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 TRAINS IN THE GARDEN

 

BY BRUCE ZIMMERMAN

I remember getting my first train set on Christmas Morning and acting all surprised after sneaking down stairs in the middle of the night and playing with my new train. Santa Claus must of taken the time to set it up under the Christmas Tree. Santa Claus must of known how good a little boy I am!  Like anyone who has caught the train bug I still love playing with trains. The use of trains in the garden combines my love of gardening and trains. 

These are some of my favourite shots of the Chicago Botanical Garden Train Garden and the Trains in a Miniature World at the Epcot Center Florida. 

Lets first plan the route. It is important to design a route that has gentle curves and a relatively level grade. This may involve cutting away soil building up a raised platform; cutting a  Trains AmTrak Chicago Bot Garden
Train Santa Fe Chicago Bot Garden tunnel through a tree or a false tree or building a mountain that will obscure the train from view. The Mountain is built to create mystery and interest. It should contain rock
indigenous to the area that the theme train travels or maybe just to the area in your gardening . In our area we would use Queenston  Shale or Limestone. Once you Train Chicago Bot Garden
Train Through Giant Redwood have decided the route take a garden hose and lay it out. This will allow you to visualize your project. Remember that you want a level area for the station or marshalling
yards. In an existing 
garden you can use the existing plants as a back drop to your miniature world. This means that your train may have to follow the edge of your turf grass area. Place the  Train White House Chicago Bot  Garden
Trains Clown Train In Hollywood  transformer in a weather protected area or in a garden shed. Remember to have all electrical installation installed to local building codes and safety regulations. It is always
a good idea to mark, map and remember where the power lines are. This I learned the hard way by cutting a gas barbeque line. The transformer reduces the power so  Trains Chicago Bot Garden
Trains Clown Train Statue Of Liberty that you will not be able to electrocuted yourselves. You may also be able to run your trains in light rain or snow. Please be careful to maintain electrical conductivity across the 
joints in the tracks.
Careful soldering is important and the switch sections should be jumper wire soldered so that it can be removed and replaced easily. On 
Trains Chicago Bot Garden
Trains Old Faithful Geyser stainless steel or aluminum rails you must tin the ends of the jumper wires and screw them with stainless steel screws to the rails. This 
also should be done in several regular rail sections to allow for flex in the rail line during use and weather expansion and contraction. Proper ballasting is important to 
Trains Golden Gate help stabilize your track. The usual material is 1/4 inch or less crushed stone and stone dust mixture. It is placed under the track 1 to 2 inches deep and wider 

than your track. The ballast is tamped with a tamper or and old 4 x 4. Use a level to ensure that the track is level. Use ballast to correct any discrepancy in grading making sure that it is also tamped down. Radio Controlled trains are the coolest. The volunteers at the Chicago Botanical Train Garden show me how theirs worked.

Trains Epcot Center

Now it is time to add the landscaping. The best plants are young or dwarf plants. Many nurseries that grow their own plants on will have lots of liners. You should also search out nurseries specializing in dwarf plants.

Here are a few plant suggestions.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce Sea Thrift
Dwarf Canadian Hemlock Dwarf Carnations or Pinks
Dwarf Boxwood Dwarf Variegated Arabis
Rock, Scree or Alpine Plants Kewensis Euonymous

Some Internet Links for Garden Trains

Garden Trains Saskatoon Railroaders
Garden Trains Magazine Garden Trains
Garden Train Links Family Garden Trains
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