“The Eve”

It has been a crazy week in the Patch this week, lots of pruning, lots of pea gravel laying and a few more floggings from my pampas grasses, naturally.

The Botox lady has got herself all dolled up for the Garden Conservancy Austin Tour tomorrow.  She has had her hair fixed, and has even started to wear this ladybug as a beauty spot!

“Ya!  Yoo-Hoo ESP…over zere, over zere…you like mine hair ya?  Notice something else?  Oh and look at ze asters, look at ze asters, have you seen ze asters ESP”?

Oh yes, the build up to the tour has made her even more obnoxious then usual, if that is even possible, I hope she tones it down on the big day!

Oh you complete and utter asters!

You just had to do it didn’t you!  I am hoping these blooms hang in there until Saturday. The hardest part of the week has been the weeding and clearing out of leaves in ridiculously inaccessible areas, requiring insanely strange contorted poses to even reach them. Doing thousands of these oddly positioned squats over the last few days has made my legs feel like they are dropping off…

…as this grasshopper can surely appreciate. This find gave me the opportunity to closely check out the spines on the legs…oh yes a kick from this chap would most certainly draw blood…(draws finger across teeth)

This anole could not even look at the dismembered bodily carnage, perhaps he even perpetrated the dismemberment and was hiding under this leaf while he consumed the more delectable parts.

Check out that huge Jurassic right foot, complete with talons!

Like a grazing antelope this huge Obscure Bird Grasshopper” was most certainly alive, gnawing his way through one of my satsuma leaves, it ate half of a leaf as I took these images.

Where is…

when you need him?

Amazing eyes on these creatures.  While I was clambering around under this satsuma thinking about how sharp the spines on the dismembered leg were and how my fingers were now almost touching the real thing, I rounded a small limb to get a better angle and came face to face with this disgusting fellow…

and it was one of the biggest giant swallow tail larvae I recall ever seeing. It blocked out the sun. There was snow on its peaks.

Papilio cresphontes

Fruit farmers often call these caterpillars orange dogs or orange puppies because of the devastation they can cause on their crops.

Judging from the size, this one must be really close to changinginto a chrysalis. Oh yes, who would want to eat this?

Moving On:

This back area of the Patch has always been a sort of no-man’s land, so I decided to move this old and cracked container from behind a stand of giant timber bamboo where it was mostly obscured and give it a new purpose in life.

I elevated it on a couple of breeze blocks to give it a little more presence before…

filling the area in with granite. Well what did you expect?

I have been up-pruning this pittosporum/ mock orange on the right for quite a few years, the small agave vilmoriniana (yes I am STILL planting those pups) planted all around the pot will get quite large and fill in this scene over the coming years.  The blues of the container and the Mexican beach pebbles goes well with the adjacent silvery-blue hues of the foliage, the inside of the container referencing the brown color of the granite and background trellis.

The browns on my Mexican weeping bamboo have also began to stand out recently.  Note: Never place a rotating hose next to a weeping bamboo, the annoyance factor as strands of bamboo get caught up in it as it rotates are completely off the scale.

As have the now crispy brown seedpods from my pride of Barbados plants, very Halloween looking.  I planted a lot of seeds from these plants this year, mostly in the hell-strip.  Staying with seeds and Halloween:

The seedpods on my celosia are swirling to now comical lengths. Walk down my sidewalk in the dead of night and you may just feel the touch of these slender seedpod fingers trailing over your shoulders.  Brrr.

What a firework display.

Another firework, a tiny sparkler sedge courtesy of Pam at Digging http://www.penick.net/digging/

Moving on to some greens…

A hoja santa leaf catching some fall rays…

…and somebody is really looking forward to selling some fresh limonada at the tour tomorrow.

Me? Lets just say weeding and collecting leaves will not be high on my priority list for the next few months!

I hope to see you in the Patch tomorrow, and a big thanks in advance to my illustrious band of volunteers who will be helping me throughout the day. I did decide to do a quick “Plan of the Patch” in preparation for the tour, this should help me remember those plants that I can never seem to remember:

Stay Tuned  for:

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

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

Now to some very serious business…Grab your sowesters, make a fresh cup of Horlicks, and try to enjoy another uplifting and jolly episode from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner…Part three

  • Diana October 15, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Oh my! How did you ever have time to photograph all those critters when you were pruning and piling and plotting? I am coveting your plan – it’s beautiful! And the garden’s not bad, either! Come hell or high water, I’m planning on feeling better and going on the tour, so I’ll see you tomorrow unless I croak!

  • jenny October 15, 2010, 6:17 pm

    You have time to post!!! Your plan is about as gorgeous as your garden. It’s a work of art. See you at 10am Hope you will still have your sanity. PS Gardeners’ Supply arrives here at 8!

  • ESP October 15, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Hi Diana.

    Sorry you have not been feeling up to par of late, hope you feel better…perhaps some of that lemonada will sort you out and top up those vitamin C levels if you make it over tomorrow.

    I always have my camera in my pocket, and working outside as much as I did last week, I amounted quite a few images! That grasshopper was a whopper.

    Glad you liked the ‘Plan o’ the Patch’ I still have a bunch of plants to add to it! It is quite amazing how many plants you amass over the years. Almost all of the plants currently living in the Patch made it through last winter’s freezes with no covering, so this is the hardy bunch.

    Get better for tomorrow.


  • ESP October 15, 2010, 6:39 pm

    You better not be late or the Naboo will be throwing a stray dart or two in your direction! Well if they don’t Linda surely will (she is working the table before you).
    Glad you like the plan – makes for a great snapshot in time.
    Good luck with your shoot, sounds like you will be as busy as me tomorrow!
    Naboo…Darts…Immediate collapse of major internal organs.

  • Germi October 15, 2010, 7:00 pm

    AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!! If only I could BE THERE!!!!
    The Patch looks EXQUISITE – you are going to blow everyone completely over the freeway into downtown Austin. I know it. The Patch is THAT kind of a garden! AND… you ned to turn that plan into t-shirts and sell them via the blog – I want one BADLY – v-neck with 3/4 length sleeves, black. In medium. What a gorgeous plan! You can take over the world with something like that!
    I haven’t visited in SO long – it was lovely to see the Botox Lady’s new ‘do – she looks FANTASTIC. I think the modern spiky look is much better than the flowing renaissance locks – it suits her personality. And the ladybug beauty mark – fetching. I’d do the exact same thing if I were her.
    I can’t wait to hear what tomorrow will be like! I’m sure you’ve signed allof the proper treaties with the Naboo – I wonder if there will be any lurking around to be caught on camera. You remember the fuss last time. I’ll bet the Naboo elders will be locking up any young tribe members with fame on the mind. All the kids want a reality tv show these days!
    Best of luck, ESP – as IF you need it!
    Biggest love to the wee Hobbit Girl, who I’ll bet is going to make some CASH tomorrow!
    Witchy G.

  • ESP October 15, 2010, 7:41 pm

    Wish you were here too G!
    I think it will be quite a day!

    Such a fun idea to do a “t-shirt plan”…this really appeals to my internal nerd (a powerful entity) :-) I will get a t-shirt out to you as soon as I get a batch of the Patch printed up!

    I gather you are just coming up for air after completing your book, I know you have been really busy…when will it be on the shelf, and where? Great to have you back in the Patch and I will pass on your approving message to the B. Lady after the event. I too believe “the do” is more fitting with her character, though naturally, I would never tell her this. The ladybug she received as a gift from Bob at Draco Gardens, he speaks fluent Naboo!!! He is also one of my volunteers tomorrow, so I will be relying on his proficient linguistic and syntactic clacking skills should something “come up” tomorrow, especially with the younger Naboo tribal members with fame on their minds.

    Thanks G and yes, we will see how long her attention span lasts on the lemonada stand, I am hoping it will be for a while, she already has a toy in mind to buy with her proceeds.

    I will attempt to take some pictures during the day.


  • Annie in Austin October 15, 2010, 8:42 pm

    You did that on purpose, ESP! You know there’s not a single Austin gardenblogger who isn’t sitting there, fingers twitching and mind in awe seeing that plan… although if you squint a little, it looks more like a treasure map than a garden plan.

    DH & I look forward to seeing your wonderful creation tomorrow.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • ESP October 15, 2010, 9:12 pm

    Hi Annie.
    So happy you will be able to make it over tomorrow and yes, you are right it does look like a treasure map!
    But where is the “x” marking the spot? On the B. Lady?
    Look forward to seeing you both.

  • Gail October 16, 2010, 6:47 am

    Yes, it does look like a treasure map! And what a wonderful day it’s turning out to be today. Beautiful sunrise!! Have a grand tour!!

    Thanks so much for all of your help on the big day…what a big day it was. Had fun. P.

  • Bob Pool October 16, 2010, 9:07 pm

    Oh, I like the T shirt idea. Lyn said she would love to buy one as well, medium. Seeing the map in person was a treat. You did an absolutely amazing job on it.

    I had a good time helping out at the patch today. I met so many fine people including your own family and Leah’s folks. Leah’s Mom was a hoot and such a nice lady. Thanks for letting me help.

    Okay, I will get some made up!
    Glad you had a good time Bob, It was fun day. I am only now coming up for air.
    Thanks for your help at the desk and happy you got to meet Leah’s Mom.
    The Lyn / skunk story was hilarious.

  • Cheryl October 17, 2010, 7:34 am

    ooooh! I want a T-shirt too! Medium. Just tell me the price. Your yard photos are SO inspiring. I wish it would get light so I could get out into my own yard this morning! Silly lazy sun. (What I REALLY wish is that I could have been there in person for the tour!!) Hope the Wee Hobbit made lots o’money and that you are now getting some well deserved rest, though I’ll just bet you are back out there today, tweaking the plans.

  • ESP October 17, 2010, 8:41 am

    Hi Cheryl.
    You got it.
    Looks like you are getting an early start this morning! You probably had nightmares after seeing your friends ghoulfriend…Brrr!
    The hobbit did very well selling her lemonada, she is going out later to buy a “zuzu pet” with her proceeds, and is very excited.
    Yes, I am moving rather slow today and yes there is no more weeding on the horizon for me any time soon :-)
    Thanks Cheryl,

  • kathy October 17, 2010, 8:13 pm

    Hi EastSidePatch, I haven’t visited you for awhile. Gosh, I’ve missed a lot! You are so inventive and creative with your words, photos and garden. It is amazing! It looks like you are having a tour. Have a wonderful day. I’ll be back. earthmother

  • ESP October 17, 2010, 8:25 pm

    Hi Kathy.
    Wow it has been a while, I rarely drop into live journal anymore, there is an irritating ad it makes me watch before I can interact with it! Urrgh! So happy you dropped on by the Patch to say hi, and your other kind words. Yes the Patch was on the Garden Conservancy tour this year, so I have been quite busy of late in preparation.
    Please do drop in again.
    Great to hear from you.
    Your old friend,
    PS: I moved this comment as it was tied to a particular image, in case you were wondering!

  • mss @ Zanthan Gardens October 19, 2010, 8:53 am

    Wonderful to get to see the Patch at last! I’m sorry that we didn’t have more time to chat but you were deluged with fans at the time. In addition to all the physical marvels, we were both drawn to the plan for the garden. Thanks for showing it above. It is one of the most beautifully-drawn plans I’ve ever seen–and it was extremely helpful for answering all my “what’s that plant?” questions.

    I was also very excited to learn that you’re a Becker Bobcat family. My already high regard for you went way up hearing that.

  • ESP October 19, 2010, 10:38 am

    Hi M.
    Glad you could make it over. Yes the day was a bit of a blur, I do not think I have ever talked as much in my life…so much so I was losing my voice toward the end of the day!
    Glad you liked the plan, not common for me to work in plan view, creating it really helped me memorize a few plants I always struggle to remember :-) Happy you found it useful on the day.
    Yes we are a Bobcat family, my daughter is taking delight in trying to teach me how to count up to twenty in Spanish.

  • Houston Garden Girl October 19, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Hey ESP, I found you via Digging. Great garden you have there. I considered making the trip to Austin for the garden tour, guess I should have bit the bullet and made the drive, looks like it was awesome. I’ve been trying to find a good software program to use to document my own garden design with, what do you use?

  • ESP October 19, 2010, 6:11 pm

    Hi Houston GG.
    Thanks on the Garden front.
    I only got to see one other garden on the tour, only a few minutes away from the Patch…a very interesting place that specializes in all manner of bamboos…(The Utility Research Garden).

    I use a combination of programs to design and document gardens, mostly Photoshop and Illustrator for the bulk of the work and Alias Wavefront for any 3D aspects that need worked out or visualized on a 1:1 scale.
    The plan of my garden above was constructed purely in Photoshop and involves a rather crazy amount of layers, in varying levels of opacity.
    Hope this helps.

  • Cheryl October 22, 2010, 3:23 pm

    I’ve been meaning to ask… what did you do with the camper shell from your pick-up?

  • ESP October 22, 2010, 7:09 pm

    Hi Cheryl…I sold it on Craigslist, it went quite fast. I am really enjoying the fact I can now, once again, get scoops of things dropped into the back of my steed. It is the little things you know :-)


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