by germinatrix | July 22nd, 2010
I was SO EXCITED!
I was going to be visiting the EAST SIDE PATCH – the real life home of one of the funniest, most enchanting garden blogs- I was breathless with anticipation!
Pam from Digging had set up a lovely afternoon of garden visits – and this was our last stop – drinks in The Patch to cap off a glorious afternoon! …but little did I know WHAT was in store for me as I disembarked from the car at the beautiful bungalow in the east side of Austin:
Who could have expected a BAGPIPE serenade at the beginning of a garden visit? Well – when you go to The Patch, ANYTHING can happen! I was floored – ESP is a man will LOTS of tricks up his sleeves! The incredible sound of the bagpipes – which makes the music of an entire marching band (and a few geese) echoed up and down the street when we arrived, letting us (and the neighborhood!) know that we should expect the unexpected.
This is an active garden – ESP has planted sweeps of nasella, a grass that is lithe and lyrical, that sways in every breeze – as an edging along his curving borders. There is so much movement! Texture is everywhere – it is exciting to see the soft rubbing up against the succulent, large leaves playing with small, prickly consorting with feathery. Add to that lovely little children activating the space with their spirited antics and you have a garden of very earthly delights.
Anyone who reads ESP’s blog East Side Patch knows about the characters that populate this garden. There are witches who weigh in on matters large and small, a tiny tribe indigenous to the Patch (the Naboo – small and potentially lethal! That wasn’t a mosquito bite – it was an infinitesimal poisoned dart!), a stony faced lisping lady who sometimes wears a wig of groundcover plants, and many many more. Walking into this wonderland and seeing some of these characters for myself was so exciting – I admit to being pretty starstruck.
This is an enchanting and enchanted garden. In the above picture, you can see the way ESP plays with color, texture, and form. The tall cannas dominate the scene, creating a statuesque grounding point for other plants to weave in and out. The foliage of the Salvia leucantha tickles the large leaved tropical, and a is in turned tickled by an echinacea – whose pinky/purple flower color pops next to the gray green foliage of the salvia. In the foreground, amaranth is stretching out, preparing for the glory of its impending bloom, but for the moment it is happy to let its wine stained leaves talk to the brooding purple foliage of the canna, completing a sophisticated circuit of contrast in this planting. (and I’m not even talking about the blue cedar in the background! Egads, man! The beauty!) It all works, and will continue to work as the various plants come into their own later in the season. Like I said – I LOVE this garden!
I made an extra special friend that afternoon, in addition to meeting those whose blogs and tweets I’d been enjoying for so long … this small female hobbit, who has charmed me in photos with her sartorial splendor. Well not only did she not disappoint, she rose marvelously to the occasion by donning a pink princess dress! Rosy and frilly, she flitted to and fro, at home in this wonderland – obviously in conversation with the characters that populate the garden where she plays.
While in the garden, I could see why the blog is so alive – so is the garden! Not only with mythical creatures, but with creepy crawly, flitting, feathered, scaly – anything that can live in a garden lives in this one – and it is all captured by ESP’s swift and sure camera work. I was lucky enough to get a snap of something green and lovely – and it wasn’t a plant:
Being a gothic plant fiend, I was shocked to find this broodingly beautiful wisteria that I had never heard about – but I should have known ESP would have found a plant like this! While he no longer wears all black, his gothic heart appreciates gloomy beauty.
The afternoon wore on- we laughed and asked countless questions – I squealed and smiled and ESP and his fabulous wife Leah kept the libations flowing and the chile con queso creamy and ready for frequent dipping.It was HOT – very hot- but I can’t remember being happier in the middle of a group of people I’d just offically met. We come together with so much history behind us already, how could we NOT be instant friends?
How do you thank people who created unforgettable day? It is impossible – but again -I’ll try. The BIGGEST thank you’s to Pam and Jenny, and enormous amazing out of bounds thank yous to ESP and Leah. The hospitality you guys showed was heartwarming and truly made me a little misty. It isn’t every day this Germinatrix gets a bagpipe serenade, a visit to a garden vibrating with magic, queso on jalapeno cheese bread (cheese on cheese bread – I died from sheer YUM!), and wonderful laughs with super cool plant lovers. I had the BEST. TIME. EVER.
Until we meet again,
XOXOXO Your Germinatrix!