“Igniting the Cattails”

It is that time again…

…the time of cattails,

Typha latifolia

a little later than usual,

but the furry corn dogs are finally ready, and so were my halflings.

Cattail spells were cast on long wands, sending fluff floating high into the sky,

only to rain down into eyes,

and onto the end of long Anubis noses.

Next years crop of cattail wands is going to be a lot larger as I have now introduced another bog tank dedicated to this versatile marginal plant.

While all this activity was going on I decided to ignite a corn dog myself (as you do) to see just how good of a tinder these plants actually make.

This time I made sure I was not in close proximity to any of my ornamental grasses.

Moving along:

I checked on the two tiny plumosa ferns that I planted against my gate a few weeks back.

One has wasted no time climbing up the iron frame. These two plants will eventually cover and soften this arched gate,

like the entrance to a Hobbiton domicile…

well, that is the goal at least.

This plumosa in another part of the Patch has been strangling this Tikki torch for quite some time. I decided to unravel it,

then re-ravel it onto a more permanent structure.

My rosemary bushes are in full form at the moment, most of them are blooming or just about to.

Can you have too many?…

I know I have, and they are huge, great for an entryway.






Winter foliage color provided by a purple leaf sand cherry,

Prunus x cistena

and my ever-spreading desert trumpet vine, also known as Port St.John’s Creeper or Port St.John’s-klimop.

This vine looks great when most things don’t.

Just as she was making a new friend the hatchling’s rather large mother returned…

Hand sanitizer!


Getting smoother now…

I am proud to announce that we have now entered the 3rd stage (pre-polishing) rock tumbling phase (snort), this phase apparently lasts between 7 and 10 days,

A little more enthusiasm is in order here Hermione?

Stay Tuned for:

“You Can’t Handle the Tooth”


All material © 2012 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

  • cheryl January 15, 2012, 9:32 pm

    Ahhh, Thanks for reminding me that I want a Desert Trumpet Vine. I have seen it growing in Sacramento.. it should be growing in my yard as well. Cattails would be fun. My above ground steel pond looks totally disgusting at the moment.. I need to re-do it but its too cold right now. I can’t just empty it because I’d lose all my mosquito fish. Dang.

  • ESP January 15, 2012, 10:28 pm

    Hi Cheryl.

    Yes…Desert Trumpet Vine, a great late-in-the-year bloomer…plant it along a fence line and watch it spread…A great hardy vine.

    You have to get some cattails, just keep them contained…very aggressive, but well worth it in my opinion.


  • cheryl January 16, 2012, 8:32 am

    oh duh. Desert Trumpet Vine is indeed beautiful. However, the Desert “vine” I’ve seen growing here is Desert Honeysuckle”… bright orange trumpets in clusters. Now I want them both!

    They are both in your future :-)

  • sandy lawrence January 16, 2012, 8:49 am

    Plumosa fern is poisonous to cats. Dogs? Don’t know, but tell Kumo not to experiment after what he’s been through!

  • Marilyn Kircus January 17, 2012, 11:24 am

    Gee I wish I could be a kid again and specifically one of your kids. They can have so many more ways to have fun and explore and be creative than those poor kids that live in a grass dessert. You need to write a book encouraging parents to let their kids fully develop by living in close proximity with nature in all its diversity.

    Hi Marilyn.

    So you want to be in time-out, put on the naughty chair and banned from all things electronic unless you behave? (Namely iPad Apps) Haha!

    Growing up in the Patch, and watching me document findings in this blog has given them a really good nature-knowledge-base, it is amazing how many plants and insects they are now aware of, and how many they remember the names of…they really are little “Sponge-Bobs”.

    As Vulcans, our choice of a more naturalistic landscape over conventional grass and a play-scape-monument seemed logical :-)

    I would love to get to a book one day, thanks for the suggestion.


  • Gail January 18, 2012, 8:57 am

    I fully agree with Marilyn (about the “you need to write a kid’s book”!

  • ESP January 21, 2012, 8:35 am

    Thanks Gail…the pressure, the pressure :-)

  • cheryl January 22, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Yes! A book! (and what ever happened to the t-shirts?)

    Kids NEED to play outside in the dirt and trees and grass and bushes and water and bugs and gunk. Its the only way they will stay connected with Mother Earth… and if humans lose that contact, well………..

  • Pam/Digging January 24, 2012, 11:23 pm

    I love the idea of a book of garden/nature wonder and exploration from the Patch. I was admiring your cattail photos and imagining that you must slither around the Patch on your belly to get so many of your unusual perspectives. True?


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