“Trouble with the old Strobilus”

by ESP on July 19, 2013 · 4 comments


Kumo appears very happy that we are back home, adorning his new and very apt collar motif.



Please do not click on the above link if you are eating.

It did not take any time before he was under the bed pulling his guilty face, in trouble once again for soliciting underwear:


It is always interesting, after being away for some time, just how many changes can happen in a shot span of time in a garden.


I had prepared before our trip by filling up my marginal stock tank plantings with water and mosquito dunks, cleaning pond filters, thinning out the Walskers (as you do) and checking on my magnificent, ahem, strobilus (you know where this is ultimately going to go), among other more menial administrative tasks involving the Naboo.


Considering the prolonged high temperatures while we were away all the plants fared very well, a testament to the natives…and by this I am of course referring to the plants.

But there was this:


Opening my back door I was shocked by this Yucca recurvifolia and wondered why on earth, during my absence, it had decided to try and crawl across my decomposed granite pathway to the adjacent planting bed?


Was it the needle palm?


Perhaps they had been planning this for weeks?


Closer examination of the tragedy revealed that it’s trunk had snapped at the base?

Very odd.

I examined the cavity for any sign of ants, rot or weevils but found nothing, in fact the base and root structure appeared solid. I cut the plant at the tear and wrestled it painfully into a trash can to put out for city collection.

I was later reprimanded on pick-up for not putting it inside a lawn bag…now that would be a plastic ripping, incredibly annoying activity in 100 degree weather if ever there was one, I thought to myself whilst exhibiting facial remorse for fear of actually having to do this.


The plant was surprisingly heavy and I know there was a day of high winds while I was gone, but was it strong enough to topple this well established plant?

Quite the mystery.


On this collapsing note, it appears that I have waited too long to gallivant around the city during the hours of darkness waving my strobilus. This is probably a good thing considering the current nighttime temperatures, it would quickly get very uncomfortable dancing around a parking lot in a trench-coat.

I knew I should have performed the deed before going away,

be..be..before this happened.


101603_fg8For fear of letting out more Benny Hill double entendres I will not go into more detail as to what has happened to it…shrinking, shriveling, drooping etc, it is plainly evident.

This is a real shame as only this week I discovered another fine female specimen just down the road at




Now that my own strobilus is well, what it is, I promise I will not post any more of this Cycadic nonsense, well, not until next year’s escapades.

Galloping Along:

More welcome storms and rain hit Austin again this week,


it is turning into a pretty good summer.


So says this Japanese aralia, and this now


enormous thryallis.

This ever-expanding datura is blasting out it’s ghostly trumpets


to attract pollinators.


Life is slowly returning to “normal” in the Patch.

East Side Patch

Leaves and dead things have been removed, patios swept and


the waters are slowly clearing.

East Side Patch

She has been distributing her Scottish collection of artifacts we lugged home here and there in the garden.




I have been busy finishing a front duplex design.


On a restricted budget and time frame, the desired scheme had to offer maximum visual impact with the minimal scope of work to sell the property.


A full plan was originally submitted as a starting point for discussing what would be implemented and what was not to be, based on the constraints.


Once agreed, the first order of the day was to replace the metal fence, planting-bed creation and subsequent sod removal.

DSC01689DSC01690Troublesome side and back corridors were planted and covered in gravel to cover up the washed out bare and uneven ground and improve drainage and visual appeal.

There was little to no access to these tight areas so a lot of the aggregate had to be carried in by hand in buckets.

This process required a very meditative and zen mindset for fear of losing one’s mind over the repetition, heat and the continued gnashing of ferocious mosquitoes on flesh.


This particularly stubborn area required obscure bodily motions reminiscent of Psy’s amusing moves.

Psy copy

The front beds were graded, amended, planted and dressed with the same Tejas black gravel as the corridors for continuity.


Emphasis was placed on the front left corner being the visually prominent corner from the driveway and upon entering the property. A solitary loquat will grow fast and soften the edge of the wooden fence on the right, Mexican bush sage and a central oleander will take care of the rest.


The large moss boulders had some nice coloration to them, picking up the new color of the house.

I went by recently to find things flowering, it will be very cheerful when the oleander and sages fill-in and join-in.


Stay Tuned for:

“Blast from the Past”



Thinking of you Monday.

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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1 Bob Pool July 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

That was strange with your yucca falling over. Maybe they are like hackberries and spanish oaks and just don’t need a reason to fall over. And what a sad ending to a magnificent strobilus. Don’t you think it’s time to get it a girl friend? I mean, really, how cruel can one man be?

I’m feeling sorry for your dog.

2 ESP July 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm

The fallen yucca was an odd occurrence Bob, and perhaps you are right, perhaps they do have a lifespan like most things…just like the magnificent strobilus that I “neglected” in its time of need, haha…here today, shrunken tomorrow.

You should definitely not feel sorry for Kumo, he is spoilt rotten, and his propensity for underwear is now legendary. He is so dramatic on that video I seriously think he is soliciting a YouTube audience to feel sorry for him…like that is going to happen!

Okay maybe.

3 gail July 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Poor, poor Kumi! So sad he had to hide under the bed.

4 Bob Pool July 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm

A propensity for under wear, that is wierd.

I wanted to tell you that i listened to your music on FB and I really enjoyed it. I’m getting really hard of hearing and can’t really hear a lot of notes any more but I could hear them well with your playing. It really sounded good and I really enjoyed listening to it. Put up more when your in the mood.

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