“Silence is Golden”


Botox Lady Continued… As I leaned forward, duct tape at the ready, her botoxed lips reverberated with every exhale,  showering me with an extraordinary amount of saliva. She was still fast asleep, or so I thought, but I began to worry…would the adhesive work with such an abundance of moisture?  I soldiered on, ever closer. It seemed the whole garden fell silent, it was if every creature in the ESP was completely stationary, waiting to see what would happen next…

American Snout Butterfly

Bees in the Mist

The brown-nosers didn’t twitch a nasal hair, the carver bees put down their chisels in the fragrant mist flowers, burying their heads in the pollen filled flowers as if not daring to watch the scene unfold.


This newly hatched dinosaur could not believe what he was witnessing as his first visual scenes fresh out of his egg, an egg sac that was still at this point…


attached onto his hind leg, this poor little anole was having to drag it around with him.


“Huh? What? Oh do not even think about it!  Izzard ESP…Izzard“!


The Paper wasps high up in the adjacent amaranth decided to just turn their backs, the suspense was also too much for them it seems.


Just as I was about to strike with the tape, the Botox lady’s large, cat-like eyes opened wide!  Uh Oh!

She opened her mouth in retort, and just before she screamed out in her loud Austrian accent, I had an uncustomary moment of pure clarity…yes…it might just work… I leaned in and whispered into her sea-shell ear four words that immediately got her undivided attention…“Shhh, Its bulk collection day,” which coincidentally was the same day as the shoot!

She was so quiet during the CTG film shoot, nobody knew she was even there, not even Linda!

Not a single lip-flapping, saliva spitting, napkin mopping lip-peep!

Silence IS Golden.

Other strange happenings in the Patch this week:


“Captain, it appears we have a Euclea delphinii – Euclea , on the starboard bow”


Spiny Oak-Slug Moth

This is a stinging caterpillar, it looks like it would be!  This caterpillar looks like it would be as happy on a coral reef as it would be on a variety of trees. Amazing patterns and shapes, I found this “kling-on” resting on top of my recycling bin, situated under a large Post Oak tree.


“Sounds like my kind of caterpillar eh Eddie.”

The larvae in this group are unique in that they are leg-less. Many have stinging spines. These have to be among some the most beautiful caterpillars out there!  They also come in a rainbow of different colors and designs, this one just happens to be lime green and orange.

3275418817_3d68c12dee_oImage taken from rustyblackbird’s photostreamunder the creative commons attribution-non-commercial-no derivative 2.0 licence

Here is the small moth the larvae grows into. I have still yet to see one in person.


“”Who loves ya, baby? You know this next one is my favorite ESP”…

Cigar PlantCigar Plant,

Cuphea ignea

The species name ignea is Latin for fire.

Cigar Plant

The cigar plant is native to Mexico and the islands of the West Indies. It is a relatively fast grower and requires little attention. It is also a party place for all manner of butterflies and hummingbirds, they love these tubular flowers. I like the foliage, (imagine that), they are very tropical, with an abundance of leaves that grow all the way down the plants stem, for an added layering effect.

Barbados Cherry

Here is my Barbados cherry, also providing some color right now with all it’s red berries…although they never last very long on the plant, at least, not in the Patch…

Picking Barbados Cherries


The shiny red ones are harvested it seems as fast as their color changes. The Artemisia, Powis Castle, hill in the background has really filled in with the recent rains.


I caught this minute translucent spider throwing up his huge arms in aggressive indignation on the approach of the camera lens, on one of my Jewels of Opar? (Oh yes, I will find a way of getting this plant into yet another post).

Look at that peeping eye! Now this has to be the smallest stink-eye caught on camera, ever!  Oh you can beat it?  Oh and is that really an eye?



Here he is scurrying away at high speed from the camera.  He actually shot a Spider-Man line of silk to expedite his escape to an adjacent branch.

DSC00643My fragrant mistflowers have finally started to decline after an illustrious display of grandeur this year, I guess conditions have been just about perfect for this plant.

I still think the plant is aromatically challenged though Pam :-)

Mexican Lime TreeThis Mexican Lime tree has also been a solid producer this year, we have had limes from this tree all summer long, and there are still plenty ripening as you can see.  This tree has really grown a lot this year, it is actually starting to finally look like a mature citrus tree…almost!



Purple in the Patch. Anyone know what the dark purple plant with the broad leaves is in the foreground?

Moving around to the front of the ESP…

Sago Palm

Sago and Opuntia climbing to new heights, oh yes I will have my Opuntia tree, won’t I Germi?  I recently planted these three Agave americana pups around this scene to add a splash of spiky drama. The soil in this part of the patch is particularly nasty, I thought these guys should be able to handle the adverse conditions, and wanted to get them started.  The color and form of the agaves should work well with the darkness of the sago in the background. This hell-strip will eventually be dug down a little and the soil replaced with decomposed granite, one bit of the hell-strip at a time, that is what I say!

Satan, Legend

“I find myself completely disagreeing with that final statement ESP. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to finish the hell-strip first, then progress to the rest of the garden, and I do like to think of myself as having a bit of a red thumb”.

Stay Tuned for:

“The Sacrifice”

All material © 2009 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by  late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

  • Pam/Digging November 9, 2009, 8:46 pm

    Ah, I can smell the spicy fragrance of that white boneset (mistflower) from here, ESP. What a shame that I missed the season of all seasons for this plant, having left mine behind in the old garden. Not to worry next year, however, as I picked up a white mistflower on the blogger outing last weekend.

    • ESP November 9, 2009, 9:21 pm

      Haha Pam!
      Ah, I just bet you can….!
      I took a peek at one of you older posts and saw your mistflowers, behind the bench…Wow! This is only the second year for mine, they seem to grow in pretty fast, so you will up-and-running again with their stinky blooms in no time at all. I am after the Gregg’s variation for this fall. Now I have to look up the white! Oh yes, I will have the full set.
      Interestingly, it seems to smell stronger as it declines, or is this my nasal imagination? Lucky me huh?

      Sorry I missed the outing last weekend Pam, I called all the guys (and alerted the Naboo) to tell them to be extra vigilant after reading your post. I thought we all might be getting “friendly visits” from all the Austin garden blogging girls… picked off, one male blogger at a time. There is a movie in there I just know it!
      Oh yes, and this male blogger will definitely be there at the next outing, trust me, I do not want to adorn concrete boots at the bottom of MY stock tank!

      Dodging a bullet.

  • Jenny November 9, 2009, 8:53 pm

    “stuff” really happens in your garden ESP. I think you must go round with a magnifying glass or is it the hobbits who spot all the goings on? When’s the TV show.

    • ESP November 9, 2009, 9:31 pm

      Hi Jenny.
      You called it, my youngest shouted “Lissard, lissard, (he has trouble with zz’s)”! The baby anole was inside his little turned-over little watering can, hobbling around with his egg-leg. Then my eldest alerted me to the tiny translucent spider which I would never had seen in a month of Sundays! That spider was TINY!
      The 7th of Jan was thrown out there, not confirmed though.
      What do you mean “stuff”? :-)
      Cheers RR.

  • Bob Pool November 10, 2009, 12:05 am

    When your site came up and I saw the duct tape and the poochy face I started laughing and couldn’t quit. My wife called out from the bedroom in a sleepy voice” what are you laughing at?” It’s ESP I said. I heard her sigh and she went back to sleep. The whole story has been so funny and good. I don’t think many of the others got it though. You are equally as gifted a story teller as you are a gardener. It was fun.

    On another note, the patch is still looking good. The weather, perfect for fall. My pear tree bloomed and put on fruit. I think the plants think it’s spring instead of fall.

    My friend Rachel wanted me to tell you that she is from the town of Errol, Scotland. It’s so small it doesn’t have a church. I guess that’s small over there.

    Thanks for the great entertainment Philip. Your blog is my favorite.

    • ESP November 10, 2009, 12:30 am

      Hi Bob.
      My posts do have a tendency to aggravate marital affairs… I know they have affected my marital bliss… “What, are you still up?” “Who are you writing to?” “Are you writing about the Naboo again?” “You are exhausted come to bed”…Me: “I will shortly, I have to reply to a comment about the Botox Lady” “I will be right there”!

      Mmm, Errol? I will have to look that up, and I thought I was from rural Scotland?… Yes, no church, that would be really small.

      Glad the patch delivers the goods.
      And thank you Bob, your comments are always belly-laughingly entertaining.

  • TexasDeb November 10, 2009, 9:47 am

    Ohhhh, so Botox Lady CAN be intimidated after all. Her looks would suggest otherwise. And…ahhhh..so it is the Naboo tribe who are your photo scouts. That explains a great deal.

    That cigar plant, how tall does it get? I am enamored of my bat-face cupheas who were happy enough with our last mild winter to have sailed through the heat this summer. If we dodge a cruel winter bullet this year, I’ll be looking for other cupheas to share their spotlight if they don’t get too tall.

    It could be all posting aggravates some significant other. I can’t count how many times we have held this conversation. Him: Who are you writing to?. Me: Nobody. Him: What are you doing then. Me: Commenting. Him:What? Me: I am writing a comment on a post on somebody else’s blog. Him:Are you nearly finished with that? (this comment surfacing most typically when it is close to meal time, especially if there are no food smells emanating from or food production activities evident in the kitchen).

    Perhaps there needs to be a Bloggers Anon support group for “people who love people who blog”?

    • ESP November 10, 2009, 11:21 am

      Hi TD.
      Apparently so! The threat of being put out with the bulk collection did the trick. Though she is back to her usual form now, I can hear her right now from inside the house, shouting around saying how photogenic she was on camera, the usual loud nonsense.

      The cigar plant is about 3- 3 1/2 feet tall, and about the same in diameter. Great plant, I highly recommend it, mine gets full-sun with a bit of dappled shade late afternoon. My bat-face has really struggled this year for some reason, just a few gangly stalks, that is about it, I am not sure what happened to it.

      Very funny on the “significant others irritation front”, we have this same evening conversation, me on the blogging networks and my wife riding the face-book waves, it depends which one of us gets hungry first!

  • Amy Emerick November 10, 2009, 8:32 pm

    You have a lot of great plants in your garden and it looks like you don’t have any grass to mow….that’s the way to go. Very entertaining blog. I love the closeups of things I don’t normally see…very interesting.

  • ESP November 10, 2009, 8:57 pm

    Hi Amy.
    Thanks, and you are correct…no more grass! It has taken quite a few years to finally eradicate all the Bermuda grass that used to blanket the Patch, wow is it stubborn! Only the Hell-Strip to go, the hardest part, it seems nasty seeds just cannot wait to blow in and infest this strip.
    Glad you enjoy the Patch, sorry I did not get to meet you on the recent trip…next time.
    Thanks for visiting.

  • Les November 11, 2009, 5:51 am

    Great post! The cupheas are getting a much greater presence in local gardens. They are mostly treated as annuals, but if we have a mild winter, they are mulched well and drainage is good some are perennial. Loved your opening quote on duct tape, I may have to repeat it to my son.

    • ESP November 11, 2009, 10:51 am

      Hi Les and thanks.
      I wish I could say I came up with the quote…I think it was on some t-shirts. It totally fitted the bill!
      I hear you…my youngest wakes us up at six…not a good thing for a night owl!

      This cuphea usually dies back to the ground, I checked it this morning and found out what I thought was one plant is now actually two. Hurrahh!


  • Cheryl Goveia November 11, 2009, 1:09 pm

    Absolutely love the photos of the spider and anole! By the way…YOU’VE BEEN HAMMERED…
    it’s an award…see my blog for details! I just love your postings!

    • ESP November 11, 2009, 5:44 pm

      Hi Cheryl
      Glad you like the photos and postings.
      Thanks very much for the award, I had a laugh at your funny comments about the ESP, in fact all of the funny anecdotes about the other blogs you have featured and awarded. So Bob has an interesting, what was your term, “wicked” mustache, does he? Mmm lots of the Naboo adorn interesting facial hair? Mmmm!
      I am notoriously bad at completing and forwarding these awards forward, but I really do appreciate that the ESP was on your list…really.
      Thanks Cheryl.

  • The Garden Ms. S November 11, 2009, 1:24 pm

    Oh yes, that translucent spider is definitely giving you the stink eye :-)

    Great photos of him (or her!)

    • ESP November 11, 2009, 5:17 pm

      Hi Ms.S
      Oh yes he was not too happy with the camera lens chasing him around, to say the least!
      If looks could kill.

  • Germi November 11, 2009, 11:16 pm

    You are VERY quick witted, to have silenced the Botox Lady in the nick of time, ESP. I had my doubts! I imagined her ‘Say It Don’t Spray It’ speech impediment would cause a continuous mist on the lens of the video camera, and you would have been apologetically wiping it off all afternoon! Kudos!
    Everything looks SO INCREDIBLE in The Patch, how very timely! I love it when things work that way – sometime gardens can be very stubborn.
    As for that BEAUTIFUL purple leaved shrub – does it bloom? Can’t truly tell without the flowers, but it kind of looks either like a variety of Weigela or Acalypha wilkinsiana? Maybe? When you find out, tell me – cuz I WANT ONE! I am going to resurrect my Gothic Garden, it that plant could really hold court there!
    I am with others, standing in jaw-dropping amazement at the ability you have for noticing the tiny amazing things that happen in The Patch. I am a little relieved to know that your Hobbits play a big role as Scouts, otherwise I would think that you are … I don’t know. Magic? Nearsighted? Observant to an otherworldly degree? That clear spider is very charming, and I hope he returns and becomes a semi-regular addition to the cast of characters. Egg-Leg – well, his name tells me he is already in the Pantheon!
    My husband also used to fret and moan about all the late nights I spend at my computer, and was always wondering “what comment I was answering now”, or “what blog I was I visiting at 2am” – so I told him I was actually having a raging online affair, and this ‘Garden Blogging’ thing was just a cover for it.
    That showed him! Don’t question a spouse with a blog habit!

    • ESP November 12, 2009, 8:51 am

      Hi Germi.
      It was shocking when her eyes flew open I must admit. In fact, so shocking, I am sure I let out a small audible “whoahhh” before finally regaining my composure. I too was afraid of her yelling and her creating excessive camera misting…but I was saved by the bulk, I now know her darkest fear! Poor Botox Lady (she flubbered to me the other day that she wanted to be referred to as the “Firstph” lady from now on, although I may have completely misunderstood what she said.

      The purple shrub does not bloom at all. I got it a couple of years ago and it has done well in its relatively small container for Texas. It gets leggy, I whack it back to about a foot, it fills right back in with this amazing foliage and color. It wilts badly in the summer when it needs water, but give it a drop and half an hour later it is up laughing again. It would be perfect in a Gothic Garden, it just looks like a cemetery plant. I will check on your suggestions as to what it is and get back to you.

      I am most certainly lucky to have the hobbits as scouts, being closer to the ground they do have a tendency to observe things ordinary people simply don’t. The main problem though is that they usually stomp on it with their unusually large feet before I have a chance to photograph it. The Naboo also alert me (via a series of intricate clacks and clicks and extremely quick hand gestures) should they find something of interest in the Patch. “Egg-Leg”, I like that! This anole was so tiny, but so perfectly formed, I bet that egg was so annoying, a ball and chain. I keep laughing at the translucent stink-eye spider image, for some reason it hits a chord… ridiculous image!

      Very funny, oh yes, don’t mess with anyone with a blog habit, mess with them and…head snaps around…poltergeist face…obscenities, obscenities….back to normal, sip of wine!

      You were in SA again and you did not make it to Austin? Shame on you G! Ah well, one of these times you will have to drop into the Patch if you get chance – (with the right documentation in place naturally).
      Interesting on the Opuntia hacking, mmm, be even more ruthless? That is going to be hard for me to do mentally, after my annihilation of the Cactus Man, and all his cousins. I wonder if now is the best time to do the chopping then?
      I WILL have that tree!

      Great to hear from you.

  • Germi November 11, 2009, 11:47 pm

    Me, being Blog Hog again!
    I was in San Antonio this past week, and drove by the Opuntia Tree on Honeysuckle Lane. I now see how it became a tree – the gardener is RUTHLESS! He had just limbed the poor cactus up to within an inch of its spiny life! But the proof is in the pudding … that has always been the most impressive specimen, and I am sure that when I visit my Grandmother again in a few months, that Opuntia will be as stately as ever.
    But yours is hot on its heels, ESP!

  • Linda Lehmusvirta November 12, 2009, 5:16 pm

    The Botox lady spoke to me from afar. Thanks for letting us come back! We needed to sneak up on her. . .

  • ESP November 12, 2009, 7:21 pm

    She has no problem doing that Linda!
    We can hear her at night from our bedrooms, the neighbors are constantly complaining about her ranting and late night raving, though she has been much better as of late.

    You are most welcome in the Patch anytime Linda. “The Lady” made sure she told me how good she was when she saw the lens poke out from behind the amaranth, I still think the bulk pick-up threat is still fresh in her rather solid head.

    Thanks Linda.


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