Posts Tagged ‘outlaw’


We have been forging new frontiers – Thursday was  a Lock,Stock and two smoking Trowels day !

Some of our  pioneer plants that have a bit a chip on their shoulder rode into town and rode out again into our New Frontier Border next to the house. These are the thugs and the reprobates of our garden . The ones with a swagger and a bad case of droopy jeans and gringo moustaches. You know ,the no-good  guys in the westerns, the ones with the bad ass attitude and a tendency to cause just a little bit of trouble.

Well we decided that these bad guys should have their day and fight it out at the high noon under the poplar trees, in the driest most inhospitable wasteland badlands. It is a dry , stony , arid strip and the tumble weed will blow through in the dry summers. Inattentive groups from coach parties may well trample them as they descend from their buses and a multitude of dogs may poo and pee on them .Can these plants survive , fight each other for supremacy and establish their mighty kingdoms ?  We have taken the worst of their kind -the big seeders , thugs, ne’er- do- wells , cads and colonisers and put them in a border together to fight it out . Who will win , who will get the upper hand ?

Who is on the Outlaw Roll call ?

These are the awesome eight plants that we have chosen for this stage  of the experiment –

Verbena Bonariensis ,Thalictrum Lucidum,Lythrum salicaria,Erigeron Annuus ,Knautia macedonica,Cephalaria dipsacoides, Foeniculum vulgare purpureum,and Echinops exaltatus.

Is this what they call a Matrix Planting ?

well matrix is as matrix does ! certainly the plants are in a random interlaced pattern of sorts. But the theory is ,and this is the exciting bit which should come to pass in time ,they will make their own pattern and hierarchy as they fight it out for supremacy.The strongest will no doubt survive and the weakest shall fall ! Let the fun commence !

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img180There is a certain kind of bravado that is utterly charming when the smallest of insects can have a desperado’s feisty attitude and act like he is the highwayman of the garden ! I am talking about the Devil’s coach horse beetle. I think he has been watching far too many Adam and the Ant videos for his own good . Swaggering with as much machismo as his diminutive 25mm of him can manage he tries to be all flintlock and bandito rolled into one.

This beetle is also known as the Cocktail beetle (presumably not because he can mix a rather fine mohito on the rocks but rather because he Cocks his tail when holding up a unsuspecting  red riding hood on the path.

I was surprised to see him in the day as he normally shelters during the day under stones,logs or leaf litter. But here he was, the little outlaw in the pathway making out he was a mini scorpion and a much bigger and badder character. Its wings are short so you don’t really see them.. and all you are conscious of is his platy body and its dangerous looking pincer jaws. These predator  jaws were open and looking menacing…the sort of jaws that would make mincemeat of a juicy worm or woodlice in the shake of a cutlass or a footpads cudgel.

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