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Project Builds (non Car) Here is an area where you can show / discuss other non car builds be they bikes, caravans, boats, BBQ's or whatever.

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Old 18-05-2020, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default DFB's Greenthumb Project

Ok, so a little bit of a backstory to start this thread.

A large part of my upbringing was spent outside. Whether it be making castles in the sandpit, climbing the huge maple tree in our backyard or playing house in the cubby, being outside has been a constant in my life from the beginning. I also spent a lot of time in my grandparentís garden. Nan spent many years working as nursery assistant and after retiring, she spent her time tending to a beautiful garden that also had a glass house and what she called the ďbush houseĒ that contained my país orchid collection. So you could say horticulture was in the blood.



As I got older, gardening became my hobby. I was always in a rush to finish my homework so that I could get out into the garden. School holidays were spent playing in nan and país garden helping pa mow the lawns or planting bulbs with nan. As I hit my teens, it became clear that gardening was going to transition from my passionate hobby to becoming my profession. I was mowing lawns from the age of 14, took up horticulture classes in high school, then completed Ornamental Horticulture qualifications over a three-year period. Working in a nursery was my ultimate goal, something that I achieved after working hard to prove myself. With only minimal nursery work available at the time, I started my own business at age 19, a gardening and mowing service that I still run today in conjunction with my nursery work.

So this thread will be a bit of an outlet for my horticultural endeavors. Oh, and also my obsession for mowers!

The current fleet.

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Old 18-05-2020, 05:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Many gardeners would most likely nominate Spring as their favorite season. For me, it's Autumn, mainly for the cooler weather and the colour of the trees.

These caught my eye today.

These Ornamental Pears, Pyrus calleryana 'Capital' have been planted along the fence line of a customers property. They grow about 10 mt high but only 3 mt wide so are great for restricted areas, giving height without broad spreading width. They feature white flowers in early spring, with the foliage turning yellow, orange, red and purple in the autumn. They are also fast growing. In some ways these have been somewhat over planted in the community, but for good reason as Pyrus have many virtues.



The only drawback in my opinion is having to clean up the fallen leaves in autumn. The foliage also takes a long time to break down unless shredded.
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

How would they go in the Riverina? Dry, hot, rock-hard sandy clay loam. Do they self-set?
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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How would they go in the Riverina? Dry, hot, rock-hard sandy clay loam. Do they self-set?
I haven't found them to be particularly fussy with regards to soil conditions, these are commonly used as a street tree and therefore can survive on minimal watering if required, once established.

Self-set? I assume you mean fruiting? If so, these are ornamental pears and therefore produce no crop.
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Can you be my "Go-to guy" for what plant is that? A few years back we bought a 2 acre property, and the older guy we bought the place from was into his plants. I've got an app on my phone that tells me some plants and trees, but not others.
My wife shoves fruity things into my mouth to see if it's edible. I need a better system.
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:49 PM   #6
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Self-set? I assume you mean fruiting? If so, these are ornamental pears and therefore produce no crop.
I could have phrased it better, do they seed/spread a bit too prolifically, like a sapium does?
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:51 PM   #7
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I could have phrased it better, do they seed/spread a bit too prolifically, like a sapium does?
No, all good on that front.
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Can you be my "Go-to guy" for what plant is that? A few years back we bought a 2 acre property, and the older guy we bought the place from was into his plants. I've got an app on my phone that tells me some plants and trees, but not others.
My wife shoves fruity things into my mouth to see if it's edible. I need a better system.
Sure, why not.

That said, the amount of customers who want a plant id from a blurry picture and a description like "its got green leaves" drives me nuts!
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Old 18-05-2020, 09:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Sure, why not.

That said, the amount of customers who want a plant id from a blurry picture and a description like "its got green leaves" drives me nuts!
Don't worry... I'm a photographer as part of my trade!
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Old 19-05-2020, 07:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Nandina domestica nana / Dwarf Sacred Bamboo.



Don't let the common name fool you, this is not an actual bamboo. This variety of Nandina is a very popular plant, seemingly never going out of fashion. And for good reason. These plants are quite versatile, being able to be grown from full shade to full sun and will tolerate frost, neglect and drought. With a height and spread of about 60cm x 60cm, these Nandina are very low maintenance plant and require little to no pruning to maintain a compact, bushy habit. Their best feature however is the stunning red foliage display in autumn and winter. They make a nice low boarder, look great under trees or as a lower story planting under standard roses.

Nandina is one of my go to favorites for people who want a low maintenance gardening.
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Old 19-05-2020, 07:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Originally Posted by DFB FGXR6 View Post
Ok, so a little bit of a backstory to start this thread.

A large part of my upbringing was spent outside. Whether it be making castles in the sandpit, climbing the huge maple tree in our backyard or playing house in the cubby, being outside has been a constant in my life from the beginning. I also spent a lot of time in my grandparentís garden. Nan spent many years working as nursery assistant and after retiring, she spent her time tending to a beautiful garden that also had a glass house and what she called the ďbush houseĒ that contained my país orchid collection. So you could say horticulture was in the blood.

image

As I got older, gardening became my hobby. I was always in a rush to finish my homework so that I could get out into the garden. School holidays were spent playing in nan and país garden helping pa mow the lawns or planting bulbs with nan. As I hit my teens, it became clear that gardening was going to transition from my passionate hobby to becoming my profession. I was mowing lawns from the age of 14, took up horticulture classes in high school, then completed Ornamental Horticulture qualifications over a three-year period. Working in a nursery was my ultimate goal, something that I achieved after working hard to prove myself. With only minimal nursery work available at the time, I started my own business at age 19, a gardening and mowing service that I still run today in conjunction with my nursery work.

So this thread will be a bit of an outlet for my horticultural endeavors. Oh, and also my obsession for mowers!

The current fleet.

image
Do I spy a black sheep in the fleet...
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Old 20-05-2020, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Do I spy a black sheep in the fleet...
I'm assuming you mean the Rover?

That Rover has been exceptional over the 6 years I have had it. It packs the catcher solid, wet or dry. I usually replace mowers every 12 - 18 months but this thing has been so good that I struggle to find a reason to move it on.

The trouble is, the engine is starting to use a bit of oil now, not visible from the exhaust but I can smell it. Rover no longer make this deck design so I am pondering whether to replace the engine or take a plunge on the new Rover ProCut. https://www.rover.com.au/lawn-mowers...ke-clutch.html

Or maybe the Bushranger 800 SP https://bushrangerpe.com.au/browse-p...er-pu53ah6imsp. These were actually branded as a Victa about 10 years ago.

Trouble is, both of these models sacrifise a portion of the discharge chute to house the gearbox, compromising the catching efficiency that I love about my current Rover.

Open to suggestions or advise.
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Old 20-05-2020, 06:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Ok, a bit of mouthful this one.

Acer palmatum (Polymorphum) or Seedling Japanese Maple.



The "seedling"reference is due to this variety of Japanese Maple not being grafted, simply grown from seed. The lack of grafting usually means this Maple is cheaper to buy in nurseries, either potted or as a bare rooted stock in the winter.

A slow grower, this is a small deciduous tree to about 4 mt high and 4 mt wide. It prefers a sheltered position, preferably morning sun and afternoon shade and protection from hot summer winds. Having said that, I have seen this Maple being grown in full sun so they are adaptable, although regular summer watering is key here. The Autumn foliage ranges from yellow, to orange, to red and then purple. This tree is great for small gardens, as a feature tree in a courtyard and can even be grown in a large pot.

Well worth a look.
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Old 20-05-2020, 06:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

I like maples, all through the regional variants. Iíve got one of the grafted ďlace leafĒ Japanese type, have had the odd seedling but theyíve not lasted beyond eighteen months. Sydney doesnít get chilly enough to kill the bark parasites on most varieties.
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Old 20-05-2020, 07:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

DFB, I've got a tree-hugger's tree in the back yard, down near one of our stands of bamboo. I think it's a Kapok tree...



Do you know anything about them?
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Old 20-05-2020, 07:22 PM   #16
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DFB, I've got a tree-hugger's tree in the back yard, down near one of our stands of bamboo. I think it's a Kapok tree...

image

Do you know anything about them?
They are really great trees, get too huge heights in rain forests and have many uses. Really popular for carving and the fibres can be used for stuffing.
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Old 20-05-2020, 08:44 PM   #17
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DFB, I've got a tree-hugger's tree in the back yard, down near one of our stands of bamboo. I think it's a Kapok tree...

image

Do you know anything about them?
Not one I have come across before.

A little bit of research found some interesting details -

"Ceiba pentandra is a great multi-purpose tree stretching high above most plants around it, with its striking canopy and ornamental appearance, Also known by the name Kapok Tree, this species is known across the subtropical world either growing wild, as a pioneer species or just a great addition to a garden. The tree is an important source of kapok, a cotton-like fluff that is harvested from the seedpods. It is suitable for soil erosion control and watershed protection, used in making soap, used for making hut walls and doors, as a brown dye are obtained from the bark, and for culinary and medicinal applications among other things."
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Old 20-05-2020, 09:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

From memory quite common in NZ, mattresses and pillows were stuffed with kapok. It was heavy compared to feathers or down, and became sort of lumpy with age. Delivered knockout blows in pillow fights.
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Old 21-05-2020, 07:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Kapok, Asthmatics best friend.
One good reason it fell out of favour for pillows and cushions.
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Old 21-05-2020, 08:46 AM   #20
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Thatís really interesting, was it the escaped fibres or did they host a mould?
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Old 21-05-2020, 09:39 AM   #21
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Friggin, talk about not wanting to hug that - Kapok, like being nailed to the wall - looks painful !
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Old 21-05-2020, 10:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

The plant Iíd like to have a good few of, is Citrus Medica, but exclusively grown from seed. Theyíve got niche religious significance and fetch a good price when fully accredited:

https://lulav.com.au/collections/fro...srogim-italian
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Old 21-05-2020, 03:26 PM   #23
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That’s really interesting, was it the escaped fibres or did they host a mould?
Bit of both, don't know but wasn't nice for any Asthmatics.
Certainly was the reason I suffered from bad Asthma as a kid along with the pampas grass my parents thought was a great idea to plant outside my window.

found this light reading.......https://www.jacionline.org/article/S...36)90431-8/pdf
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Old 21-05-2020, 07:27 PM   #24
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Nandina domestica nana / Dwarf Sacred Bamboo.

image

Don't let the common name fool you, this is not an actual bamboo. This variety of Nandina is a very popular plant, seemingly never going out of fashion. And for good reason. These plants are quite versatile, being able to be grown from full shade to full sun and will tolerate frost, neglect and drought. With a height and spread of about 60cm x 60cm, these Nandina are very low maintenance plant and require little to no pruning to maintain a compact, bushy habit. Their best feature however is the stunning red foliage display in autumn and winter. They make a nice low boarder, look great under trees or as a lower story planting under standard roses.

Nandina is one of my go to favorites for people who want a low maintenance gardening.
Your life sounds like a facsimile of mine!

Iíve planted more nandina nana than I care to remember, itís not a bad infill plant, and turning red in winter, itís an easy sell when designing a landscape.
Over the last few years Iíve moved on to the Moon Bay variety with its more upright pointed leaves, itís a quick grower, but doesnít colour up in winter like the original. My nandina breakthrough has been realising that they can be clipped into hedges and spheres, so, hello billable hours!
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Old 21-05-2020, 07:53 PM   #25
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Your life sounds like a facsimile of mine!

Iíve planted more nandina nana than I care to remember, itís not a bad infill plant, and turning red in winter, itís an easy sell when designing a landscape.
Over the last few years Iíve moved on to the Moon Bay variety with its more upright pointed leaves, itís a quick grower, but doesnít colour up in winter like the original. My nandina breakthrough has been realising that they can be clipped into hedges and spheres, so, hello billable hours!
I love "Moon Bay" as well, probably one of our biggest sellers. Compared to Nandina Nana it hold a nice even shape. I have them planted in my front garden.



I also like a variety called Magical Lemon Lime, it provides a colour accent against dark green foliage.

https://www.pga.com.au/Plants/Plant....?plant_id=3192
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Old 21-05-2020, 08:38 PM   #26
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How would they grow on sand,, not just sandy soil. About 40 M from the sea waves?
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Old 21-05-2020, 09:10 PM   #27
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How would they grow on sand,, not just sandy soil. About 40 M from the sea waves?
They are noted as drought tolerant so in theory they would survive in sandy soils. Straight sand? Probably not.
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Old 21-05-2020, 09:33 PM   #28
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

I've never seen them near salty soils.
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Old 22-05-2020, 05:52 PM   #29
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Working in a retail nursery, we mostly buy in our stock, however sometimes we grow certain lines on site. I love propagation, I think it taps into my love of order and repetition.

Today I took cuttings of Pig Face or Mesembryanthemum.



This plant is a bit of a granny favorite. It really suits areas that prove hard to establish, tolerating poor and dry soils. Their main claim to fame though is the mass of flowers produced in spring.

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Old 22-05-2020, 11:00 PM   #30
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

We have a groundcover that I think is causing problems with our dog's skin... I think it's Tradescantia Spathacea. In the shade it stays green, when it gets more sunlight it goes purple.



I need recommendations for a better ground cover.

We also have the Purple Heart variety.
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