Weeds and bushes

Today is a holiday where I live. Its official title is “Family Day”, but I prefer to think of it as “It’s bloody cold outside, let’s have a holiday Day”. And true to its word, it’s cold – and therefore a perfect day to spend in the room next to the furnace.

That’s the layout room, of course.

I started by organizing my scenery supplies, which have drifted into chaos of late. Grass supplies in several spots – same thing with ballasts and other ground cover materials, tree and shrub materials, and scenic details.

It didn’t take long to get things in order – and realize that the best place for all of this scenery material is on the layout. After all, that’s why I bought it!

So (as the title of this post suggests) I spent a couple of hours planting weeds and bushes. I decided to focus on the area around the elevated Coal Track in Port Rowan, since I’ve never really liked the look of the grass on the elevated track.

As a reminder, here’s a photo from last year, which is pretty much how it looked when I started this morning. I’ve also included a closer look at the coal bin itself:
Purple meadow flowers photo PtR-MeadowFlowers-02.jpg

Coal dump complete photo CoalDumpMech-01.jpg

Not too inspiring, is it!

Now, here’s the same area after a couple of hours work:
Coal Track with more weeds photo CoalTrack-Weeds-03_zps0f11f2c2.jpg

I used various weeds from Silflor, plus Super Tree material, to add life and character to the scene. The weeds and bushes are pretty heavy, suggesting that the nobody’s really bothering to look after the spur now that traffic has almost completely dried up. That said, the railway crews have worn a footpath into the slope as a shortcut between coal bin and yard throat:

Coal Track - more weed detail photo CoalTrack-Weeds-05_zps14ef8c3c.jpg

Footpath on the Coal Track photo CoalTrack-Weeds-06_zpsf7631779.jpg

(Truth be told, there’s more weed and bush on my model of the coal track than is apparent on photos of the prototype. The prototype is mostly covered in long grass. That said, the prototype also doesn’t have to deal with a backdrop that’s just a few inches behind the scene, whereas I do. So, I’m exercising the First Rule of Model Railroading: It’s My Layout.)

In doing this planting, I kept two things in mind. First, I regularly checked my work looking from the base of the Port Rowan peninsula to make sure my plantings were not going to interfere with the passage of locomotives or rolling stock:
Coal Track Corridor photo CoalTrack-Weeds-01_zps71ad79d7.jpg

Second, I wanted to add more clumps of brighter colours in front of the Coal Track, and use muted colours further back, ending with a line of dull green shrubs against the back edge of the layout to soften the transition to the backdrop. This would draw the eye away from the backdrop and into the centre of the scene:
Coal Track - weed detail photo CoalTrack-Weeds-04_zps80020531.jpg

I have a lot more scenery material, and I plan to add more weeds and bushes to the meadow between yard and fascia (although not as thick as I did on the coal track, since people will be reaching over the meadow frequently during an operating session). But that’s for another day. For now, I think today’s work turned out quite well!
Coal Track with weeds photo CoalTrack-Weeds-02_zpse536954d.jpg

8 thoughts on “Weeds and bushes

    • Thanks Daniel!
      It’s actually more than what was on the prototype – which had grass, mostly. But I didn’t like my grass or that long, featureless berm. I like this better.
      Cheers!

  1. I like that a lot! Some nice different colors and different textures, that all blend together into a nice looking scene. Are the flowers White Baby’s Breath and Yellow Buttercups? I’ve never put flowers on my layout, but they sure add a lot to your area.

    Mike S

    • Hi Mike:
      Thanks for the kind words – and yes, they are the Silflor Baby’s Breath (or “Babys Breathe” as it says on my packages) and Buttercup. I’ve also added some Goldenrod.
      More to come – I like adding weeds and bushes to the layout. I think they really bring the scene to life.
      Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the reply. They do add a lot of life to the layout and some much needed natural color. We always have a lot of greens and then there are the black engines and the drab colors on the cars too.

    Mike S

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