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    • November 23, 2019 11:09 AM EST
    • What? You have never heard of the Giant Blue Sequioa? Will try to get some photos that show the whole context...

    • November 23, 2019 5:50 AM EST
    • Jim it really has come to life with the plantings phase. I for one would like to see the overall photo to really enjoy the outcome. I being from the east with no travels into your neck of the woods per se, am having trouble identifying the blue tree in the midst of your plantings. Is that the one I've heard of called the 'Blue Spruce'

    • November 22, 2019 8:58 PM EST
    • I agree with Eric.  Very well camouflaged, Jim.  Your RR is beginning to look like it has been there forever.  Keep up the great work ....... AND please keep sharing with us 

    • November 22, 2019 8:16 PM EST
    • There are sprinklers?   Amazingly camouflaged! 

    • November 22, 2019 7:41 PM EST
    • More planting work today: hiding sprinkler pvc pipe, more details in the tall timber, more tall timber planting, and some filler in the yard of Durango (no pics for that, sorry).


      Hiding the sprinklers in Durango:



      A new dry wash near the goldmine in the Jasper area:



      And some more trees planted:



      I'm loving this so far.


    • November 17, 2019 1:05 PM EST
    • Cool video, Jim.  Love the sound of the shay.

    • November 17, 2019 9:26 AM EST
    • Nice one Jim, I like the technique of leading the loco with your camera.

    • November 16, 2019 6:52 PM EST
    • A short video near the goldmine and "tall timber":



    • November 16, 2019 6:47 PM EST
    • Really nice!  When those plants come in, it'll force folks to really look at the structures behind them.  It is a strange thing I learned from aquarium keeping.   The more you hide something, the more people try to look to see what is there!  With your modeling skills, Jim, your visitors will be in for a real treat!  



    • 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.