“The Shining”


Texas is Hot, Hot, Hot…and not a hint of precipitation in sight, perspiration though is a plenty.

 
It is like trying to garden on Arrakis, only the worms are just a tad
smaller here in the ESP unfortunately…ahh, imagine the soil aeration!

 
The very bricks themselves are starting to crack under the intense heat,
or could that be from yet another giant timber culm pushing
upward toward the “day star”? 
The emerging culm pictured above is the largest I have ever grown,
a real monster (diameter dimensions on a later nerdy post), and that
is a soaker hose providing the moisture, naturally.
I plan to tie something on this culm before it hoists itself 25 feet
above my house, the question is what to sail out there?
The ESP coat of arms perhaps?
(Which incidentally creatively incorporates the face of the Botox Lady,
abstractly, into it’s design).  

Some boxer shorts perhaps?

Maybe I should just tie some sneakers to it, just to have
people drive by and wonder how someone managed to
throw them so high, so accurately.
OK, I think the heat may finally be getting to me,
and what record-breaking heat we are enduring here in Central
Texas at the moment, and it is only the end of, oh dear, June!


(Insert insane screaming here)

There have already been some heat-strokes…

Blow-Torched Delosperma
‘sesotho pink’ 

or ‘Trailing Ice Plant’, hanging on to an inch of it’s life.
This plant was the picture of health, until the temperatures
entered and have consistently sustained triple digits. 
I hate to think how people with all their Saint Augustine expanses
are faring. Texas has a habit of naturally sorting out what 
survives in a garden pretty rapidly, wielding a swift and deadly 
blade of fire or ice, (depending on the season).
This year is already particularly harsh, compounded by the 
continuing drought from last year, and the year before that.
It is not remotely pleasant to stand outside to water right now, even if
adorning a wet turban to curb the heat.
(def: “wet turban” here): http://east-side-patch.livejournal.com/8678.html

I am now watering my natives, succulents, ornamental
grasses and cactus / agave plantings,
just to keep them alive, crazy heat!


Master Gardener Yoda:
“Death is a natural part of life.
Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.
Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.
Attachment leads to jealously.
The shadow of greed, that is.”

Try telling that to the “Cactus Man”!
 
This is the happy face I was going for.
Picture courtesy NOAA.

The Cactus Man is not the picture of health he once was.
His demise came from the ill-conceived scalpel antics of 
his torturer and general executioner…ME.
I had a premonition the other night that something really
bad was happening to him. I got up, put on my iced turban
to brave the 88 degree heat! (it was around midnight). 
I swung through the timber bamboo as the ground
was too hot to walk on, and came to the clearing where
the cactus man had laid down his now decaying roots (ahem).
It is also where I fear he will shortly
pop his spiny little clogs.

It was a harrowing experience.
 
                                   
What have I done?

       
Doctors notes:
“The subject  resembles more of a ghoulish shrunken head at this point,
rather than a prickly pear cactus. The top of his cranium is now pitching
violently backward in obvious distress, putting more tension in and around his 
mouth area, apparently this is creating the curling up of his left lip”.

 

I have a Billy Idol impersonating, decaying cactus head, with Spock’s voice!

While I was rummaging around in here:
 

I found this:
                                                                                                
Brrrrrrr, (nervous glances to the floor, left and right, knee twitch, jaw lock…you know the drill).
It looks like a real insect.


But. oh no!
It seems even the dragonfly larvae are depositing their own ecto-skeletons in
an attempt to escape the brutal Texas heat. I can sympathize with them.
So what did we do to cool us all down in the patch this week?

 
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ssssssssssssssssssssssss.
Yes, you guessed it, another red-neck pool, only this one requires
no blowing up, a definite plus after last years near-death experience.
Same link again! http://east-side-patch.livejournal.com/8678.html
This one has no duct-tape on it…yet, but the decomposed gravel
always wins eventually!
(Note the attempt at stopping this with a patch
of blanket), we do things right in the patch you know.

Doing okay:

Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine  Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’ 
shrugs off the high temperatures as long as it receives a bucket of the wet
stuff every few days. One of my most dependable container combinations.
The Chartreuse patch in the middle is Ipomoea batatas ‘ Margarita’ 
Wrought Iron work from a vine caught my eye.

   

Doing not so okay:

Loquats are now looking like I feel. And how do I feel?


My wife took this picture of me as I took a brief cat-nap this afternoon.
The brief excursion outside to check on my satsuma tree proved
a little more dehydrating than I initially anticipated.

 
Here is the tree in question, it is turning yellow!
I think this may be due to overhead watering burning the leaves?
But any suggestions would be most welcome.
I would hate to lose all this fruit to stress.

Even the flies are moving slower than usually it seems.

A fine specimen.

Crimson Minimalism:

 
Considering how depressing things are in the wilting garden right now,
I thought I would finish with a quick and basic scheme I developed a couple
of months back for an Austin downtown commercial property.

.    

 
Before                                                  After     

 The main challenge here was to create a more natural passageway
(from both sides) of the property up to the front door.
There is a parking lot to the left of the property so foot traffic was cutting
diagonally across the grass. The proposal breaks up the linear lines
with large sweeping pathways which converge to naturally create two side beds,
and a front island bed. Extremely low cost, with a focus on hardscape,
drought tolerance and minimal future maintenance. The original scheme incorporated
a bottle tree with crimson bottles in place of the central Agave.

Pssst!
And if you want a killer haircut and/or color, call Leah at Crimson
(512) 632 9627

 
All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized  intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and punishable by  late 14th century Earth techniques.

Inspirational Images of the Week:
   
More madness from Diarmuid Gavin.
 

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~ by eastsidepatch on June 24, 2009.

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