“Waltzing Nitida”

by ESP on October 4, 2013


I can only assume from this image that the Patch witches are up to their

old post-Halloween shenanigans once again?



Lots of odd things have been “happening” around the Patch of late…


tiny squirrels have been falling out of my pecan trees,


no they really have, it was like M. Night Shyamalan’s


 it was amazing that they even survived the fall from the top of this pecan tree, but they did.


We put them in a box then strapped the box precariously to the tree overnight.


Apparently this is quite a common occurrence, the mother, on smelling her offspring, will come down and carry the babies back up to the nest…at least in theory.


Naturally this did not work for us.

On retrieving the box first thing the next morning she was devastated that one of the babies had died in the night.

We ended up taking this one to the wildlife rescue center.


Cotinus nitida

These metallic green June beetles

Cotinus nitida (Linnaeus)

(nitida = Latin for shiny, handsome)


have been present in large numbers this year, so many in fact that my kids have been catching them in nets as they buzzed and bumbled noisily through the air.


“Look dad, that one is giving the other one a piggy back!”

“Oh , err…it sure is, look at that!”

Cotinus nitida

My wife, as a child, used to tie thread around the legs of these beetles and “fly them” …well, at least until the encumbered limb would fall off!


The larvae of these June beetles are considered pests when they cause damage to lawns or turf grasses…like I care.

Moving Along:


A sure sign that Halloween is right around the corner is the ripening of the Pyracantha berries, although mildly poisonous to humans if ingested,


these miniature pumpkins are a real treat for the birds. This mocking bird feasts on them every afternoon.


Satsumas are ripening, (unfortunately only 4 this year)


plumosa ferns are blooming,


and the dragonflies are starting to get very tame, sensing that their time on this planet is drawing as short as the days.

This agave / mist flower has been their favorite perching point this year.




I was recently asked to redesign this really skinny back garden.

The homeowners had already had the landscape, pergola and patio installed but they were not happy with the landscape design.


The narrow space was challenging and the banding effect of the grass, brick edging and planting bed did nothing to help alleviate the claustrophobia of the space, it all had to go…(along with a bunch of plants that had already died).


Little did I know that these small bricks had, lurking under the ground, enough concrete under them to construct, well, something very large and made entirely of concrete…seriously?


Out came the yaupons that had not ventured much further than the pot they came in and in went some replacement sweet olives for fragrance.

The turf was next on the list to go.


It felt bigger already.


Then some over-sized Oklahoma flagstone was introduced to create a natural visual extension to the existing patio.

I used the contours of the flagstone to define the planting bed – no need for another edging medium.

I even had enough room to create a new small bed on the right side (not quite finished in this picture) – room for two more salvia.


No more watering here to make the grass grow only to then mow it back down again etc, rant, rant.

Stay Tuned for:

“One Man’s Treasure”


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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