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    • November 15, 2019 10:43 PM EST
    • More planting today. Also some rock improvements. Super happy with today's progress. A lot of the happenings were in the Jasper area near the goldmine. If you recall, some of the trees are lemon cypress. Nancy also bought some dwarf Alberta spruce. We pruned these heavily (yup, I learned more about pruning):



      And when put in place near the goldmine (also check out the rocks above the goldmine... much better):



      The backside of the goldmine mountain area:



      The area between the goldmine and the central peninsula was also rerocked and partially planted:


      And back in the city of Durango, a few extra succulents were planted but more interestingly some first attempts at hiding the sprinkler pipes were started and look promising:



      And the sprinklers work! Yay! Not so much manual watering. Thank you Rainbird!


    • November 11, 2019 2:00 PM EST
    • I ditto the cars, they are great looking, when I had my outside layout it was watered with a ground well and was a deep well which had a sulfur smell to it also left a white deposit on things, I soon found out that down here water and wood don't mix so it became and all plastic building location very quickly. I tried all types of sprinklers and systems and I will admit the drip system was the neatest but at the same time the most troublesome of all. Biggest advantage was water just went where you wanted it but found it to be very finicky mostly with clogged heads. Granted it was well water and problem had particles in it but soon reverted back to water every thing and wipe down the track afterwards and found it to be less work in the long run, Bill   

    • November 11, 2019 12:01 AM EST
    • Jim,

      A belated "Mahalo! (Thank you!)" for your follow-up.  I cannot recall meeting Nancy; we have corresponded via the GR forum once or twice, so perhaps she recognizes my name from that venue.

      Anyway, pm outbound to your location...


      Keep the photos coming!



    • November 10, 2019 9:55 PM EST
    • You know what, Dan? I'm pretty happy with the scratchbuilt cars too! Plan to do all the rest of my cars that way. Keeps me off the streets.




    • November 10, 2019 9:53 PM EST
    • Jim, the train looks great moving through the new plants.  I really like the fact that all the cars behind the climax were scratch built by you.  Look forward to seeing more.

    • November 10, 2019 9:47 PM EST
    • Greg:


      All taken in the most helpful light. Thanks for your thoughts.


      At least my rocks won't grow!


      And yeah, the hypertufa will be mixed/molded/sculpted here. Not totally sure how malleable it is but it looked great at Nancy's. And I'm not sure what color palette is available. So still lots of questions in my mind...


    • November 10, 2019 8:03 PM EST
    • surely trying to be helpful here, I would mention that you can get some cool "micro sprayers" to customize and localize water too, and they can be fed from the risers that have your sprinklers.


      I started with sprinklers, but as things grew, taller plants tended to block the water to lower plants. You might have a similar issue with tall rocks too!


      Will you actually mix and mold/shape the hypertufa?



    • November 10, 2019 7:51 PM EST
    • Heard back from Nancy, the material is hypertufa [link]


    • November 10, 2019 6:56 PM EST
    • Oh, I'm not assuming we are fine tuning the sprinkler. Of course it has very coarse adjustments available. I guess what I meant by that was the Nancy says it is way easier to see how the sprinkler coverage is working by watching where the water goes, which according to her is a lot harder to understand, and a lot more "fussy" in her words, with drip. We'll see how it goes.


      Meanwhile, I visited Nancy's garden today (and it is as cool as you might imagine) and saw some material that she is proposing we use to hide the sprinkler pipes. She used it to hide some support posts for an upper loop (and to make a place to put dinosaurs for the kids to play with).  I'll come back with the name of the stuff when I get it from her (she's told me by my pea brain won't remember it!):




    • November 10, 2019 2:10 PM EST
    • Great, as you have your consultant. I won't argue, but fine tuning a sprinkler is impossible flat out, since it serves multiple plants, how can it service each one optimally?

      Whereas drip systems can use leaky hose, or "emitters" that can be purchased in a wide variety of gallons per hour, and combinations thereof and be customized with scissors, so you can fine tune the water to each plant.


      Not trying to argue, but I know plants, I know sedums (very popular here further south), and I have tried sprinklers, micro sprayers, tube drip and individual emitters. (Although frankly I am surprised at anyone recommending overhead watering for sedums, whose claim to fame is the waxy "leaves" that neither transpire nor absorb moisture)


      I wish you the best, but depending on your water, I would caution you to watch for any calcium and magnesium buildup on your buildings and see if it bothers you. The plants themselves will tell you how the watering is working.


      Best of luck,



    • November 10, 2019 1:49 PM EST
    • Greg: as mentioned in an earlier post, this is a strong recommendation by Nancy Norris, who I have hired to design and plant the garden part of my railroad. She asserts that the buildings will be fine and regular sprinklers are way easier to understand and tune up, leading to better plants. I am going with her recommendation because she is the expert and I am definitely not.


      Lots of opinions around this topic I think.

    • November 10, 2019 1:21 PM EST
    • Is a drip system out of the question?


      Drip tubing is easy to configure / re-configure, and the directed water keeps you from spraying your structures and track, with the attendant calcium/magnesium buildup.



    • November 10, 2019 12:52 PM EST
    • Jim Rowson said:

      Thanks Steve. That helps. On the other hand, they are butt ugly. I need to imagine how they can be made less intrusive...

      Paint them black, or Use Krylon cammo.

    • November 10, 2019 12:43 PM EST
    • Thanks Steve. That helps. On the other hand, they are butt ugly. I need to imagine how they can be made less intrusive...

    • November 10, 2019 12:31 PM EST
    • Jim, your railroad looks great.


      Regarding the sprinklers degrading the scratchbuilt structures, I wouldn't worry about it, too much.  Eric, up in Maine, has a bunch of finescale scratch built wooden structures, and they do just fine, left out year 'round.  I think that you will be applying much less dihydro monoxide than he sees in any given time.

    • November 10, 2019 12:10 PM EST
    • Ken Brunt said:

      A rule of "brown thumb"; the more expensive the plant, the quicker it dies..................

      Yup.  Diana wanted a dwarf lemon tree for Christmas (in Eastern Washington, beautiful Deer Park, 2300 ft asl ), so, not being able to deny anything to my lovely bride, I ponied up the $60.00 for a two gallon sized tree, with two small, green lemons on it.  She babied it through two winters, keeping it in a South facing window during the winter, with a grow light, and outside, after the last frost, but it finally gave up the ghost this summer.



    • November 9, 2019 5:16 PM EST
    • Short video. The trains still run! Yay!


    • November 9, 2019 2:03 PM EST
    • There are pop up heads for sprinklers that can help hide them....

      Image result for pop up sprinkler

    • November 9, 2019 7:35 AM EST
    • Jim,

        If you do use Miracle Grow in the bottle the cap/ may need it someday !

    • November 9, 2019 12:10 AM EST
    • I've done both, pluses and cons both ways.

      Good luck hiding them.