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.
Not too inspiring, is it!
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:
(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:
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:
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!