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“My Sweet Olive Oil”


I have been calling this my road to nowhere.
My patio terminates and a pathway “of sorts” continues.
Here is a view from the opposite side. Is it a bed? Is it a pathway?
nobody could really decide. To make matters worse when it was
occasionally used as a “pathway” there were a few rather large
obstacles to be circumnavigated, namely a sweet olive shrub
and a bog cyprus that I had transplanted out of my pond.
This all had to change.


“Father, you have never liked
my curvy pathways”.

“Then I have failed you as a father,
forgive me my son”.


Here is the sweet olive shrub or Fragrant Tea Olive
Osmanthus fragrans
perfectly situated slap bang in the middle of the new pathway to be.
Now why exactly did I plant it there in the first place?
I really hated the thought of moving it, and potentially killing it, as this
shrub has taken such a long time to grow to the height it is now.
It is not the most attractive shrub, but what it lacks in aesthetics it
makes up for in it’s amazing sweet scent when it blooms,
which it does sporadically throughout the entire year.
Tea olive has deliciously fragrant flowers that smell a lot like those

of fringetree Chionanthus virginicus, which is in the same family.
Tea olive is a traditional element in the southern garden landscape, the smell
has become somewhat synonymous with the city of New Orleans.
Unfortunately there is no room for it in it’s current location,
in my new master plan.


“ze olive tree has to go….I will chop down ze cyprus with my hand,
like this, and It will crash to ze ground.”


There was also a whole bunch of ornamental grasses, daffodils,
cone flowers and shasta daisies that also required transplanting
to clear the future pathway.


Here is the sweet olive transplanted in its new home and the bomb crater it left behind.
I cut the shrub back by about a third and watered it in with enough fish emulsion
to damage the alaskan economy to try to get it off to the best start I could.
I have my fingers crossed.


Here is the breakdown of the existing brick edging and the reformatted pathway. I am planning to build a small decked “lounging / seating” area off from the two wisteria trellised posts, against the fence line. I was really lucky in that I had inherited a whole bunch of these old bricks from the previous owners of the house. I had them around the side of my house in the form of a low wall. It was time these bricks had better visibility.


“Aye, a battle it may be, and a battle we wull win!”
“We wull build spears out of the bog cyprus, twice the length of a man.”

And here is the bog cyprus, also destined for an upheaval. This was just a bad idea to
plant it as close as I did to the wisteria vine! Duh! The tendrils of the vine seem totally
obsessed with seeking, and wrapping around the branches. This would be a constant
battle that I do not want to fight,
(no offense William), as the tree matures and gets a
lot larger. Talking about the “intelligent” movement of vines, have you all read this book?


You will never look at a plant the same,
ever again!…Mindblowing.
Back to the new pathway…


Here is the new “defined” bed with brickwork edging almost finished, just
a few more shasta daisies to transplant. This new pathway now requires
a substantial amount of decomposed granite to finish it off and discourage
any seeds and weeds that may have been agitated by my scraping.


And from the other side. Is she picking loquats again?

Now where are my…



After pre-school it seems like there is nothing more relaxing than sitting down on a
boulder to quietly munch on a few loquats to wind down from the
screaming and tormenting events of the day. It seems she was not the
only one enjoying the ripe fruit right now,
this mocking bird was having a riot.


I thought it pertinent as we are on the subject of pathways,
to post a couple of shots taken about four years ago, before
any sense of “order” was introduced.


Four years ago…
You can see the whole left side of the property was obliterated by the
tunnel of trumpet vines (left), it visually shrunk the garden as you can see
by about a third. Pulling a pathway around the small circular bed in the foreground
created a lot more “breathing space” and allowed a more natural angle to exit
the steps down off my back deck. Interesting how my Weber grill has barely
moved in four years!
The right picture shows how it looked before my skinny island “middle” bed
gained any definition.


And here are the same scenes now. More definition and a lot less work!
It is funny just how much larger and wider my backyard feels, with
the addition of all the pathways. You can see the future site of my
latest granite pathway on the left. All of the paths converge around
my pond area, (further up the yard) before veering off again to facilitate
access to the more functional aspects of gardening…


a faucet, a shed, a my now completely un-scalable brush pile.


“Get that, that…’thing’ off my ship!”
Warning…Gross-Out Alert

Brrrrr! You have to be kidding me.
(involuntary, loud mouth clacks, followed by a sharp leg snap and an erratic left to right jaw motion)
You can’t even imagine the stench that emanated from this little piece of Hell,
it was disgusting.
Imagine the worst dead smell you can conjure up and then spray some more rotting carcass
cologne all over it,  garnish this with a sufficiently decomposed rat and you would be about
halfway there on the gag reflexometer.
Even the flies were fighting over it. One particular type of fly that considers this fungi a
gourmet treat is the flesh fly
Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis, yes thats right, haemorrhoidalis! (now with a name like that I know this fly has no redeeming factors,
or discriminating tastes)!


“Oh what would you know ESP”!


I breathed through my mouth while I waited for all the flies to return to capture this
shot (as you do), so as not to inhale the aroma and hurl involuntarily into the
adjacent iris on my right.
When the flies returned, (and thankfully it didn’t take them too long), they were
creeping all over the camera and my hand which was about a centimeter away
from this stinky tower of evil
…..(even more jaw activity),
I looked the other way, thought about happy things,
and continued snapping the horrific scene.


I believe this is some type of Stinkhorn (quite inappropriately apt) Fungi,
(although I could not find an ID that looked exactly like this one).


Phallus impudicus! Fnarr! Fnarr!
Honestly, I am not making any of this up!

The Fungi apparently uses its unique odor
to attract flies to its spore-laden body,
thus increasing the odds of its spores being
dispersed to new habitats.
Pretty clever, in a totally revolting way.


“And thats all I have to say about that.”

Finally…


And now to cleanse all memories of that last topic.
It got warm enough the other day to have some hose fun at the ESP,
which naturally ended in a torrent of tears, it always does.


New fuzzy blooms on my Mexican Bush sage.
I will be cutting these back soon to ensure a more compact habit for the fall bloom.
Fantastic plant.


Bees in the bulbine.


Lantana blooms forming.


Spring color…


on an oven glove?

Stay Tuned For:
“Belly-Up”
All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited

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