I woke up this morning in a terribly English fashion, I ate a full English breakfast, (including those sweet Heinz baked beans that most Americans apparently find disgusting)! washed down with a few pints of hot tea, naturally. After a minor heart tremor, it was up to the mirror to tie an iced turban in preparation for what was to be a long hot day, digging outside in the Texas summer heat. I do not want to toot my own turban at this point, but I will, it was a beauty…my best noggin cooling “wrap” to date. You would not believe how many ice-cold gel-packs there are in there, embedded under… my…my… masterpiece!
I must say, I do get a few rather odd looks, bouncing around in my trusty old Dodge Ram that now, devoid of any paint, has taken on a rather “Mad Max” apocalyptic appearance. Based on the wide-eyed reactions I see in other peoples rear-view mirrors, the whole turban-wearing package must be quite intimidating…I must look completely deranged.
I would usually wait to tie the turban, until I got to my destination, but at this time of year, with no AC in my truck, I might as well adorn it before I leave my house, tying it in the relative luxury of a large full-length mirror rather then awkwardly stooping down in one of the side mirrors on my truck, as I usually do.
I have found that people look away sharply if I catch their eye at a stop light, poorly wrapped turbans can be easily mistaken as bandages, giving me a disturbing “frontal lobotomy victim” / Professor Quirrell, “should he be driving?” aesthetic. This iced turban will last me about three and a half hours in full sun, four in partial shade.
This is the reason for my turban today. A further 3 yards (in addition to the previous 15 yards) of decomposed granite was required to finish my design scheme.
This was the front yard that the ESP ground force team was commissioned to reevaluate, design and implement. There was a lack of cohesion and a multitude of linear mediums at play and no clear direction for foot traffic to approach the front door. Most of the lawn was weedy and dying and there were small island planting beds dotted here and there that needed expansion and definition.
This is the rendering of the proposed design scheme, including a paint proposal for the front of house to punch out some curb appeal.
Here is the consolidated hardscaping that offers a more naturalistic flow through the front garden and up to the front door. The Spanish oak will fill in this area when mature.
All the mulched beds and the two small “hills” are prepped and ready for planting in the fall, though I could not help myself, I had to plant two pride of Barbados plants in the front bed, I thought if anything can make it in the heat they can…a bit risky I know. No ESP landscape could be complete without at least one stock tank, you can just see it peeking in far right.
In a neighborhood predominantly dominated by grass lawns, this front garden makes quite a xeric statement. Even at this pre-planted stage I had so many interested comments from passers-by and neighbors as the granite was laid. No more mowing or sprinkling required here!
I know, I know, I really have to stop wittering on about the Pride of Barbados but the foliage…the layering…the ember blooms, the silvery hue…the insects that it attracts…the…have I lost you yet? Zzzzz
While I was admiring these Chinese lion-esque blooms a slight movement caught my attention off to my left, near the poke weed plant that had mysteriously germinated in the Patch…
I ducked down under the plant and was astonished to find myself face-to-face with this small creature who proceeded to inform me he was conducting a doctorate research program on the historical dyeing properties of this plant’s fruit. Obviously totally engrossed in his research and not wanting to disturb him any further, I decided to leave him to his studies…it is amazing who you get to meet in the underbelly of a garden.
“Don’t even start FB!”
Even though we have had quite a lot of rain in Central Texas this year, the consistent 100+ degree temperatures quickly starts to stress out trees and plants that are not covered by soaker hoses, my preferred method of moisture delivery. The sprinkler does create some photo opportunities though, courtesy of my favorite two spiky plants… sotol and a soft leafed yucca.
…the wet-stuff also affords a bit of fun:
Within two minutes of the sprinkler being switched on, I found him face down against the substantial pressure of the jets. At one point he looked like a NASA astronaut in training…
were quite impressive. I wouldn’t want to eat it.
Stay Tuned for:
“Haircuts and Sphingids”
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