agave family. Triggers for this anxiety may include serrated edges, unnecessary worry and concern for loved ones, and more rarely in subjects, a fear of sharp soil. Agavephobia is often, but not always, compounded by a fear of sharp points, weevils and drought tolerant, water wise planting schemes.

Changes are certainly in the Patch air.

Pyracantha berries are a reminder that pumpkins are just around the corner.

The rain and the sun has put this satsuma tree back on track for a great fall harvest.

“Aye, she has a nice bunch of satsumas all right, but i’m tellin ye, anymere, n’ she’ll fall apart. Just-one-mere-satsu…”

No more Scotty!

Asparagus Fern,

Asparagus pyramidalis

Asparagus pyramidalis is a hybrid between A. plumosa and tree fern, it adopts a more vertical, layered habit than other cultivars but it is equally as invasive.  Asparagus fern is somewhat deceiving as a name because it is not a fern at all, it merely looks like one, it is in fact a relative of edible asparagus. Pyramidalis is more dense and does not wrap round other plants or trees like plumosa.

Both my pyramidalis (above),

and my plumosa (above) ferns are currently displaying tiny off-white flowers.

Moving along…

Soft Mexican bush sage contrasts well with soft leaf yucca.

This stand in the front of the Patch is completely out of control and leggier that I would like it (pruning negligence on my part), though it does have more of a natural rambling look when left to its own devices like this…

…okay it is just leggy.

On sending up a flower spike yuccas

flower very quickly.

A great drought tolerant plant for our area and well worth getting a jab now and then, oh and if you are as obsessive as me,

you may not want to get down low and look into the heart of the plant.

This is almost as annoying as…

I said almost.

You can see where I started in on this stock tank sticker in the top left corner, and the massive progress that I made attempting to remove it.

Stupid stock tank stickers.

Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Showers’ is very much living up to its name.

Stunted Cone flowers and browning feather grasses signal in the fall.

Inspirational Images of the Week:

Path at Powis Castle in Wales leads to dark trail winding through a stunning yew hedge.

Some beautiful Hipstamatic and filter work by:


I will leave you with some serious landscape LED lighting. Forest of Light is a serene forest of 20,000 illuminated stems scattered along a forest walk.

Art Installation: Bruce Munro

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania


And here is a link to a free App that allows you to explore the Gardens and installations after hours:


Stay Tuned for:

“Thats Just Not Blight!”


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

Happy Birthday PP.

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1 Toni - Signature Gardens September 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Those grasshoppers are just gross. They are moving so slow now I can usually chop them in half with my pruners when I’m deadheading perennials. Oops. Sorry ’bout that — not. Anyway, have you thought about a razor blade for the sticker? Might help to peel it off. Or orange oil? Might melt the adhesive. Your salvia leucantha is quite gorgeous, unpruned and all!!

Hi Toni.

These grasshoppers remind me of goats…no one really at home.

Razor blades, flame throwers, industrial grinders…nothing effects the adhesive on these stock tank stickers, they are reversed engineered from Area 51 (or so it is rumored).

Thanks on the leucantha front, I considered pruning it back a couple of weeks back but it had already started to generate flowers…I couldn’t do it.

2 katina September 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but the Mexican Bush Sage doesn’t look leggy at all (says the girl who never prunes anything).

Hi Katina.
It is most certainly the angle of the photo.

3 Greggo September 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Speaking of stock tank stickers. You know…the ones that stick out in the photos. he he. Well I’ve got you beat! My Behlen oval horse tank has one with dimensions of 10″ x 16″ with a lage FFA logo in the middle. If you don’t know what FFA is, it’s Future Farmers of America. oooh. don’t look.

This I need to see Greggo…you have to send me a picture of it.

4 Anonymous September 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Lighter fluid works well for removing labels.

I will give this a go.

5 Nicole September 23, 2012 at 4:31 am

Your garden is looking very lush and lovely now. Hope you get a great harvest of satsumas!

Thanks Nicole, they are ripening fast at the moment, last year we had 2!

6 jenny September 23, 2012 at 4:57 am

You are such an artist with the camera. Your close-ups of insects are just amazing. And those ferns. Can this really be Texas! But best of all those satsumas. I’m almost tempted to try one over here.

Thanks Jenny, that grasshopper could have given me a good scratching, lucky for me it was quite docile.

I do like these ferns, they have to be planted in areas where you know they will run wild but I have a few of those.

You certainly do need a satsuma, they are very tough, require no water…well, very little, and the fruit (on a good year) tastes excellent.

7 Desert Dweller / David C. September 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

Grasshoppers – funny, no rain, and we have sluggish ones around. I thought it was dead since it only moved a bit over night between my screen and sliding doors, so off with it’s …

Thanks for the morning humor!

Hi David. It is that time of the year, dragonflies and moths are also winding down. I took some photos of a huge moth the other day that was moving very slowly (next post).

8 sandy lawrence September 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm
9 ESP September 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi Sandy.
As are so many plants in the Patch, it is amazing Kumo survives :-) (he prefers plastic I think).
The berries also deliver some unpleasantness if consumed. This would be a very unsavory plant to chew on though, with all of those thorns.

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