“Barf or Peach?”

by ESP on December 9, 2014 · 7 comments

First it does this…


…then it does this…


…before finally doing this:


I am not complaining though, the winter color this bog cypress provides is well worth the mess…and the $1 child-labor-netting.


What is really annoying is that this post oak deposites its leaves into the same pond first.


Urgh, the first onslaught.

This pond has been going for about 10 years with lots of skimming, minimal maintenance and zero cleaning…(twice a year filter-cleaning via the garden hose only).


On a recent assessment I fear I may have to finally break-down and dredge it.

I am a proponent of the non-cleaning of stock-tank ponds, build up the eco-system until the rising sludge becomes life-threatening to the inhabiting creatures, or the pump…

…leave it until the final hour.

“How highs the organic-matter-mamma?”

“Two-feet-high and risin”.

Needless to say, I will not be employing this past-technique when the Eco-reset comes:


I will never forget that experience!


So many leaves,

and so many of these Bordered Plant Bugs, Largus sp. this year,


they love to find their way indoors when the cold weather hits.

This is my 4th since starting this post,


the second one I caught in my peripheral vision crawling over my shoulder,


enough said.

Fatsia Japonica is a very late bloomer, with some very unusual flowers.

greenbottle flies

Flowering as late as it does guarantees an abundance of insect life.

Greenbottle flies,

Fatsia Japonica

paper wasps and

DSC08091 copythese enormous spiky Tachinid Flies to name a few aralia visitors, there are many more.


Get off that Yucca and make your way to the Japonica, there are Tachinid Flies to be had!


“Bear, you have just had lunch.”


As soon as Thanksgiving was over…I knew what was next in store for me.



The customary wrestle through the front door, the sap, the stupid mounting base, clanking step ladders, needles, sweat, “its not straight”, the too heavy star, the pruning, the awkward watering maneuver (AWM), “Dad, its still not straight”.

“The lights were working earlier, what did you do?”

“How do you replace the fuses again? Where are the spare fuses?” “Where are my readers?”

“Dad, I think its leaking!”

“I wanted to hang that decoration…”



A calming adult beverage later and some excited expressions make it all worthwhile though,

is that star still leaning?



I will leave you with a few before and after images of a front garden makeover I completed a few years back.


Conflicting linear materials and some patchy turf was replaced with decomposed granite and perimeter privacy plantings.


It was great to see how the foliage had matured both on the right side,


and the left:


The loquats in the distance were tiny when I planted them.


Buddha’s Belly and Alphonse Karr bamboo adding passageway depth and drama to a side gate.


While taking pictures on the property I came across this fasciated Texas mountain laurel…a fine mutated specimen.

BloodTestThingDr. T. Ombrello wrote:

‘One interesting type of mistake that is occasionally found in plants is known as a fasciated or crested growth form. It is usually the result of a growing point changing from a round dome of cells into a crescent shape. Subsequent growth produces a flat stem. In some cases fasciation is the result of several embryonic growing points fusing together, with the same flat-stem appearance.’”

fasciated Texas mountain laurel


On that particularly bad note,

ladies and gentlemen I give you the riveting 2014 bean-boozled-challenge:

Stay Tuned For:

“Whats in Your Stocking?”


IMG_0047 copy

All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques

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1 Rock Rose December 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Such a pretty tree. Not crooked at all and all the lights working. I don’t see a speck of sap. Nothing like being forced into having a tree. Alas, just my little goose feather tree over here. And even a mountain laurel should be allowed its own fascinator.

Thanks RR, yes we finally got it all working and mostly straight. The little folk had a great time decorating it.
How about that fascinator? That mountain laurel has a natural decoration.

2 Anonymous December 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Laughing!! . “Nathan, you have to sit down!!”. Right Miss P.

So Bossy!
“It tastes like beef!”
The aroma emitted from the ‘barf-bean’ was really disturbing.

3 Cheris December 11, 2014 at 7:30 am



4 TexasDeb December 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

Wait – were you hiding someplace here when we put up our tree? Because I’m pretty sure you stole most of that dialogue, word for word.

I’m curious, will that pond glop serve to amp up the organic matter in garden soil? I could see walking around with a bucket and ladle and “distributing” it into pots and around plant bases. Red suit and “ho-ho-ho”-ing optional, of course. Or perhaps you get one of Santa’s elves to do the glopping while you follow and provide acoustically appropriate bagpipe skirling. Could become a treasured family tradition. (you’re welcome!)

Hi TD.

I am sure I run through the same dialogue (in a different order) every year setting up the tree. There was one year a rat got into one of our ornament boxes, I believe the dialogue varied from the norm that particular year.

Oh yes, I always put the sludge to good use…gold-sludge. I do like the ladle touch you suggested, it would add a festive Victorian / Oliver Twist touch to the whole distribution process.

‘Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!’

5 Desert Dweller / David C. December 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Looks like some litter cleanup for one quick color. Great to catch up on old gardens…I just need to catch up on my current designs first, no easy task. Hence why I’m here…

I think that Highland Fling card is really Alex Jones…”the crested Sophora is a *Vulcan* Consipracy…ArrrGH!”

Hi David, it is great to catch up on old gardens, they always seem to grow exponentially faster than your own?

Funny you should mention Alex Jones as I recently caught him reviewing the Prometheus movies and growling on about the Illuminati, DNA and Panspermia, well worth a watch…his channel looks as good as some major networks now :-)

6 Cheryl December 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

The video was great. I could see my kids doing that but the 46 year old son would be telling the 37 year old daughter to sit down. They were just here visiting.. I should have gotten a box of those candies just to see. LOL
Our fatsia japonicas are in bloom too. I thought they were “out of sinc” last year.

Hi Cheryl.
Those candies were really gross, I had to move to another room when the aroma of the vomit-bean hit!
Never have my fatsia bloomed like they have this year…very impressive.

7 katina December 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I’ve decided that instead of cleaning up any leaves this year, I’ll just go get a Weber Grill with a skirt and make a giant sign (fashioned to look like the grill is talking) which says “I will usher in stick season by exterminating all the leaves on the trees!” I may have to include a blue telephone booth to make this work, though…

Urgh, leaves…my worst chore. I thought about custom cutting a huge tarp to go over all my hardscaping this year then realized it was a ridiculous idea.
I feel your pain.

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