“Belly-Up.”


A wild flower going supernova.

                                        
“Captain there is a level two shock wave
approaching, suggest evasive maneuvers”.

  
 “Geordie I think your visor needs re-calibrated.
 It is clearly a wild flower in the ESP”.

These colorful wild flowers flowers are popping up in
my hell strip, (along with a lot of weeds after the recent rains).
My philosophy here was to have one last, all out, bloom
season before I go in and remove the top layer of “dust”,
and xeriscape the entire area. 
I spread out wild flower seeds some time ago, as well as
hollyhock seeds and amaranth to battle it out. We will
see who wins (who cuisine reigns supreme) in this nutrient
deficient piece of scrub-land…to be continued.

 
Nemo, stay away from the drop-off!
These fingers look like sea-anemone tenticles.
This is my Madame Ganna Walska. 
(Nymphaea madame ganna walska)
She is my first tropical lilly to bloom this week.  Madame Ganna is never short of blooms,
in fact she is one of the most prolific of the viviparous water lilies. Viviparous means it is
capable of germinating while still attached to the parent plant (or) producing plantlets.  
The “madame” is an exotic violet-pink colored day blooming tropical water lily…phew!
It is easy to grow and adapts fairly well to shade. Her blooms rise far above the water’s
surface to offer a grand effect.
Did I mention the camo leaves, and the smell?

laying eggs
(I took this picture last year)
That is a Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius) laying her eggs, and it was a monster!
I have already executed my first “thinning-out” of the pond this year. These lilies can really cover and take over a large area in no time at all. I really don’t mind this as all the pulled up vegetation makes for great, wet, nutrient rich composting material, perfect for mixing with dry grass materials. 

 
Kidding!…It is………………………………Pretty, pretty, good!

 
This variety of succulents also looks like it would be equally as happy
under water as it does being a container planting I did last year.
All these plants survived the cold months, helped by our mild winter.


The small rounded leaves in the foreground are what I have “transplanted” (ahem) into
my “Botox Lady’s” bald scalp…thats right, she will one day adorn scaly, mermaid-esk hair.
Anyone know the name of this plant? I am having the hardest time
identifying it!

Oh, I almost forgot…

She dragged her muckle stone head to the mall
this morning and purchased these sea-shell
earrings in anticipation of her future mermaid hair.


He is a symbol of happiness,
wealth and an innocent contented joy.
Buddha’s belly is said to signify
bountiful wealth and prosperity.
By stroking it, it is believed to bring much luck.

 
I rushed out, clambered under the dense undergrowth and started to pat my own
Bambusa ventricosa Buddhas Belly
(and I am referring to the bamboo, not some lewd behavior on my part).

Probably the toughest of the tropical clumping bamboos.
Buddhas Belly also loves to be stressed out,
in fact the more stress it is under, the more 
curves and bulges it develops.

 
“You better not be making fun of my neck boil ESP.”
How To Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)

I must be putting this plant under a considerable amount of
stress as It has developed some pretty good “bellies”
over the years. If it is going to be planted in the ground like
this one, a shady dry spot or a sunny well drained location
with very little water usually result in the most distended beer bellies.
My Buddha is about three years old, and has stayed around
the 15ft tall mark for some reason, although it can get to a
towering 40ft, so watch out for those overhead cables.
Some people also remove any straight canes as they develop.

 
Is that a lion hiding behind there?
Buddhas Belly forms a really dense thicket. This one has created a “secret tunnel” around
the back side of it that was getting a lot of attention so I placed a bale of hay at the end of
the tunnel under a fir tree, to act as a seat and hidey-hole of sorts.


I remembered my own childhood den.
It was a fortified hut made from tree stumps, 
which propped up its old corrugated iron roof.  
I used to hunker down in the bunker with my
home made wooden “Bren-Gun”. 
It was my tank.


You get the idea!
My father would stop his wheelbarrow
and hurl large sods of earth/grass at the
structure. I still remember the delay
of him throwing the “organic hand-grenade”
then the loud sound of the impact on
the metal roof and the subsequent gritty
taste of earth between my teeth after
the explosion, as all the loose earth came
flooding into the structure…It was the best,
and I never ever tired of it!

I now get a few roars from my own “resident bears”, occasionally lions, hiding behind the hay bale. I am quickly instructed to “run away daddy” which I do in the most ridiculous manner I can possibly muster, hoping all the time that nobody is witnessing my “silly walk” fake getaway, and posting it on U-Tube!

   
“There he goes again, look at him!”
“Oh and get your foot off me George, you know I can’t even look
at you until your tail grows back yet again”.

   
I have three Agave americana planted in front of the Buddhas belly bamboo which
are all doing some crazy spiky embracing thing right now…medic!
I try to put corks on (or snip) all the end points, as these spikes visually disappear
front-on, not a good thing to get an eyeball impaled as you are weeding around them.
 

“Yes, yes, I like this agave plant”.
Earliest known portrait of Vlad the Impaler from c. 1560
(incidentally, Vlad was also a great proponent of usin
g
chrysanthemums as tunic buttons).

Also the sap from cutting the agave leaves can be an
irritant to some people. I always take out all the lower leaves
for a higher, cleaner look,  (I do this with sotols also).
If an arm is resting on the ground I typically chop it off
with my machete.
No, you do not want to go camping with me.

A couple more refreshing agave shots…
 
Taken after a recent shower.

 
My agave pup nursery continues to grow at an alarming rate.


I ran around from one resting point to the next to get a decent shot of this blue damselfly,
it just wouldn’t stay in one place long enough for me to get a shot in. Look at that cartoon eye!

 
Staying with what I believe, and hope is an insect theme? I have, of late, been 
observing these teeny, tiny “things” tethered to everything and anything, from a
lily-pad to floating debris. They look like minute fishing lures and are popping up
in all of my water features, from my ponds, to my red-neck rain
water collection “system”… http://east-side-patch.livejournal.com/18452.html

They are also not the aquatic “rat-tailed maggots” that I have come across
in the past (feels a slight twinge in right knee)
http://east-side-patch.livejournal.com/15692.html


I have no idea what
these hang men are?
Anyone?

Another disturbing observation this week focuses on my
Mediterranean Fan Palm Chamaerops humilis,
situated in my front garden.

 
“Ah hahahahah, cursed the fan palm you did ESP ah hahahha!.”
“Oh stop being ridiculous Helena”

Did I say a few posts back that this was one of the “hardiest” palms available? Oh dear.

 
The palm is dying from the center which makes me think that ants
may have found a way into the inner chambers of the trunk?  
I grabbed one of the withered browning center frongs today
and pulled on it, it came straight out of the plant! I am afraid
it is now going to slowly decline. It is a real shame because
I have had this plant for three years and it has always looked
so happy and healthy. Any ideas anyone? Dig it up and
take a look and transplant? Set candles up around it
and perform a night vigil?
I am open to suggestions.

 
Confederate or Star Jasmine
(Trachelospermum jasminoides).
This highly fragrant jasmine kicks into gear almost as soon as my pink jasmine finishes, 
a great planting combination to prolong the jasmine smelling season, if you like the smell
of jasmine that is. This one spans over half of my fence line, and will continue to bloom
on and off into the hot Summer months.

 
Pruning is a practice that Confederate
Jasmine benefits from as it can get
rather twisted and ugly if left to its
own devices.

Other things happening in the patch this week:


Crack open the champagne my
Vitex tree has had a baby!
If anybody wants this, I will pot it
and bring it to the get together.

 
Regal poppy heads


This containered cyprus in my main pond has
now grown to just below my post oak canopy.
It may have one or two years left before I
will be forced to transplant it, now that is one
task I don’t want to think about!
(Fingers in ears) …La la la la lal!

 
Inland sea oats have responded well to the rains,
as have the mexican bush sages.


Got to love loquats as a backdrop,
last count I had thirteen.

and finally…
 
Here is the latest “fill the Texas holey rocks up with marbles”
craze going on in the patch.

Stay Tuned For:
“Holey Marbles Batman”


All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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~ by eastsidepatch on April 16, 2009.

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