When I was a child, I received a toy train for Christmas. I can remember playing with that train for hours. I think the fascination about toy trains for me was how you could create this miniature landscape complete with buildings, people and animals and have a working train that moved throughout the landscape. When my children were young, they received a train set for Christmas. We built a small train track layout in the garage for them to enjoy. Over the years my fascination with miniature railways moved to miniature doll houses and now to miniature outdoor gardens. The idea of an outside miniature garden with trains sounds like something I would really like to build.
Recently, I had the chance to visit Taltree Arboretum and Gardens to see the Railway Garden. Taltree Arboretum and Gardens is located in Valparaiso, Indiana. What a treat! It was the biggest railway garden that I have ever seen. The Railway Garden has hundreds of dwarf and miniature trees and plants. The garden is made up of 850 tons of Missouri Limestone, 1486 cubic yards of soil, 6 water features and over 3,000 feet of track that runs throughout the garden. The trains runs through prairies, canyons, mountains, cities and small towns. The garden contain historical vignettes that show life in America from 1863 to 1915. This is a garden that can be enjoyed by children, gardeners and those adults who are "kids at heart". The detailing was amazing as you can see from the following pictures.
If you ever have a chance to visit Valparaiso, Indiana stop and visit Taltree Arboretum and Gardens. While you are there, you can spend the day walking in the arboretum, visiting the many gardens and have fun watching the trains in the Railway Garden. It might just inspire you to start a railway garden in your own yard.
The Creative Gardener
Tip: If you are interested in starting a railway garden in your yard, you will be looking for G-gauge trains.