Gardens Home & Garden

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Toedtoes, Mar 31, 2023.

  1. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    The heathers sound great. We do well with fall planting here as the temps are warm during the day and we don't get the big storms until December or January.

    After going out late one night and tripping over a cage around a plant, I put fairy lights at each plant. I also have pathway lights along the stepping stones and LED tiki lights around the back two sides of the pool. I like the idea of twining the string lights for a soft glow.

    I can just see Tally trotting down to turn on her light for potty time!

    I really want the oven's wattle. It blooms in winter and has a citrus scent. It's going where I cut down a couple spreader trees.

    Once it and the three I planted on the other side have grown into trees, I want to cut down the mulberry tree. It's massive and makes a huge mess. Then there are two plum trees I want to remove - one doesn't fruit anymore and the other is right on the fence. Then I'll plant new trees in their stead. Likely a second oven's wattle. I'm trying to keep to smaller trees - under 25ft. After last year's storms, I don't want anything that will become a hazard but I want them to be bird friendly.
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  3. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    The forecast is for the weather to pick up again this week, but the days are getting shorter, (always sounds odd saying that when all days are 24hrs.). You have several plants that don't appear in our garden centres, though I do know the ones like bottle-brush, lion's mane, and red hot poker. 25 feet sounds quite large for a garden tree to me - a big ladder needed for doing any maintenance.
    I went to the local Lidl supermarket this morning and picked up two tricolour heathers - how do they manage that? White, pink and purple, seems to be on one plant, though when I get round to potting them on I might find out that it's a blend. Anyway, they are eye-catching and were only £2.99 each. As our Lidl is situated by the canal towpath, Tally gets a pleasant walk when I shop there. We are only allowed 90 minutes parking so it's a dash round for the shopping, then half an hour up the canal and half an hour back to the car park. Our Aldi has a similar location, being next to the reclaimed local railway line which has been tarmacked to create a linear footpath and cycleway.
    The latest heathers having a good feed and drink before potting on.

    IMG_20231003_143849_hdr.jpg
  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Oh that's pretty!!!

    Gosh, I wish our shops were like that. They tend to be the standard strip mall with nothing around but roads and stores. I'm sure Tally enjoys it a lot - especially if there are treats from the shop afterwards.

    Most of our yards have mulberries, oaks or transplanted redwoods*. They all grow to 40+ feet. The privet I cut down was over 30ft. Even our fruit trees grow that tall.

    The pineapple guava is the biggest of my new trees.

    This is the western redbud. It is native to the area and grows to about 10ft.
    upload_2023-10-3_13-27-45.png

    This is the granite crepe myrtle. Native to Australia. Grows up to 15ft. The blooms look like bottlebrush blooms. (Puppy came with the photo.)
    upload_2023-10-3_13-26-49.png

    This is the oven's wattle. Also native to Australia. Grows to about 10-12ft. Blooms in winter.
    upload_2023-10-3_13-28-32.png

    Those and the bottlebrush are naturally shrubs, so I'll do some specific pruning so they'll grow more as trees.

    *Many people started planting coastal or Sierra redwoods in the area back in the 70s. They planted one or two trees in their yards. The trees grew to 50+ feet with dedicated watering, but they aren't meant to be solitary trees. Their root systems are very shallow but grow out more than 50ft. When growing naturally, they intertwine their roots with each other to build a very strong anchor for their size and weight. Here, they don't build that anchor, and with the drought and then rains the soil erodes around them and they become even more unstable. Much of our power outages were due to fallen redwoods.

    Our temps are too hot and dry for them too. They get most of their water from moisture in the air - it condenses on the needles and drops to the ground. Here, we don't get that moisture, so they are already weaker than they would be naturally. And when they fall, they can take out several homes not just your own. There is currently a lot of debate over removing them.

    @who owns who probably knows this, but the coastal redwood is actually moving it's native territory northward. The southern edge is seeing little to no new growth and at the north end there is new growth beyond what has been their natural barrier.
  5. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    I didn’t know that the Redwoods are migrating to where they grow better, but I’m not surprised. All over the country, I imagine the world, various species of plants, and animals, are changing where they want to grow, due to climate change.

    I have dealt with plenty of Oak and Madrone coming down in storms, it was a huge Madrone tree that hit my house last winter. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Redwood come down. I live in a Redwood forest, that also has Oak, Madrone, and Fir.
  6. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    The Wattle looks very similar to the European, (Summer flowering), Laburnum, but I've looked, they aren't related. There seem to be fewer Laburnums than there were in my younger days, which might be because the seed pods are poison - they have been lethal to humans and animals.
    The Myrtle looks too rambling for a domestic garden, too hard to keep to a shape. I like the Redbud though.
  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    In their natural habitat, redwoods are amazingly sturdy. But here, they have just been planted with no care or concern to what they need. There was a study done in the redwood forest and they found that the trees actually "spoke" to one another using fungi. They are communal plants, not meant to be alone.

    @who owns who your area is at the southern end of its range. It doesn't grow naturally further south than Monterey.
  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    The myrtle needs to be pruned to be a tree. Then the rambling is more contained. That side of the yard will be more naturalized. I have one little spot in front of the trees that becomes a deep puddle in winter, I may end up turning that into a little pond in a couple years.

    I made sure my plants aren't toxic to cats or dogs. Or to me. There were some great looking plants I passed up on because you need to wear long sleeves and gloves to prune, etc. Just not my cup of tea.
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Spring is in the air and the 1st university plant sale was the weekend before last...

    I added 2 more lion's tails to the front yard to fill in around the bottlebrush.

    I got 3 white California fuchsias 'Summer Snow' and put them in my 3 hanging planters or the front of the house.

    My yard guy built a large planter for the back corner of the backyard - I've got 2 blackberries planted and tomorrow, once he fills in the last of the dirt, I'll plant a third blackberry and the raspberry. Tornado-dog helped by digging and removing some "bad dirt" from the planter...

    The weeds took over the backyard this winter, so I have the guys pulling weeds today and tomorrow.

    I planted 3 lello salvias along the walkway. I also added a metal trellis to the edge of the back patio and planted a South African jasmine to grow up it. We're moving my gazebo in to that side so it will provide a nice border.

    I got a leucadendron 'Hawaii Magic' and planted that along the patio.

    From last year, the following are good: Two of the butterfly bushes survived and are thriving. The 3 lion's tails are doing great - even the one Cat-dog likes to trample (I've caged it). Three hybrid lavenders (or maybe they are rosemary) are doing well. The bottlebrush and honey myrtle are good. The redbud did nothing - just a stick. I thought I killed it, but it has leaf buds on it, so it's good.

    I bought a chilopsis linearis to replace the redbud so I have to find a different spot for it.

    I got 1 white and 2 'midnight' mexican salvias to plant in front of the three trees.

    They haven't had any oven's wattle, so I got another pineapple guava for that spot.

    I have one corner that appears to be too shady for everything, so I got 3 malvaviscus arboreus var drummondii (turk's caps) to try there. We're going to take out the 2 plum trees this spring - they are growing right on the fence between the houses and are too big for the space. I think the chilopsis will work there, further out from the fence, but we'll see. If it does, I might not need another tree when I remove the mulberry.

    I have two new bird feeders and hangers - I'm hanging them up in front of the two windows the cats like to look out of. Panther really enjoys bird watching - she'll sit watching for hours.

    So that's my spring planting progress...
  10. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Wish I had a plum tree. I love Victoria plums.
    You are doing much better than me. My Hebe has died over the winter, and I think I've lost 2 Fuchsias, and 2 Erica gracilis. All the other heathers look OK, the lavender is putting out new growth, and the trailing rosemary loves sitting on its milk churn and is flowering merrily.
    We have had a record-breaking wet winter, so everything was thoroughly waterlogged when the frosts came. All I have bought this year is half a dozen yellow primulas which have brought a bit of brightness to the grey slate. I do need something for the bees. The big Bumbles are coming out of hibernation but are still on the ground. There is very little nectar around to give them energy.
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    My potted catnip has had a couple inches of water on top most all winter. Every time I emptied it out, it rained and filled again. I thought I killed it, but it's regrowing nicely.

    These are little plums and they aren't fruiting anymore. I thought about putting in a Santa Rosa plum (the big ones), but they just grow too big for the yard. I figure the two pineapple guavas and the berries will suffice.

    To be fair, my plants survived without any of my help. We had a wet warm winter - so no frosts.

    I double checked. I lost the rosemary (bought online) and replaced with provencal lavender (bought at the plant sales).

    In the backyard, I also lost 3 or 4 butterfly bushes over the last year - I don't even know what color these are as I had planted pink, golden and bicolor. And I lost the 2 yellow hummingbird sages. So I didn't do great by any means. For the most part, I think I just picked plants that can handle mistreatment well...

    I bet those primulas look awesome against the slate! I wish I could do some pretty flowers like that but my yard is just to sunny and hot. If the turk's caps do well in that one corner, I may be able to put a little raised planter in that area for some small shade plants.
  12. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    The colour of the slate was called plum, but you only see that shade when it is wet and shiny. For most days it is a dull grey. I should have splashed out and picked Lake District green!
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Every time I think of your slate garden, I remember our last camping trip with Moose-dog and Bat-dog. Moose-dog usually led us on hikes, but he was getting older and slowing down, so I let Bat-dog lead the way.

    She took us on this trail that meandered for a while, then followed the creek around a steep hill and then it suddenly ended at a cliff edge. So we turned to go back and there was no trail. It was a mountainside covered in shale. We had to somehow find our way across the shale and down the side of the mountain back to the trail by the creek. Bat-dog just scampered right across and down. Moose-dog and I literally went down on our butts.

    The Lake District green would have been pretty. Maybe you could get a small amount of that and add it in to the plum? It would dress up the dull grey when dry and the plum and green when yet would look spectacular!
  14. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I have considered that. There are a few stray green shards in the batch that came. They stay green whether wet or dry. The green slate and chippings get used a lot on graves. Having just lost my OH, at that time I didn't want the garden to remind me of a graveyard. I'm sure an odd sackful might add a little interest though.
  15. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    @Helidale I have some info you might find interesting but can't post it here. If you email me @ juno . com I can provide it to you. It's regarding our most recent conversation.
  16. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Thank you!

    At this point the oven's wattle won't be making an entrance for a couple years at least. I am cutting down a couple plum trees that are too close to the house and fence this year. Then once the new trees I've already put in grow up, I'll remove the mulberry tree and can hopefully get an oven's wattle to replace it.
  17. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    One of my California fuchsias in the front died. It's the one that got mutilated by my yard guy's helper when they were removing the tree trunk.

    So I HAVE to go to the plant sale tomorrow to get a replacement...

    And it's not worth going for just one plant...

    So, I ordered a five tiered planter on wheels for the back patio. I'm going to fill it with various delospermas and a couple Sunset Strain cliff maids.

    Since we're waiting for the rains to stop to move my gazebo and then I'll move all the other furniture around, I figure the wheeled planter would come in handy. And I really like how the delospermas in the front are hanging over their planters.

    I'm also going to paint a few cinder blocks and plant some delospermas in them - they'll get placed on the patio in a row by the fence.

    All my current delospermas are blooming beautifully. Except my two Salmony Pink. They are green and lush and growing great, but I haven't been able to get them to bloom. I've switched them with the others thinking maybe it was the location, but the others bloom and these two don't. I'm hoping these just want more time.

    I'm going to plant several Fire Mountain delospermas around the pineapple guava tree in front.

    I planted the three Summer Snow fuchsias in hanging planters. Two on either side of my front window and the third on my patio. The two are doing great. The third is dying. I've lost 3 or 4 plants in that one planter so far - I'm thinking it's the planter - it's got a coco liner and I think the water just runs right out before the plant can drink. So I got a new planter. I am getting another of the Summer Snow to put in the new planter and see if it works. If it doesn't, I'm giving up on a plant in that location.

    The yard guy's assistant raked two of my blackberries. One came back, but the other didn't. So I'll replace it too.

    So, I have 2 fuchsias, 1 blackberry, 3 cliff maids, and 22 delospermas to buy tomorrow. I hope I can nab them all - there are only 3 cliff maids in stock and only a couple of some of the delosperma varieties.

    Meanwhile, I hung bird feeders in front of the two windows the cats sleep by. Panther is in high heaven. She is entranced by the birds. Today, there was even a rock dove hanging around her window along with the sparrows and finches. She will sit there all day to watch.

    Punx is just hitting 6 lbs! She actually feels solid now. She still moves like a mongoose.
  18. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I had to look up delosperma - very colourful. Are they perennials? I know that your fuschias are a different species, but I have lost both of mine over the Winter, also a very dark blue Hebe - I didn't think anyone could kill a Hebe!
    This week we have been visited by storm Kathleen. Only just into April and we are up to K in the alphabet of storms already. It is too wet to do much in the garden. I gave the grass a first cut, but scalped it because the soil was too wet. (I have bought an expanding hose today - how's that for optimism? It was great fun to play with though).
    I'm spending a lot of the drier days trying to get Tally up to standard for her Gold test in just over a week. After thinking we just about had it nailed, her performance has slipped back for no apparent reason, so we have had to fall back a couple of stages. She is always happy to 'do training' as she thinks it is a game with treats, but I will be knocked out if we don't need to do a re-take.
  19. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Yes, the delospermas are perennial groundcovers. They're technically succulents. I really want the Jewel of the Desert Topaz variety - haven't seen it locally so may have to order it in the fall - it's more of a golden hue than yellow like the peridot and limoncello.

    I now have:
    JotD Amethyst, Garnet, and Peridot
    Wheels of Wonder Hot Pink Wonder, Violet Wonder, Salmony Pink Wonder
    Pumpkin Perfection
    Red Mountain Fire
    Limoncello
    Fire Spinner

    All are in pots right now. I'll plant the Red Mountain fire in the ground once I finish weeding the area. The rest will stay in planters. I really like the way they wrap themselves over the edge - like carpeted stairs.

    I got everything at the sale except the cliff maids. They were new this time, haven't been at prior sales. Hopefully they'll be back again.

    I've tried the other fuchsias before, but never could keep them well. The California Fuchsias are really hardy.

    I've looked at those expanding hoses before. I always worry that in our temps, they will deteriorate too quickly. But it'd be nice to have a lighter weight easy to manage hose.

    Tally, Tally, Tally! At least she's enjoying herself. I always try to remember that - as long as they are having fun, then it's OK if we fail.

    The other week, when I was hanging the bird feeders, I dropped the ladder on my foot. I think I may have broken a toe. At first I thought it was just badly bruised. I taped it and walked tenderly for a while. And mostly wore my slippers around. Yesterday it was feeling much better. Today I put on shoes for the sale. The toe is swollen up again and sensitive to touch and hurts when I walk. Guess I need to retape it.
  20. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Ouch! My daughter has broken her middle toe too. A bit awkward now you have collected all those plants, and I think you are expecting Auntie C's visit. You would really be better resting up for a couple of weeks.
  21. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Yeah. Broken toes are difficult. You can't really do anything other than tape them. I'll try wearing my fisherman sandals for the vet visit. Fortunately, I got the in the ground plants planted yesterday so I don't have to stand alot. The rest are going in a standing planter once it arrives today or tomorrow.

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