“Posh with a Capitol P!”

by ESP on March 14, 2013


My latest front and back garden design and install, this one is in East Austin.

The claustrophobic boxwoods, confined circular beds around the pecan trees and the metal edging were first on my list for the dumpster. This property was made more complicated due to the grade differences. Everything was mounded, the driveway was low, grass areas high and I really wanted to open up the existing linear (and sunken) walkway to the street.


Then it was the turf’s time to go dumpster-diving.

This existing cactus bed had some nice specimen plants and a large sago palm and opuntia that stabbed me repeatedly throughout the course of the installation process.


This metal fence also served no purpose as the wooded fence behind it created enough security and enclosure, this was also removed to further open up the space to create a better flow through the property.


The back garden had an over-sized hot tub (that was removed) and a lot bricks that had buckled as the ground shifted.


It is a documented fact that the removal of bricks defies all conventional laws of physics. There are always 35x more bricks excavated than were originally in the ground.

Large amounts of decomposed granite was delivered,


in this case three dump trucks full, this was #1…and that is a lot of granite.


lots of boulders and flagstone.


Here are some before and after images:


Enlarged cactus and succulent bed, side metal fence removal and new meandering pathways.


Flattening of the grade to create a less segmented appearance, organic flagstone pathway replaces linear concrete walkway to street.


Hot tub removal, back patio and a stock tank planted up with cattails (naturally).


Planting bed definition,


introduction of a small water feature. The home owner already had this little fountain, it worked out perfectly in terms of scale and volume. I have been sensitive to the audible volume of things in the landscape ever since my wind-chime kerfuffle some years back:



360 unification.


The future home of…well something?

Back in the Patch:

Remember when I finished this brickwork,


and the traveling folk moved in?


If you recall I gave them an ultimatum to tidy their camp up or leave,


imagine my surprise when I took a walk up the garden, turned a corner and…


found that my traveling folk had turned all posh with a capital P!

We needed a new tent and it was spring break after all.


They have practically been living in here since I pitched it.


Even our house-elf has taken to the new temporary structure.



DSC00237 (1)

Of course it is hard to avoid technology in the tent when you are still in WiFi distance from the house.


 Moving along:


My ponds are awaiting the drop of the catkins from this overhead post oak, my net is at the ready.


Salvia has wasted no time with our recent warm temperatures.


brimless+cloche1920’s high fashion holly fern unfurling.


















Here is a great combination, if you have the space:


Sabal major with an understory of Texas red bud – my “borrowed view”.



Yetis may or may not exist in the Siberian mountains but I do know they exist in the Patch.


Stay Tuned for:

“Candy Apples”




An everything but the kitchen sink time travel machine!

All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny March 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

The wonders of rock and decomposed granite. Another fine job P. What fun for the children. Will they be venturing further afield to a campground. Room for all and a dog in there?

2 Anonymous March 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Two nice “looks like” in this post. I’m particularly fond of the fern/hat comparison.

3 ESP March 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Hi Jenny and thank you on the install front.

This tent set-up was a trial-run for the real thing, on their part and mine…I need to know how the tent is set up before attempting it in a public space, risking campground ridicule :-)

4 ESP March 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hi and thanks anonymous, I am adding these images to my “looks like” page right now, see them all here:


5 Desert Dweller/David C. March 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Oh yeah – backyard camping memories, as an 8 year old! On my to-do list before I move, including on the open space – who cares that I’m much older? Thank goodness the kids aren’t of the age for online listening to rants about masonic control grids…though perhaps it’s some William Wallace battle scene? And nice to see the progress on a modest home garden and cool spaces – can’t wait to see some after-after shots. Happy spring from way up/out here in La Tierra Encantada!

6 ESP March 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

Hi David.

Lots of backyard camping this past week, in fact our house now smells like a camp fire. Lucky for us Alex did not show up at our camp to tell us some scary control grid stories…I can imagine his face, illuminated by the glow of the fire, getting more and more insane as his masonic story reaches new control grid heights, haha.

I look forward to some after-after shots also, when the plants have softened up the hardscaping…taps fingers.

Happy spring to you too, we have had some great early spring weather in Austin.

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