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Never try this unless supervised by an adult.

This tale starts out of greed, greed for the largest wind chimes I could afford and struggle home with. It is funny, chimes sound very soothing with the wind blowing through them, but as soon as you try to pick them up and carry them they turn into the chimes from Hell, clanking nonsense. There I was in The Great Outdoors nursery in Austin, eyeing-up some monster chimes. Like a complete nerd I had to try each one to find the one with "just the right notes and tonality".  (You immediately forget what the previous set sounds like).  Back and forth I went like an obsessed percussionist, to the dismay of the nursery's staff. I settled on the "set for me", large, but not too large, a deep zen sound with a slight dischord . . . perfect, I clanked my way to my truck, and settled them down with a blood curdling sound (metal on metal) and rushed home to hoist them to their new home in the trees.

The first inclination that this was going to be slightly tasking was when I had gathered the "mad octopus" clinking in one of my arms and started to head up my stepladder, which incidentally kept sinking into a bed of mulch. The gravity of my predicament started with the sudden awareness that the chimes were extremily heavy. I then realized that I had to go up very high on my stepladder to get the chimes to a tree limb high enough so that I would'nt be continiously hitting my head when walking underneath them. After 45 minutes of struggling in the heat with my "mad octopus" my new chimes were "up" in the Pecan tree next to my back deck. When I say "up" I actually mean't that I had managed to get them about 6ft off the ground. "I will just duck if I need to go by them," I convinced myself.  I went to my outside refrigerator and grabbed a cold Corona, sat down, put my feet on a low table, and nursed the bruises on my head whilst waiting patiently for a breeze. About three days later, a breeze finally did blow in. The "deep zen sound with a slight dischord" was suddenly transformed into something loud enough to raise the dead, no, Nooo, NOOOO! 

Word of warning:  just because something is new - dosn't mean you should position it close to you so you can see it or hear it!

I realized this was not yet over, I looked over with dread to my stepladder, then down to my Post Oak at the end of my yard.

The chimes in their new home - they now sound just like I wanted them to. The deep bass sounds contrast with
a number of small, higher pitched wood and metal chimes surrounding the back deck. I now appreciate what
it takes to create a balance of sounds at various distances and pitches, the sign of a truely accoustic nerd!

Other Interesting things in the yard right now:

Burgandy Canna light show and the cool purples of Verbena in full bloom

Datura (Jimsonweed) caught early morning. Dies to the ground in winter but returns each spring.

Night opening flowers get to 4-6" wide.

" I told you we should have got a room in the four seasons, Gladdis"

All material © 2008 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Stay Tuned for:
"The Pampass Chainsaw Massacre"



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Oooh, that reminds me, I should go check and see if the datura out back is blooming. I got one and stuck it in a pot a couple months ago and then promptly forgot about it.

I wait with bated breath for the pampas chainsaw massacre. I've never been so tempted to be a yard ninja as when I see big moldy clumps of neglected pampas grass.
May. 20th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Hi Firesprite, good to hear from you again!
Datura is a strange character - for the most part it just quietly sits there, biding its time. Then you go out one morning, and there it is, all proud of itself in full bloom. It then starts screaming at you in a raspy poisonous voice: "Ha! ya didn't think I was going to that, did ya!" . . then promptly dies.

Glad you are enjoying the journey.
May. 20th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Just found your blog and we look to be fellow Texan gardeners. My wife & I run DoubleDanger.com and we are in Midland. Your garden looks great!

May. 20th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Hi James.
Thank you for your comment. It seems Summer is upon us this week in Texas - aaargh - I was not mentally prepared for these temps quite yet!
I hope you enjoy my blog and continue to follow my landscaping journey through thick and thin!

I see on your website you have a Barbeque section, - check out http://www.onelightcharcoal.com/
We have just launched this product nationally in Whole Foods last week - it is a "green" light-the-bag product that uses zero accelerants. I was wondering if perhaps you would be interested in giving us a mention/review etc? on your site? Just a thought!

Thank you again for your comments,

Edited at 2008-05-20 04:08 pm (UTC)
May. 20th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
AMAZING Pictures!
you should offer them for sale!
May. 20th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: AMAZING Pictures!
Thank you!, I usually keep my camera in my pocket when I am outside working. You just never know what you might see, and you had better be quick on the draw!

Edited at 2008-05-20 04:09 pm (UTC)
May. 21st, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
Pam/Digging (http://www.penick.net/digging)says:

Hilarious about the "mad octopus." And doesn't the datura bloom look remarkably like the moonflower vine bloom?
May. 24th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
I love your writing style, and your garden is gorgeous! The fight with the octopus sounds like something I`d do, especially the trying each one in the nursury! I must be soo anoying ;)

Laura @ www.whatgrowshere.blogspot.com
May. 24th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Hi Laura
Thank you for replying. I just visited your blog - the picture of your front yard in the Spring looks stunning. And what about those trash bears! - is this a constant problem or just at this time of year? I wouldn't want to hear a rustling in my Pampas grass and come face to face with one of those monsters.

I appreciate you tracking my blog, and your positive comments. I hope you will continue to listen to my somewhat "problematic" journey into the world of horticulture.

May. 25th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
Your garden looks so lush and tropical. And everything (tomatoes, datura) is so much further along than in my garden right now.

I have very similar wind chimes but have never thought to hang them from a tree. Your experience makes me think that was the right decision.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens.
May. 25th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
I am interested as to where you positioned your wind chimes, if not on a tree? My chimes were just too large to position anywhere else - they are about 4ft long.
My tomatoes have just about croaked - poor things - I think I will put them out of their misery tomorrow! you did see my posting "My tomatoes are manically depressed"? Let me know how yours fare!

Thank you for you comments,
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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