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Something to talk about.

Posted by dcsteg 5b (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 1, 11 at 19:36

I'll try to squeeze this in between all the photo gallery's.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea'.

Last year I planted one in April 2010. A b&b conifer that was all done and in the dumpster by October.

Not satisfied with the results I decided to try again this year. Again b&b from the same supplier. As you can see I was successful.

Because it was b&b and of considerable size I was of the opinion there was not enough root mass to supply food and moisture in order for it to survive in the hot summer season.

This year I screened it from May through early September and that did the trick. It survived even though we had a record setting heat wave. I am sure it would have surely been toast otherwise.

A beautiful conifer that should be a standout once it takes hold in a couple years.

Dave

Photo when planted 5-12-2011.

Chamaecyparis  obtusa 'Aurea'

10-1-2011. Foliage color weak as a result of screening. Taken at sun down. Should bounce back next year.

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Foliage taken in sun. 10-1-2011.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Something to talk about.

So clearly the case is that the plant 'perspires' faster with sun exposure and the reduced ambient heat level from lack of radiant heat was probably a major factor here? Of course there are many other variables involved, even with the same size/wrapped plant from the same supplier.

I know that I have a lot of success with plants in part shade, even pines and plants considered 'full sun' conifers. These part-shade settings are filtered and indirect bright light all day and then 3-5 hours of direct sun late in the day. Golds aren't as gold and cedars in particular want more sun for strong colors, but I think overall it's been successful enough to suggest it as a commonly accepted practice. Because most of these plants are dwarf/miniature in nature, they don't really show signs of being 'leggy' as they are super compact to begin with.

Dave is this cultivar normally so narrow? It's quite striking and with that profile and level of toughness, it would seem like a conifer 'all-star'. Sure looks good in your setting.

-Will


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RE: Something to talk about.

Glad it did so well for you Dave. It sure is a good looking conifer. I'm assuming it made it because you screened so early on this one. Do you think you'll need to screen again next year since it won't be fully established yet?
Cher


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RE: Something to talk about.

Cher,

Good question.

If the next growing season is a repeat of this years fiasco I surely will screen it again. Because I didn't see any appreciable new grow on 'Aurea' this year tells me its still in the recovery stage. Until the root mass catches up with the top part there won't be any new growth. This again is another reason to screen. I will see what transpires next year. The important thing is I have something to work with.

B&B conifers over 6ft. are always a challenge, some more than others, to acclimate. To many variables inter into the mix as I have found out over the years. Improper dig on root ball, broken root ball, improper planting techniques, micro-climate, soil issues, when to water, how much. All are issues that can be resolved with the exceptions of a bad dig or broken root ball which are already dead when you plant them. Aside from all the issues some conifers just won't survive, even though they should in your micro-climate. You will find out soon enough if collecting rare specimens becomes part of your life.

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

Ha! Kind of funny. Sometimes you think you have something to share or talk about concerning the trials and tribulations centered around growing conifers. Maybe its just my imagination but unless its a gallery or breeders hall nobody is home. I can think of 15-20 people who used to share their knowledge or ideas that no longer post. Sure miss those days.

Maybe next time I will post in in the Rose or Hosta forum.

Cher & Will thanks for your input.

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

People come and go Dave and I too have noticed less activity. That said, as tides ebb and flow, people will be back, especially as Autumn and Winter set in. While I'd prefer if there were fifty people posting regularly, I am thankful at least for the company we have here, both new collectors, casual gardeners but also experts and legends in the field. 'Conifers' encompasses a huge area of conversation, from old growth forests and natural settings, to broom collectors, to gardeners using cultivars. I myself plan on being very active here as the Winter months shut me in, discussing everything from shady effects on dwarf conifers to weather conditions as old man Winter takes his swings. People will be back Dave, for as far as I can tell, once someone begins collecting conifers or becoming entranced by them, they usually stay passionate for the duration of their lives.

Another thing I would like to see is a 'conifer swap'. Maybe 10-15 people offering a couple young plants and shipping/trading them with others from the forum here. Friendships can easily be reinforced by contact as such...

-Will


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 3, 11 at 13:12

Dave, all my larger b&b plants struggled to some degree. I had three Picea omorika that perished this summer. Very disappointed just because of the time required to plant them, dig em up and return for a credit. One of which was actually return becuase it had a fused girdled root..what a pain that the exchange died.

I also lost two Pinus leucodermis/heldreichii that where small b&b.

Only lost one container plant but I think that one was my fault becuase of the excessive moisture.

Others had significant needle lost. However my Picea orientalis 'Atrovirens' b&b did fantastic.

I can think of 15-20 people who used to share their knowledge or ideas that no longer post. Sure miss those days.

I look up to folks like you for this. Always appreciate it that you take the time to respond to most my posts...even if they are boring.


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swap

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 3, 11 at 13:17

Another thing I would like to see is a 'conifer swap'. Maybe 10-15 people offering a couple young plants and shipping/trading them with others from the forum here. Friendships can easily be reinforced by contact as such...

Great idea, Will. Matt and I have a trade this weekend!


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RE: Something to talk about.

I'd just like to jump in here and thank those of you that do post regularly for all of the amazing pictures and information that you leave on this site.

I'm VERY new to conifer collecting, and you all are an immense help and also a bit of inspiration. This will be my first winter with plants, which are all in pots due to the fact that I'm 27 and live in the city of Boston. Luckily, my community garden was fine with me transitioning a portion of my plot from vegetables to trees in containers.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

This is what I'm working with so far, L to R (please correct any mistakes I may make): Pinus strobus fastigiata, Cryptomeria japonica 'Sekken', Juniperus communis 'Gold Cone', Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis', Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-Draconis', Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Little Jamie', nameless chili pepper, Abies koreana 'Aurea' (growing horizontally, not entirely sure about how correct the name is), and Thuja occidentalis 'Rheingold'. There are a couple more Little Jamie's tucked in there, and that herb underneath the Sekken is comfrey.

Anyways, thanks again to all of you much more experienced collectors, you really help to give me vision and inspiration for when I get out of the city and can plant some of these babies in the ground. Hopefully that is next year.


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Someone new!

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 3, 11 at 13:51

You should start a new post introducing yourself and sharing your nice pics!

I've seen alot of Abies koreana 'Aurea' growing horizontal when young. With a little help and time they become pyramidal with a leader.


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RE: Something to talk about.

Thanks, whaas! I wrote a little something in the Registry thread. Good to hear that you don't think the 'Aurea' was mislabeled. I'm not terribly concerned about it, as I like the horizontal habit of things like 'Green Carpet', so I may just let it do it's own thing. As long as I get some purple cones some day, I'll be happy!
Here is a better picture of it

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

What does concern me, is that it is not uniformly gold or even chartreusey through out, and some individual needles are green with gold spots, or gold with green spots. I can't imagine that is normal for the plant, so I don't know. I'm wondering if the mix is too heavy for it, but everything else seems pretty happy, so I don't know. There is some outright browning of needles in places, as well.


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RE: Something to talk about.

Dave the thing that I have noticed is that in every forum I go into on GW has little going on and that's actually been for some time. When I started on GW several year ago, it could take me half the morning reading everything. Now I can do it in a very short time. I so appreciate those that take the time to talk about their plants and add photos. And you know there are still a lot out there not posting yet, but soaking up the knowledge.
Cher


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RE: Something to talk about.

Yes Cher I have noticed that also for some time.

I am not sure but I am willing to bet that the down turn in the economy has many potential conifer lovers not buying. With no newbies in the mix wanting tips and advice on how to, or what to buy = a down turn in forum participation. What do they call it...trickle down theory. I guess I can back up my thoughts with the disappearance of many nurseries over the last two years. I noticed my local nursery down in stock about 25% this year. All rare offerings gone by early June.

Photo galleries are fun to a point but I miss the good long lasting discussions that use to reside here.

The Saga of Franke and Barney was a great thread. Conifer forum member registry was a good thread also. We need more people to come forward with great material like this.

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

Dave, I sure hope your 'Aurea' makes it - beautiful specimen!

pluckypurcell, your "nameless chili pepper" in the list of conifers cracked me up. Nice looking 'Oculus Draconis'- don't believe I've ever seen such a dramatic white variegation on one before.


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RE: Something to talk about.

B&B as Dave and I know are a big gamble. I don't buy big plants so I don't have to make that decision at all. If it's not in a pot, it doesn't go into my car. Mail-order is another animal and, there are nurseries I have faith in.

Being at a nursery allows a person to see the root-system which is where it all begins. Good roots make good plants. Plain and simple. Pluck that plant from it's container and have a good gander prior to making that purchase. It'll take time before folks get into repetition of doing so. They'll find something that looks exceptional above the pot, become excited in the process, get the plant home and only then they'll remember that "darnit" I forgot to look at the roots at the nursery. Now, I'm a broken in dog, that is to say that roots are the first thing on my mind and I never forget to look at the containerized root-systems. It took me time to become aware and fastidious just like any other person, but if you start to begin doing this, you'll learn the repetition. Of course, B&B you have no choice.

And corrections will always need to be made whether moving up to a larger pot or planting your new tree/shrub into your garden. Only thorough examination and correcting "J roots" or "Crooks" will give the peace of mind necessary to you and to the future health of your plants. Every root should be straight, separated from the others, no twining, when finally the plant has been newly planted to the pot or to the garden. This corrective pruning is a must. No-one can grow the perfect root-system. Of all my years, I've planted only a handful of specimens where no corrections were needed to the rootball.

Best Regards,

Dax


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follow-up

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 4, 11 at 9:49

Dave, I'll try harder next time!lol!

I know of 4 regulars that actually don't post because they are getting tired of the nomenclature that can take the fun out of posting. Just the messenger at this point.

Most the forums are dead. I used to love the trees and shrubs forums and now they are lame ducks. Daylily forum is still somewhat of a hopping place same for perennials to a point.

One thing I noticed this year at the nurseries is that you can't even find plants to plant for fall. NO ONE is bringing in fall stock. They are just blowing out the left overs from the spring. Fall is by far THE ABSOLUTE BEST TIME TO PLANT. In spring you can get nailed by rain in which the soils are so wet you can't even work them. In fall there is a bit of moisture in the soil and its so easy to work with. Plus the cooler temps. helps both the plant and the planter! The angle of sun is blasting as long either.

I've planted only a handful of specimens where no corrections were needed to the rootball.

Isn't that the truth. Sometimes its just downright discouraging regarding the frequency of root issues. Even for small plant continer plants. Here are just a few examples from this year. I could bring 20 more photos to the table...including 6 plants that croaked because of root issues.

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Alright Dave, now you have everyone (at least a couple of us) energized. Get another post rolling for a new inspiring topic.


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RE: Something to talk about.

Dave,
Coming back to your Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea', a beautiful tree. I was looking to buy such a plant from Iseli via my nursery last winter, and noticed on the Iseli catalog that it is a broad plant. Looking at your tree, I thought it might have been pruned regularly to create this slender shape. I notice in your second picture that the upper part is the widest part of the tree. Do you think it will need annual pruning, especially on the top?
Bernd


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RE: Something to talk about.

Hi whaas. I figured there would be some not happy with the corrections because I've seen comments elsewhere about it, but... When you realize after a couple comments that it's just to try and let people know the right name or spelling, it's ok. Now maybe if they are not asked, they shouldn't be corrected. I don't know, but I don't take minor things like this personally.

I only have a few conifers and may only end up with a few more because of lack of room. I made sure I came on here and checked the names through search to be sure the names were right, which was easy since they are common anyway. I appreciate knowing I have the resources.
Cher


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 4, 11 at 11:53

My Gold Hinokis are wider also. They're much older too.
There is a green one just behind the 'Aurea'. It's a little bit larger, even though they were planted at the same size and time.

IMG_2438

Here's a picture taken this morning of a normal gold Hinoki and the dwarf gold form. I had to limb up the Chamaecyparis obtusa, 'Aurea' because of my driveway. Decisions made thirty years ago were not made with the knowledge of today. In some cases I planted trees with the idea that I would move them 'later'. Whoops, big mistrake!
Mike
IMG_2440


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RE: Something to talk about.

Whass, I forgot to mention your numerous posts that cover everything from soup to nuts. I enjoy them and appreciate your willingness to participate. Your questions and getting the correct responses to the issues, I am sure, help many of the silent non-responders of this forum.

Bernd,

Yes I have read Iseli description and growth habit. It can get big over time. For those who plan to make this conifer a keeper over the long haul I would at least allow 15-20 ft. of spread. 30+ ft. on the vertical side. Of course this all depends upon your micro climate but for the most part correct.

I will trim off that wayward limb to keep it in balance in time. For now I want everything on the top side working to promote growth.

How big it gets is not a concern to me. If I am around long enough where it reaches plus size proportions and needs to go...so be it.

A photo of the one lost in 2010.

Photobucket

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

Dave, I absolutely -must- ask what is the beauty you have planted in the very first image posted. To the left? The short squat one? I absolutely Love it! Color, shape and all. It's so lovely.

I'm a blue spruce lover, I cannot find any in my area to purchase, Nor can I even find any dwarf conifers like so many of you have. Which means I'll have to order online eventually. I've fallen absolutely in love with some of these you guys have posted but cannot plant just yet... in the slow process of replanting the lawn currently. ;) Maybe another year before we make it to the trees and such. lol

~Tina


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RE: Something to talk about.

Tina,

That's an easy one.

Picea pungens 'Lundeby's Dwarf'. If you have a local nursery that sells Iseli stock you can have them order one for Spring shipment. Otherwise google it for mail order.

Dave

Lundeby's Dwarf' in spring time foliage.

Picea pungens 'Lundeby's Dwarf'

In late fall foliage.
Back island buitl in 2002  Juniperus squmata 'Blue Star' unknown seedling Picea pungens 'Lundeby's Dwarf'


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RE: Something to talk about.

My vote for prettiest plant in your Garden Dave, at least in Spring. WOW.

In regard to B&B I'd guess about 1% of my conifers were B&B stock. Most have done well though it's worth noting I have only been gardening 3-4 years so they have a long ways to go still before I'll know their roots are OK. For the most part, I did *zero* work on the roots, simply cut the bag and ropes and put them into the dirt.

-Will


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RE: Something to talk about.

I love coming here and oogling the images of all of your gardens. Not just Daves. LoL I'm terrible that way. Hehe!

I am going to try and acquire a few dwarf conifer. It's just a matter of finding the exact ones I want and convincing DH to get them! :)

Thank you for sharing so many pictures of such lovely conifers guys. <3

~Tina


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RE: Something to talk about.

The story that started this thread reminds me of a question that I posed here a while back. I had recently purchased some new plants and asked if it would be wise to use shade cloth to protect them from the sun until they became established. The general consensus seemed to be that shade cloth was only required on sun sensitive transplants, such as 'Skylands', but looking at how several of my transplants did this year, I'm doubting that general wisdom. I have a golden fernspray Hinoki that burned and a Japanese maple as well... both could have used protection from the sun. Of course, no one could have known how severe the heat would be this summer in my part of the country (which undoubtedly contributed), but I wonder if it would be wise to adopt a more general strategy. For example, I could screen all spring transplants, especially large ones, especially conifers...


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 13:18

John, I think there are too many variables at play and you might have to look at each plant on a case by case basis.

You have to consider, mulch color, soil type, plant species, plant cultivar, wind exposure, sun exposure, locale, etc.

I'd never in my lifetime screen a plant in my area unless it was a truly special plant that required such based on the location I planted it. I have multiple micro climates with varing soils and soil moisture throughout my little 1/2 acre.

Hey, you are due for some pics by the way!! So is Rick!


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RE: Something to talk about.

johnplace,

I personally don't think there is a need to screen new plantings under normal seasonal conditions. The exceptions are yellow/golds or those with white foliage. I will also add any that seem to be struggling for one reason or another.

In my area this year with high temps, humidity, and no rain beginning the first week in June drastic measures were implemented when it became apparent this destructive weather pattern was entrenched. I screened all my new additions along with those transplanted last Autumn. Yes,I lost a few mostly older plants but I did not loose one new transplant.

The bottom line...use common seance. You alone have to be responsible to make the right call. Answers or advice given on this forum to those who need help are for the most part general middle of the road advice. That especially applies with so little information on most inquiries. Follow ups to get additional information are the norm from those who feel a need to help.

Concerning your problems John I don't even see a zone listed for you. That alone is a big missing link in giving you a correct answer for anything. I think you are from Texas or Oklahoma. Could be wrong. If so I wouldn't have never tried 'Skylands'. Shade cloth or no shade cloth. Acer palms need help...North side plantings only for those heat & sun sensitive.

This forum is helpful, to a point. Simple problems ...easy to fix. More complex issues may require additional follow up probably with your county extension agent. Micro climate is the biggest concern when advising people on how to treat their special concerns. Each area is different even though in the same zone.

Most of the cultivars seen on this forum are grown away from their natural habit. Some are more case sensitive then others and are subject to die at any given time. I also see a lot of cultivars and species, for that matter, grown border line or out of zone completely. I am guilty of that. We create most of these problems our self. Before planting, know what your plant requirements are and provide the care it needs. Even after free range they still need to be looked after. If you are stepping out of the safe zone or micro climate be prepared for losses. You can grow them but extra care needed will sometimes be overwhelming and you have to be dedicated to insure your plants survival.

Again...something to think about.

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

Thanks Dave. I almost always list my zone and city... maybe a handful of times I haven't.

Just to be clear, I was not being critical of the advice I was given, merely offering a mild challenge to the conventional wisdom. Screening all golds/whites, as you mentioned, is something I have not heard before, but it certainly does make sense.


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Pics coming.

Whaas, I will be posting some pics of my garden before the end of fall. It has undergone a complete transformation from barren turfgrass lot to fully landscaped borders, dry creek bed, landscaping beds, etc. Within the last two months I've added about 13 cubic yards worth of mulch to brand new landscaping beds alone. It's just too bad I don't have before pictures. Maybe I'll post the overhead satellite image from Google Maps as a before reference. lol.

BTW, I do love the forum.


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 16:01

You have 30 days! Look forward to it!

Isn't mulching a son of gun? I put in 35 yards this year and it looks as if I didn't put anything in. I need about 50 yards next year!


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RE: Something to talk about.

john, I know you weren't being critical and I wasn't either.

Sometimes I shoot from the hip...I never hit anything.

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 22:29

Cripes, I have another b&b conifer taking a digger. This Pinus parviflora 'Glauca' shed an amazing amount of needles in the last couple weeks. The new growth is now yellowing and dropping.

Does anyone know where the "Country Grown" brand comes from?


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RE: Something to talk about.

Dave, I would have responded sooner but was camping/fishing the last 10 days. I was wondering if such a large B&B would also need winter protection or do you think that would be an issue?

Whaas, "Country Grown" is from A&R Spada Farms.

tj


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RE: Something to talk about.

Good question tj.

I have never given Winter protection to any of my conifers.

I did offer my 'Chief Joseph' Winter shade form November to late March. That is the only one.

Whass, what is the condition of the Pinus parviflora 'Glauca' now?

Dave


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RE: Something to talk about.

  • Posted by steg z6 SW Cleveland (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 13, 11 at 0:07

Hey whaas,

I've got a parviflora 'Glauca' that has been in the ground 2 years now. It was container grown, but is dropping a crapload of interior needles. It had some solid growth this year, and this year's growth seems solid still.

I know Dave dropped that post recently about Pinus needle shed. It has been pretty substantial in my neck of the woods this year. Strobus has been quite noticeable. I have a handful of the species and it seems the healthiest one is showing the least shed, so I think you're on to something there, Dave, about being able to maintain only what it can. However, unlike the western front of the AL Central, here in Indian country it was quite a wet growing season.

Anyway, I'd love to get some pics up and post more, but I am stretched so thin these days; the little free time I have is spent wrapping up planting and deer (buck) proofing the yard. That having been said, I always appreciate reading the insights of some of the 'veterans' here, Dave, Dax, Nate, etc. and always enjoy the stunning pictures people post...Will! In the meantime, I'll do my best to chime in with the occasional off-color/innuendo-laced post. On behalf of all the 'peeping toms', thanks to those who do contribute (to quote Kenny Powers) 'on the reg'.

Steg


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RE: Something to talk about.

I wish I was able to give any input into this conversation in regards to the conifers. I just don't have the knowledge. But I'm learning! :D

As for mulching? It's a B! LoL Four big Road King dump loads later, we're still moving the compost around in the back yard currently. So we can reseed the lawn. What a nightmare...

However, new flower beds, hopefully I can also leave places for planned purchases for a few conifer wishes. A new garden bed too. Yay! I am looking forward to seeing the new turf next year. This year was depressing, seeing a dead lawn while killing off every weed, broadleaf and thistle in my yard.

And as always, Thank you to the folks who post here, I appreciate all the knowledge and pictures.

~Tina


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