“Knotty Dreads”

Now these are some knotty dreads man, all matted and stuck together. The panicles on my Mexican feather grasses had created such a dense matting situation, that it was making their heads fall over.

They looked pretty bad all stuck together like island hair… mmm, what to do, what to do?  I picked my first test subject and just like…

I went to work, frantically snipping out all the seed heads with my prosthetic shearing fingers…

…unlike Edward’s reputable pruning results, mine were not so good, not so good at all (left), it just looked really unnatural. As I pondered what else I could do to remedy this situation, I grabbed one of the seed heads and pulled it, it easily came away from the plant….that was it!  I went to another grass, grabbed a small chunk and sure enough the seeds and a length of the panicle stalk came away from the plant. This technique ensured that the plant retained a more natural look while getting rid of the matted dreadlock situation… it worked a treat to lighten the entire grass (right).

Here they are back to their former glory once again.  I systematically went through all my grasses pulling their hair out.  I did get a little greedy on the amount that could be removed in a one extraction a couple of times, resulting in a small clump of the grass coming up out of the ground, oops!  No, there was a fine balance to be heeded in this hair-pulling activity.  By the time I was about halfway through my grasses I had the technique mastered, gathering the dreadlocks into clumps and working my way around the plant as though it were a scalp, I must have looked insane, especially when I started to lay out a cape (courtesy of my professional hair cutting wife) around each plant to catch any falling hair follicles, errr…I mean seeds!

I shoved these seeds into a large bucket as I went on, and on, and…

A couple of hours later, I had about four of these seed-bales filling up my trash can, there must have been millions of seeds.

Moving on…

Butterflies, moths, all manner of things a’ flutter were feasting this week on copious amounts of the sweet stuff.  This one it seems had the whole salty / sweet thing going on.  It stayed on my tee shirt for a few minutes (quite salty at this point).  I am guessing there was enough moisture on the garment from the feather grass thinning in our 101 degree (with the heat index) temperatures to extract something nourishing out of it?  Whatever it was getting from my garment, it was liking it.

More from the bench area…

Ever since I finished my bench the spaces to the left and right of it seemed somewhat lost, floating around in space.

“Roger that Houston, both sides of the bench, but can I say “gimbal lock” one last time?”

I decided to reflect the opposite bed to the bench and continue the same brickwork design to form a couple of small beds to finish these areas off, and to visually anchor the bench.

And the other side.

Must remember to move that first canna away from the dwarf Palmetto, it is getting a little crowded right there!  The brickwork really helps to make the bench a focal point and destination.

Are those more feather grasses?

“I have some rather disturbing news”…

The Cactus Man has apparently returned from the grave…he is re-animating!

“He is an opuntia ESP”?

I could not believe this when I saw it today.  It appears the deceased Cactus Man is attempting to re-create his face and re-animate himself on a new cactus paddle that has grown in exactly the same spot from the same plant where I originally killed him and his family.  Now what are the chances of that?

“About 4504 to the power of 10 ESP, now… can’t you see I am busy engaging the Borg?”


This was one tiny spider. I shot this blind with the camera.  I was amazed what shapes and translucent coloration the camera caught.

Sedum potosinum in decline, turning a rust color at the end of it’s bloom cycle.

Vines are on the move…

…pond-life is feeling good…

…and the pole-beans are on the rise.

Captains Log supplemental: Check out my new “ESP Design Services” at the top of my blog, and I hope you like the new sidebar.


Stay Tuned for:


All material © 2010 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

  • Jenny May 9, 2010, 5:50 am

    Combing the feather grass is certainly important to keep them in top form and to stop all that seeding. What a pile! Don’t be putting it on the compost pile. Can you give me an id on the first vine. I think it is an orchid vine judging by the characteristic leaf form but I don’t think I have ever seen it. Perfect design idea by the wonderful bench. Do you have an endless supply of bricks found buried in the garden!
    Congratulations on your new design business. I think you will have great success.

    Hi Jenny…and did they need some combing!
    Oh no, that seed and hair pile did not go anywhere near the compost pile.
    The first vine (in front of the loquat) I bought from the Big Red Sun years ago and it has been totally heat and frost resistant, sometimes it dies totally back, other years it doesn’t. The vine is a Bauhinia corymbosa.
    Very funny on the brick front…I actually had to take the top layer off another small wall to create these little beds.
    Thank you Jenny.

  • The Garden Ms. S May 9, 2010, 7:05 am

    What a difference the structured beds around the bench make. Good move, ESP! Oh, and your panicle bale looks like ‘Cousin It’. Having visitors to the patch lately? :-)

    The little beds really helped to finish and tidy up these areas.
    The bale did look like Cousin Itt haha…this will have to go in the “looks like…” page of the ESP :-) Well spotted!


  • TexasDeb May 9, 2010, 7:25 am

    An inspired solution to your knotty problem. I am heading out to do a little grass grooming myself, newly informed as to the best technique. Thank you!

    The design business looks to be another winning proposition. Best of luck with that and if you ever need a test spot to work in in exchange for free use of before/after photos please contact me ASAP!!!

    Hi TD.
    Yes, test it out, it really works.
    Thanks on the design front…and hmph, I have enough of those test-spots in my own back garden! :-)
    Let me know if your feathers get their hair pulled.

  • RBell May 9, 2010, 7:48 am

    The addition of the bench’s brick borders made a big difference. Very nice. I especially like the double arch side.

    Hi, and welcome to the Patch.
    Thanks, these areas really needed some definition…but more importantly, I now have a little more space to plant things now!

  • Jenny May 9, 2010, 4:03 pm

    That’s it. Bauhinia is the orchid tree genus. they have the cloven hoof leaf.

    A hoof that opens and closes depending on the heat. I like the foliage as much as the blooms.

  • Kelly in Texas May 11, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Like many other visitors to the ESP, no doubt, I am heading out right now to “comb” my knotted, falling over feather grass, which I have been studiously averting my eyes from for days!

    Hi Kelly.
    Not so much as a comb as a gentle persuasive pull, just small sections at a time…I hope it work as well for you as it did for me!
    I know what you mean, mine were looking bad too, I searched all around for an answer other then the crew-cutting shears.
    Let me know how your hair cutting went!


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