“The Magic Carpet”

by ESP on May 3, 2017 · 3 comments

I encourage you to switch this video to full screen – it is visually stunning cinematography featuring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

We are all big fans of Bollywood movies in the Patch.

In fact, keeping with the tradition and success of the Ancient Mariner series that I ran some years back (haha), I will share some of our favorite songs with you over the next series of posts.

That should take us well into 2020 based on the sporadicity of my recent postings and how many Bollywood songs we like!

Painting By Viktor Vasnetsov

Of course the magic carpet I am referring to in the title of this post is significantly less exotic and it certainly cannot fly of its own accord, (unless thrown in a wayward manner by a shovel).

It has nothing to do with King Solomon, teleportation or India. 

I am of course referring to rather large quantities (in my case 30 yards to be exact) of decomposed granite.

Delivered in rather large trucks.

To think I used to buy this aggregate in small bags from Home Depot.

Ah, those were the days.









“Watch out for the cables…watch out for the cables!”

“Back wheels coming off the ground!”

A few days later the DG carpet was laid,

and some colorful furniture had moved in.

My buying decision when it comes down to purchasing garden furniture is sadly based solely around excrement.

Due to the location of our family backyard hangout, under this large Post Oak,

there is an abundance of the nasty stuff – ah the price you pay for shade.

This generally negates purchasing anything too expensive with say a nice deep wood-grain or refined finish, because well, it will be literally be covered before you can say: “that’s a really nice garden chair, where did you purcha…oh dear, I am afraid that dove has just jettisoned an alien all over it.”

“Ash…we have a problem.”

No, for me it is about the greasiness of the releasing agents in the plastic of the furniture – the texture on the plastic – how easy will it be to blast and dislodge a particularly stubborn ‘King Richard the 3rd’ with a hose?

Another carpet was also laid in the front yard, this time in the form of Tejas Black gravel:

I got so tired of this manhole cover getting covered I finally did something about it.

“Aye, he’s gaan naiwhere!”

Tejas Black generates some great shadows and looks even better when wet.

Also with a few introduced berms it tends not to look so contemporary, a thick layer discourages weeds.

I like to plant plants that can be pruned up / trunking specimens, that way if weeds do blow in…and they will, they are very visible and can be easily and cleanly treated.

Moving along…

We had a surprise this morning before school.

Upon exiting the back door there was clawing and a few snorts coming from this mountain laurel.

A pair of young raccoons were trying desperately to get some sleep.

They stayed on top of the mountain laurel until the sun came over the top of the house, forcing them to move on

…just stay out of my attic, ok?

To finish…

I am always shocked after revisiting an install as to how much time must have elapsed for things to have grown to the size they are.

It just never seems that long for me.

Here is where this north Austin installation started:

I remember it as if it were a couple maybe three years ago – not 5…

…hoping these baby cypresses would make it, they seemed so distant from each other as saplings.

A new water feature. The fresh plantings were so small – you can barely see the vitex tree (in the lawn in front of the shed door).

Then with a little help from time and some solid pruning by the client on the vitex, the scene had transformed:

The space felt very peaceful, the cypresses were now rubbing shoulders with one another and most surprising to me – it did not feel like Austin.

Visually it looks and feels like it could be in a cooler climate, somewhere much further north…

of course it was a cool rainy day when I visited. 

I love the new suburban ‘cabin in the woods’ look to the garden shed.

Stay Tuned For:

“The Perfect Specimen


All material © 2017 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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1 Pam Penick May 4, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Wow, I know that my own Arizona cypress has grown quickly. But seeing this staggered row leap to shaggy, northern-looking size is indeed a surprise. I think the gray flagstone contributes to that non-Austin feel too, don’t you? The Patch is looking quite nice also with your new hangout!

Yes, cypress are a great way to fill-in a large space…pretty quickly.
I think you are correct on the flagstone-front – it has sort of a slate-roof look to it?


2 Lori May 5, 2017 at 6:49 am

Dang, those cypresses really filled in! That looks great. How long did it take for them to get that large?

Also, I’ve been dying to see what you did between the front door and the sidewalk. Still in progress?

I too remember the days I bought bagged DG from Home Depot. Man, I wasted so much money when I should have been buying bulk! The more you know! *shooting star*

Thanks Lori, it took these cypress’s around 5 years to get to this size.
The area between the sidewalk and front door is still in progress…and I am still fighting with small spots of Bermuda that still insists on rearing its ugly green head…urgh!

3 David Cristiani May 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Maturity happens faster than we can revisit. Still grappling with dark gravel mulch, but not your new back patio, or the way skilled people secretly relish operating with nasty constraints like tight areas, low wires, cliffs, etc!

It certainly does.
Tejas Black gravel is getting a lot of mileage here in Austin especially with all the new ‘contemporary’ construction going on. I have seen it used to good effect here and there on my travels.

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