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“Revenge of the Turds”

A rather crude title?
Well yes it is, but it really captures a situation that I hope nobody ever has to experience. The particular turds
(I don’t really want to talk about) are still reaping their decomposing revenge as I write this latest post…and believe me, it is not pleasant.

My problem started when two dogs moved into the house next door, and no, the dogs didn’t rent it. Like a lot of rental properties the property had a lot of weeds and some stunning poison ivy specimens, some about six feet tall. It was generally un-kept and within a few months the two dogs had scraped away all things green and I mean everything green on the ground in the lot. They had reduced it to dust. You could provide these animals as a landscaping service, if it wasn’t for one thing, actually, quite a lot of things, lots of stinky, dangerous things that is!

Nothing as dangerous as this one though…

A giant inflatable dog poo by American artist Paul McCarthy.

This work of art, in a series of unfortunate events blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, brought down a power line and broke a greenhouse window before it finally landed again.
The art work, titled Complex Sh!t, is unfortunately the size of a house.
The wind apparently carried it 200 metres from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne where it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home, breaking yet more windows!


Now here is an interesting fact you could have gone your whole life without knowing, did you know that dogs on average poop 23 times a week! They really do! Each dog creates about a half pound of excrement a day. With an estimated 100,000 dogs in Austin, that’s about 50,000 pounds of dog waste deposited throughout town daily!


I am a dog person, I have sympathy for these
two dogs, (well a little), a sentiment that does
not extend to the dogs “owner”.
Since when has letting your dogs defecate all over a
suburban yard and not cleaning it up ever been acceptable?


“Don’t look at me! Waaaaa” !


“Merry Christmas Clark !
Shitter’s full!”

Okay perhaps Eddie would be ok with that!

The dogs were outside, always, no-matter the weather, and they were also depositing a rather large quantity of their finest product down our property line, at a rather an alarming rate. The dogs owner never picked this up and very rarely took the dogs out, which exacerbated the already dire situation. Letters were written, letters were ignored, and the dogs continued to wake us at all hours with their panicked incessant barking, we complained on a regular basis.
I even started to light those 7 hour burning incense sticks!
After only a few months our backyard that we loved spending time in, turned into a small, unsanitary smelling zoo. When the wind blew in the right direction it was really bad, and against the law…at least I think!

Talking of unsanitary conditions…


Great soundtrack to the “Slumdog Millionaire” movie!
Here is another interesting doggy fact, oh yes there is no stopping me now:
The bacteria levels along Bull Creek are eight times higher on weekends than weekdays when park visitors increase in the off-leash area. Mmmm, I wonder why?


No! don’t do it!

This is what is written in the Austin City Code:
City Ordinance
3-4-6 DEFECATION BY A DOG OR CAT
“An owner or handler shall promptly remove and sanitarily dispose of feces left on public or private property by a dog or cat being handled by the person, other than property owned by the owner or handler of the dog or cat.”

I am a little confused as to that last bit. Does this mean it is okay if you own the property?
Potential fine: Up to $500 The owner of the dogs has since moved on to new, hopefully cleaner, more sanitary pastures and the aroma is dissipating. Here is the number to call in Austin if you are having any “pet-product” issues…

To report a violation in the case of an individual failing to pick up after their pet in an animal enclosure, contact the Health Department, 512-972-5600


Moving on finally to more greener, and more
sweeter smelling things witnessed in the
patch this past week
…(takes a deep meditative breath)


My White Stone crop is blooming all over the place right now, I really like this little plant and tuck it into as many nooks and crannies as I can. The more shade it receives the less it blooms, so say the books, but mine seem to bloom pretty well even under the shade of the old post oak tree!


My Texas gulf toads Cranopsis valliceps have been up to their usual antics in my pond of late, here are the strings of eggs that are stitching all my elodia plants together. I am keeping a vigilient eye on these this year after they choked my pond and created a few fish casualties last year.


These toads have the most extensive physical
ridging of any toad in its geographic range.
The ridges extend from the nose, to the back
of the head. With a branch that wraps around
the back side of the eye. They are commonly
found here in Austin, Houston, and parts of Louisiana.
Like most toads, the gulf coast toad is an opportunistic
carnivore. It will eat almost any small bug it is able
to overpower and swallow.


I have absolutely no idea what this wiggly is, but it looked really interesting in it’s shiny skin, it looked like it was manufactured in China. Very futuristic!


Talking of looking manufactured, this plastic looking flower was
the first to pop up in my hell-strip. I laid a blanket of wildflower
seeds in the strip, plus a bunch of hollyhock and amaranth seeds
on the off-chance that anything would germinate in such awful
soil. I will keep you informed.


My Pittosporum tobira Pittosporaceae is in full bloom right now, and is filling up the entire back of my garden with it’s sweet scent. Something that I have come to really appreciate.  Another name for this shrub is Japanese mockorange because of the aroma of these blooms. I have my variegated variety pruned up as high as I can tolerate, it offers a great “Japanese” look to the pond area. This lower limb pruning will eventually give a bonsai-like look to the shrub when the trunk thickens.


Quite apt for this post I thought, Stink bugs.

I recently had to move a whole bunch of plants to make way for a new pathway I am putting in, (more on that in my next post). I had to move a handful of ornamental grasses and decided to chop them back by two-thirds to stimulate root recovery, even though they had just regrown their foliage. I watered them in and these two stinkers boiled to the surface!


These old cedar carcasses have made great elevation structures for my gazing orbs.
I now have all three of mine up on these structures.


Here you can see all three, gold, blue and burgundy.


This is the scene every time I water this container,
and I mean every time. About two minutes after the
water has been applied and it has filtered through
the pot, you can audibly hear the drip, drip, drip of
the water exiting the pot. This apparently is the cue
to go spread eagle on the ground, usually flattening
one or more plants, to get to the “source”. This little
garden investigator usually comes up for air with a
substantial helping of Texas native mulch attached to
the side of his face or head, he eats a little then
pulls his “I should not eat mulch ever again” face.

Repeat above process every time I water this container.

New succulent growth.

A mixed bed of ivy, trying desperately to escape it’s rocky Alcatraz.

And finally…

New growth on a mexican feather grass.

Salvia color

Stay Tuned For:
“My Sweet Olive Oil”
All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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