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Almost the end of spring and I want shade 2016

I've decided I need a shade tree to go in the backyard.  Let's face it - I want some grass, but I also want to be able to sit out in my backyard and enjoy it.  Hence a shade tree.   It must be deciduous, relatively small, not necessarily productive (if it is - can't have fruit fly prone fruit as I will not be keeping small enough for netting) but beautiful if not.  Jacaranda's and Poinsettia's are out -> Jacs are too big and the Poins are too wide.  Something about the poinsettia's height or a little smaller though would be great.  This is the area it would go in.I think I've narrowed it down to a few in a possible order of preference.

  • Crepe myrtle Tuscarora: about 6m high - 4m wide.  Con: multistemmed.  How hard is it to train to 1 or 2 main stems?
  • Tabebuia palmeri: about 10 meters.  Con: I've seen conflicting heights up to 20m.  Not as pretty as crepe myrtle
  • Another pecan:  Con: greater than 10 m - could I keep pruned

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Just remember that I have mulberries, persimmons and stone fruit already planted around the yard so they're out.

In other news, I'm getting heaps of capsicums and Chilli.  I've been procrastinating this weekend but I'm making that chilli jam this weekend.  I've got about 3x this much in the freezer all from a little bush I picked up at one of our garden visits.

Since working out that I could put capsicums under fruit fly netting last year, I haven't looked back.  These are the mini-mix from Bunnings but I have some seed grown ones that have heaps of green normal sized fruit as well that will hopefully be coming on soon.

Finally got my act together and created the A-frame climber for my melon's.  Got the idea from Gardening Australia.

The tromboncino's are reaching for the sky.  They are extremely prolific and flowers and fruit are enjoyed in this house - my zucchini needs are well met.  They are susceptible to fruit fly though.  I find if I pick them youngish (just after their flower closes) I'm good.    Currently I have a black bucket 1/2 filled with water where all the rotting fruits (not just troms) go so I drown/boil the little suckers.  It then gets tipped on my compost after a few days - smelly but effective. 

Found my first set of grapes that have set - Yay!  Had a look around and quite a few bunches.

Peaches have been divine but are nearly over and done with.  Got some really good sized, perfect fruit this year.  Still, about 1/4 are marked or have coddling moth but that is less than last year.

And finally, I'll leave you with a shot of my flowers.  Sunflowers, foxgloves and lisianthus.  The foxgloves are a definite replant item.  The plants themselves are a very neat whorl like pattern with their leaves and make an excellent border and then the flowers!!! Pretty!  I know they are poisonous - they are planted in fenced off areas but next Autumn, I'm definitely planting more of them.  The lisianthus are left overs from last year.  Most sites say they are an annual, but this is the second lot of flowers out of these guys.  Have planted more!Well guys, this chilli jam ain't gonna make itself! Happy gardening folks and be kind to yourselves - Don't make the mistake of staying out doing "just one more job" without sun protection.  I got a touch of sunstroke yesterday with major headaches and sunburn because I started in the garden at 5.30 when you don't need anything and kept working through till 11.30.

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Comment by Susan on November 25, 2016 at 16:46

Already gone Dianne :(  I think I've decided to go with the crepe myrtle.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on November 24, 2016 at 16:03

Hi Susan, I know you were interested in the Guava Hawaiian - Pink Supreme (C) (165mm pot), Daley's have 1 left, they only had 2.

Hope you find your Ideal Tree as it will be there for a long time for you to enjoy!!

Comment by Lissa on November 24, 2016 at 5:06

Great write up and crops :)

I can't think of the perfect tree for your shade requirements - I also love Crepe Myrtle as do all the bees.

Comment by Christa on November 22, 2016 at 8:05

As you said deciduous, one tree that came to mind was an ornamental peach, I thinks Daleys had one some time ago.  It was a double flower and would give you the colour you like, though I have not grown one, I have seen one and they are beautiful. 

Comment by Cathie MacLean on November 22, 2016 at 7:40
My first thought when I read deciduous was crepe myrtle and they are not necessarily multi stemmed - all those I have been around have one attractive trunk and very graceful form. They are prone to suckering if you dig around the roots but if you are not building beds around the tree that should be fine. The blossom is lovely (I adore the white myself but all the pinks are pretty too) and I think bee friendly. I also love the idea of a little paved patio under a grape arbour, where you could sit down in the garden and survey your kingdom. You could grow an ornamental vine if you feel you have enough grapes.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 21, 2016 at 21:08

Figs are seriously keen growers. Now from what I read, roots only get into sewer pipes when there is a crack in the pipes. Fine and dandy 'cept we cannot see underground and earth movement especially on terracotta pipes, causes fine cracks which is all the roots need. My first Preston's roots were heading for our concrete block (the one the house is built on) and I figured better the plant gets moved than something happens to the house.

All my Figs now are in 200L wicking bins. Not the most beautiful but for for me, a practical solution. I have the bins covered in 2 layers of 50 percent shade cloth and they look OK to me.

If your sewer pipes are not close to where you want the Fig to grow, there shouldn't be any issues. Roots though can extend well beyond the 'drip line'. Find out where your sewer pipes are first and go from there.

Comment by Susan on November 21, 2016 at 20:20
Hey Dianne and Florence, that is one of my choices :) I keep flipping and flopping and changing my mind. By the way, even started to consider figs :). I had my first white Adriatic today (delicious) and it struck me that I've got all these figs in pots lying around, I could use one of them. Just how invasive are their roots?
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 21, 2016 at 15:02

There's a yellow form of Tabebuia too. Both colours are sparse trees though, giving as far as I can see with the few I have seen - very little shade. When in flower they are leafless and when just in leaf (10-11 months of the year) the leaves are fine. Not the first tree I'd think of for shade but deciduous and fairly small are two qualities hard to find in the one plant.

Comment by Florence on November 21, 2016 at 11:28

I was thinking about the Pink Trumpet Tree too Dianne, they seem to be a popular street/carpark tree in recent years ~ not too big and are beautiful when in flower ~

Comment by Dave Riley on November 21, 2016 at 10:21

Despite the attributes you see, Susan -- in the end you want shade when and where you want it. So I recommend that you take the sun's arc into your planning tools. Modeling HERE for Brisbane, but you can zero in and move it about  for your own address.

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