“Old Friends”

Larva of Scymnus?
What is this spiny anomaly? It was tiny,
I forgot to add, it twitches and shudders
like a “Tribble” when I get close to it with
the camera lens!


“Analysis, Mr. Spock”…
“It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it

I would suggest evacuating non essential
personnel to the saucer section”.

What a great new Star Trek movie!

It has been a fungi sort of week down
here in the patch. This saucer section 
crash landed under one of my giant
timber bamboos, this was one of the
larger ones. But there were others,
of all shapes and cup-sizes…

“Yeah Baby”!

I decided against doing a comparison shot of these beauties
for fear of offending any sensitive readers, and any family
members that followthese posts.
I finally managed to avert my gaze away from this toad stool erotica,
only to witness something even more explicit…

“Ohh, matron!”                                                         “Annoles gone wild!”
I laughed so much trying to capture this shot, this
was the only image that was not blurred.
It is amazing what goes on behind closed
garden gates in a spring time suburban

“Really !”

Now, where was I?

Mmm, close, but not quite.
Oh yes, fungi:

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii
The fungi previously known as Lepiota lutea.  

That was my idea!
Other common names for this potential
gastrointestinal disturbance include the
flower-pot parasol, and the plant pot dapperling.
This fungi is commonly found in flowerpots
or greenhouses or any other place with
organically rich soil where the temperature
is warm . This particular fine specimen
was growing in a stock-tank which houses my

black bamboo Phyllostachy Nigra.
I suppose it is a giant plant pot of sorts.

I believe in everything until it’s disproved.  So I believe in fairies,
the myths, dragons.  It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. 
Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as
real as the here and now?  ~John Lennon

Break out the handkerchiefs,
it is time to say good-bye to my old Mediterranean Fan Palm,
so long old friend!

I had made my decision, I finally was to say goodbye to my 3 year spiky friend,
it was the humane thing to do, I refused to witness its slow demise a
second longer. I had come to a hard decision, one with so much
stigma attached…
I was about to perform palm euthanasia.

How could I allow more suffering,
more yellowing from the center,
(Yes a bit like you, Patsy!)
more “flopping” from the central core. 

My decision was final, I was not
going to avert my gaze one more
time walking past it. I trudged slowly to 
my shed to get my harbinger of death.
In this case my shovel.
The death march played on my ipod, I exaggerate.

The temperatures and humidity in the central Texas area have soared this week.
It was time to let rip with the back-deck misters for the first time this year,
an event that signifies the onslaught of summer heat is just around the sweaty
corner, and it felt nice. The misters I mean, not the pending
onslaught of another Texas Summer.

Off with the socks and gardening boots and on with a cold beverage
and a refreshing misting. It has taken me years, but I have finally found
the perfect misting system for my back porch.

It relies on a series of overhead misters, a vague understanding the prevailing winds, 
an elaborate system of pulleys and wheels, and a rather large industrial fan situated in
“just the right position” on my back porch.
The prevailing wind whips the mist around into the strategically angled fan,
which in turn blasts everyone on the deck with a cooling misting…Ahhh!

“Roger that ground control, I will keep a look out for that reported patchy mist…
descending to one foot past the blooming Barbados Cherry, as instructed.
On final approach for a decomposed granite landing.”

My Barbados Cherry is insane right now, most of the hover flies
have now vacated, as the shrub is in full tilt making thousands
of berries. A great nature magnet, I have no idea why I still have
only one of these in my garden!
It smells good too.

This gazing ball on an old cedar carcass reminds me of the movie “Sphere”.

Another sphere comes from this new addition to the patch.
This is Spilanthes; the Toothache Plant.
When chewed (which I have) Spilanthes stimulates the flow
of saliva which cleanses the mouth, tones the gums, and
enhances immune function. It is strange though, it takes
about 30 seconds before you sense the reaction.

“It really does stimulate saliva production,
you’re right”!

Spilanthes also improves digestion and eases flatulence…

“…It really (pppaaarrrp) does, as “Powdered Toast Man” I will vouch for this
plant’s flatulent (pparp) reducing capabilities, I think I need a lot more!”

This versatile little plant also improves the appetite, and helps
to overcome nausea and vomiting by its stimulating effect
on the salivary glands.

It is called the toothache plant because
when you chew on the leaves or flowers
it produces a numbing effect to the
tongue and gums. Spilanthes can
be used in this manner to help ease
the pain of a toothache.
Poor Ren, if only he had had some for
his stinky gums when he needed it most.

Soft Leaf Yucca Yucca recurvifolia
This yucca is about three or four years old, I lost it’s sister when I transplanted
it into my new middle succulent bed early this year. I have moved this plant
around a lot, from a container into the ground, back into a container and now
back in the ground where it has really found its roots. It works well
architecturally next to the wispy mexican feather grass.
When back lit by the sun the red tips on the
leaf-ends really light up.

My White Stone crop Sedum album “waterfall” continues to fill in,
it has almost made it down the slope to stock tank pond, next to this


I have a large amount clinging to the hillside, my goal here is to completely
envelop this slope with this tiny plant.

Another new stone crop addition went into my middle bed this week.
I have no idea what this one is called, but I like it.

Other plants taking off this week…
Inland Sea Oats, and Canna lily filling in all the gaps around my pond.
The toads love getting in this foliage. The Burgundy cannas are one
of my favorite container plants here in the ESP. I have four
(soon to be five) that I use as repetitive “stabilizing”
elements in my overall scheme. You can see
them on those earlier “mister” shots.

Like the finest Cuban cigars, the first cattails are now just being rolled out of the plant.

As are the first wisteria blooms…

and the first new giant timber
culms, now erupting from the

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’  hill with a new container that
I inherited from my neighbors…

“Live long and prosper in Baltimore my friends!”My front Vitex shrub (oh no, you will be a tree), is blooming.
I do like this shrub / tree, whatever it is, even though it
requires constant maintenance, and “up-pruning”. The
bees go crazy on it.

Fresh blooms on my Texas Purple sage, could this mean rain?
Leucophyllum frutescens
Also known as cenizo, Texas silverleaf, barometer bush, and Texas ranger.

And all the while my front yard “seed experiment” continues to bubble, fizz, grow and bloom.
“Old Friends” This song has unfortunately been
reverberating in my head for over a week due
to the title of this post. It has been driving me crazy…
I wake up humming it! I go to sleep
cursing it, I think I need help…
from the old friends…arrrghhh, I cant stop!

All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


~ by eastsidepatch on May 9, 2009.

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