Backyard Trio

Privacy Fence photo StW-Fence-01_zps0bcabeb8.jpg

While I have minimal real estate in which to do it, I want to suggest that there’s more to the town of St. Williams than a level crossing. That said, I also don’t want to crowd the scene with structures. How to proceed?

I’ve kept clear a plot of land to the right of the depot and my plan is to use this area to suggest some back yards. Naturally, anybody living this close to the tracks – even a rail fan – would want a privacy fence. It became obvious that I would have to install this fence before I finish and plant the trees in these backyards, so I’ve spent a couple of days worth of hobby time scratch-building the fence.
Privacy Fence photo StW-Fence-02_zps5a37e9ea.jpg

As the pictures show, I’ve actually built three styles of fence to reinforce the message that we’re looking at three backyards, not one:

The property at left (closest to the station) has a simple board fence that’s fairly roughly assembled.

The middle property has a tighter board fence built in panels between the posts, with a top board to trim things off neatly.

The property at right has a more decorative fence, with the boards trimmed in arcs.

Privacy Fence photo StW-Fence-03_zps8feb3fd4.jpg

Privacy Fence photo StW-Fence-04_zps9e664a9d.jpg

Each property is 60 scale feet wide – actually, three times the width of the downtown Toronto property I’m used to, and a respectable size for a property in a small Ontario town. I have about a scale 30 feet between the fence and the back of the layout, and I’ve added short sections of fence at each end of this trio of backyards. In all, I built about 240 scale feet of fence – and I did it board by board, with each board distressed and stained before assembly. The project used a lot of scale 1″ x 6″ – several packages worth!

I’ve also started to create the backyards. The glue is still wet in these photos, but I’ve added grass and some basic plantings. Look at the above photos and you’ll see some bushes separating the middle and right properties, and some flowers along the property line between the left and middle backyards. I’ll add a simple fence behind the flowers here.

The home owner of the property at right is growing tomato plants – I’ll have to add old hockey sticks redeployed as stakes. That’ll make it very Canadian:
Privacy Fence photo StW-Fence-05_zps8125d1a4.jpg

11 thoughts on “Backyard Trio

  1. Great job. These look wonderful. I have a question though, have you thought about wire fencing?

    I spent the first 12 years of my life living on the Kingston Sub where it crosses Danforth Ave. I cannot remember one wooden fence in that area. Lots of, I think it is called Page Fencing, but no wooden ones. I have a picture of my Grandfather and I, I’m about 4 years old, with me standing on the wires watching a CN steam engine going by towards Montreal. My parent’s vegetable garden was along the back fence. Our neighbour was right against the tracks with a pie shaped lot and he had Black Current bushes along the fence hiding it. You had to watch out for the CN crews when they were spraying for Poison Ivy. I can remember him or his wife running out and yelling at them to not spray his bushes. CN maintained the fences.

    After that we moved to King City on the Newmarket Sub, expropriated by the City for the Scarborough Expressway that in the end did not happen. Again, wire fencing on all the properties that I remember, so a CN wire fence is not out of character for the era, hidden by some sort of bushes, as that is what I remember in KIng.

    • Hi Daniel:
      Good memories – and there is still a wire fence along this stretch of track. But I wanted to do wooden privacy fences here because the point is not only to suggest that there are backyards behind the tracks, but also to hide – or at least, minimize the distraction of – the fact that there’s only 3″ to 4″ of layout behind the fence before it hits the backdrop. My plan is a combination of fences and big overhanging trees.

  2. Trevor,

    Great idea and I sure think what you did came out looking like three back yards. I like the small tomato plants. Maybe a small out building could be in one yard too. Or a dog house!

    Mike S.

  3. Hi Trevor,

    Have you given any thoughts to shallow flats to represent the back of the homes? Maybe a laundry line, a swing set, or an old tire swing from one of the trees?

    Looks great!

    • Hi Walker:
      It’s a good question. I’ve thought about it, and I don’t really want to draw attention too far into the backyards – so no, no backs of houses. But I do like the laundry line idea. And I have a few of my own…
      Stay tuned!

  4. Hi Trevor,

    I like the yards but wonder if you may wish to accentuate more that they are three different yards. What I’m thinking is perhaps to have one yard freshly mown, one in need of mowing and the third somewhere inbetween. Even the weeds inbetween the privacy fence and the railroad fence could be used the tell a story of the different people living in those yards.

    I’ve not commented before but have been lurking quite a while. Your work is an inspiration and until finding your site, thougtht I was kinda strange (and alone) having decided I was happier with a simple, smaller layout than may have been possible given my space. I also really enjoy your small layout blog as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to share.


    • Hi Bill:
      Welcome aboard – thanks for de-cloaking! I’m glad you’re enjoying this blog and my Achievable Layouts effort.
      You’re right on the money about accentuating the differences in the yards. I must admit I’m not finished yet – I have more ideas for these yards, so keep checking in.

  5. A good scenic device here, Trevor–leading the viewer to see what you want them to see, rather than the backdrop inches away! Building flats would lead the viewer to the backdrop, instead of away from it.

    Steve Lucas.

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