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    • September 18, 2017 7:14 PM EDT
    • Rooster : spots Rockey just hang out (back in the day in the hood...pre platform days)

    • September 18, 2017 5:39 PM EDT
    • dieseldude . said:
      5 bucks- what a great find! I saw some at Home D the other day. Still way over priced. We use a lot of sedum on the RR, too. All varieties seem to do well- sun, shade, wet soil, dry soil- its the one plant I haven't killed (yet). The yellow and the dark green spiney variety are real aggressive. We planted three small patches in the fall last year. This summer they took over!! They are the only variety that I ever removed. Of course, if your looking to fill an area up real fast, they'll do it. -Kevin.

      I have lots of the green spiney kind. You can see some of it here growing happily in the cracks between the rocks in just a few cubic inches of soil. I have to cut it back several times a year around the track to keep it clear for trains.  I just take the cuttings and dump them in a hole where none is. In a few months it is well established from just cuttings.

       

      Edit to add the pic I'm talking about

    • September 18, 2017 4:23 PM EDT
    • Sedums look great and do well.  I bought a flat of mixed sedums from walmart.  Its amazing how nice they look a year later, all mixed together.  

    • September 18, 2017 2:13 PM EDT
    • Doug Arnold said:

      That is great. I wish some of those would grow out here but our winters get too cold! And too hot in the summer!

      On top of that there are no needles, got's to have needles to fend off tender mouths. Even the mesquite has needles!

       

      Basically; We've got cactus!

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s-SGEe87xQ

       

      John

       

    • September 18, 2017 1:40 PM EDT
    • That is great. I wish some of those would grow out here but our winters get too cold! And too hot in the summer!

    • September 18, 2017 7:38 AM EDT
    • 5 bucks- what a great find! I saw some at Home D the other day. Still way over priced. We use a lot of sedum on the RR, too. All varieties seem to do well- sun, shade, wet soil, dry soil- its the one plant I haven't killed (yet).

      The yellow and the dark green spiney variety are real aggressive. We planted three small patches in the fall last year. This summer they took over!! They are the only variety that I ever removed. Of course, if your looking to fill an area up real fast, they'll do it.


      -Kevin.

    • September 17, 2017 6:42 PM EDT
    • The section by Wall Station is all stone and stone dust fill. No soil at all. They grow in that stuff like mad and it drains quickly.

    • September 17, 2017 4:04 PM EDT
    • Keep them well watered and they should do real well. I planted some on the layout in 2" of dirt and I'm surprised at how well those are doing. 

    • September 17, 2017 10:40 AM EDT
    • My wife Marilyn surprised me with a Sedum Basket Friday evening when I got home from work. She found it on close out at the grocery store for $5.00.  I was pretty excited because I've had great luck with sedums in the varied soil and light conditions on my railroad.  It started with a handful a neighbor gave me that I have split many many times and spread out all over the RR.  Nice, but it was a single variety.  This basket has at least three varieties. Two similar to what I have been growing, but different size and color, plus one with broader leaves that I have been trying to get started for years. It grows wild between the cracks in the blacktop, but I cant transplant that because the roots are very fragile.

       

      Here is the basket as it arrived...

       

      I decided rather than to plant the entire basket in one spot, I would split it up and spread the wealth. First I removed the pot....

       

      Next, using a small cement trowel as a knife I cut the mass roughly in half, then divided that in approximately equal portions. I ended up with 5 sections...

       

      Of course, lots of pieces broke off, but the beauty of sedums is that the cuttings will root with no care at all.  The first bunch was planted in front of the church. The broad leaf to the right is Creeping Jenny which has also done very well for me and propagates easily. The evergreen at the left is a volunteer Hemlock. They pop up all over and look great until they get about 24" tall - then I yank them out...

       

      The next two bunches went on the South side of Coal Dump Curve where both Creeping Jenny and my previous batch of sedums do very well. Here the soil is mostly stone and stone dust as this embankment has been built up over the years...

       

      And the last two went in a spot that still needs help; the hill above the Engine House, just South of Deep Cut. That's more Creeping Jenny in the foreground....

       

      Someday this area will have a quasi-model of the EBT Coal Dock feeding the tracks behind the engine house and accessed by a new spur that will cross over Deep Cut at this spot...

       

      Overhead view. That's the edge of Deep Cut at the top of the frame...

       

      In this shot you can see how well the Creeping Jenny has spread in just one season. I think it likes the sun here.  The 'forest' just to the right of the engine house is Solomon's Seal which has been slowly spreading for about 10 years. It started as about 4 stalks...

       

      It will be interesting to compare these shots to what will be by mid-summer next year.

    • September 17, 2017 6:33 PM EDT
    • Aloha,

      We live near the equator and, due to the mountains, have a relatively dry microclimate in an otherwise wet area.  We have to select plants that can take baking and flooding, and herbs have filled the bill where even succulents have failed.   CINCHOUSE is an excellent chef, and her culinary proclivities have played a large part in both getting permission to build the Triple O and its horticultural direction.

      • Rosemary. We have had (mostly) good luck with rosemary.  Tuscan Blue and Romero seem to have the most upright look out of the box.  Our first rosemary we "topiaried" into a mountain / tunnel; had I do this over, I would've situated it to act as a screen elsewhere rather than as a shtick in full view.  Everyone else likes it. Oh, and I have overtrimmed rosemary to death.
      • Basil. We also have had good luck with Thai basil.  The leaves aren't especially scale, but, if you keep this trimmed, you can get a nice, woody "trunk" and main branches.  Be sure to pinch the flowers off and to regularly thin the thing, or it will just look like a bush or, as ours did, fall over due to its own weight.  Italian basil smells divine and tastes great, but it bears no resemblance to scale.  It also brought slugs.  No more Italian basil.
      • Thyme. Thyme and again our thyme flourished then withered (Musical reference to offset bad pun.).  We have tried English, French, lemon, dwarf, and dwarf elfin with the same result.
      • Oregano. Spicy oregano will spread out as a ground cover, live a long time, withstand neglect, feet, toddlers, dogs, harvesting, you name it.  Again, the leaves are not particularly scale.
      • Arugula.  Not a spice, but we planted it, and, by harvesting the lower leaves, got a credible "palm."  Who knew?  Lasted about two years.
      • Lavendar.  Dwarf lavender makes a nice, scale bush, but lacks the smell of its big cousins.  Its big cousins also have not lasted as long.
      • Dill.  Grew once and never again.  Didn't really serve a good scenic niche for us, either.
      • Parsley.  We have used both Chinese and regular with much the same experiences as dill.
      • Cilantro.  Same as above.
      • The pond.  Lots of stuff you can eat can grow here!  Most water lilies have edible components (hasu in Japanese cooking); our dwarf lily has struggled too much to harvest it, however. We thought about growing kalo (wetland taro), but that thing is a monster and WAY to big for our guppy pit!  There are a number of submersed and "wet foot" plants that are edible.  You'll have to do your own research.

      I hope the sacrifice of many a good plant to the stove and to my black thumb has served a point!

       

      Eric

       

       

    • September 17, 2017 4:56 PM EDT
    • Young Rosemary grows like a pine tree or an arborvitae, and smells like one too, aaand you can use it in your cooking, and the more you trim it, the more it takes on the look of a tree.

    • September 12, 2017 7:16 PM EDT
    • I love and use all the herbs on my layout. Parsley makes a nice tree or large bush. Purple sage or just sage makes background leafy vegetation. I love my oregano which is basically ground cover. But fresh dried oregano hanging in the kitchen in the middle of winter just smells pizza shop awesome. (your in CA so that matters not). Lemon Thyme is ground cover but is fantastic on fish. Chives if trimmed looks like large wild grass and great on baked potato's.

      Make it fun for both of you and let her do whatever herbs she likes. Harvesting them is rewarding.

    • September 12, 2017 6:16 PM EDT
    • My oregano thyme looks like a woody tree and the leaves smell just like oregano.

    • September 12, 2017 6:00 PM EDT
    • Rosemary makes great trees:

       

      But a little concerned about "The more herbs, the more happy spouse!"

       

      Is she happy because they exist, or because she can harvest the herbs? If you want good looking scenery, you can't be harvesting it for cooking!

       

      Greg

    • September 12, 2017 4:34 PM EDT
    • Okay.  New house, new layout.

      Any thought on what herbs would make good scenery?  The more herbs, the more happy spouse!

      I had found some sort of thyme that looks like a tree, but have misplaced the seeds!

      Anybody?

    • August 30, 2017 9:25 AM EDT
    • I understand Richard. I live on the High Desert about 120 miles from you! And we are actually in the lower 100s! We have lived on the desert nearly 40 years and if there is one thing we have learned, it is to take your time in the summer!

    • August 29, 2017 8:04 PM EDT
    • Thanks Doug...but no, I have not purposely filled the pond yet.  The upper pond flooded about 2 weeks ago due to a ruptured drip line.  The lower pool flooded the other day because I tied off the wrong end of another ruptured drip line.  And it's been over 105 for the past few days so work has come to a stop...might try tonight with a fan going and some halogen lighting.

      Richard

       

    • August 29, 2017 9:23 AM EDT
    • Did you get to fill your pool yet? It sure is going to look good!

    • August 26, 2017 3:33 PM EDT
    • Keep up the good work! I'm tired of our heat too!

    • August 26, 2017 2:49 PM EDT
    • David...thanks for the extra advice...you are correct.  I found an old carpet and some padding to lay over the retaining wall I've installed inside the pond.  I'll tack it down with some concrete block adhesive just to hold it in place until I get the actual liner installed.  

      Finished trenching for the waterfall pump pipe and electrical outlet I'm adding on the retaining wall between the raised garden and little patio.  I'll plug the pump at this location so I'm not running cords all over the place...should stay nice and tidy.  Need to get a few more electrical pieces so I can start hooking the wiring up.  

      I'm planning to run 3-wire 10 gauge in 1/2" electrical grade pvc conduit and attaching it to the concrete wall base of my fence.  The concrete base of my fence is 8" wide x 16" high with the steel fence poles sunk in this concrete.  I'm thinking its a pretty permanent structure.  I'll raise the electrical outlets a few feet off the ground and attach to the fence boards and stringers.  

      Now just need the darn Central Valley to cool off...oy!!

      Richard