Model railroads #2: Paul Busse and Garden Railroads
Landscape designer Paul Busse and his Applied Imagination
company in Alexandria, Kentucky create and construct garden railroads. Busse trains can be seen in numerous public and private spaces, including the New York Botanical Garden, the Chicago Botanical Garden, the Omaha Botanical Gardens (Lauritzen Gardens), United States Botanical Garden (Washington, D.C.) and New Orleans' City Park.
Natural materials (leaves, twigs, bark, berries, cinnamon sticks, gourds, leaves, pinecones, twigs) are used in his constructions. A lengthy interview with Busse is part of this documentary, Locomotion in the Garden
(2005), showing how he constructs his garden railroads. Magnets on the tracks cue the bells and whistles.
Frank Etheridge, in 2002, wrote "Making Tracks"
about Busse's New Orleans garden railway:
Busse uses only natural materials when constructing his gardens, a feat accomplished with such plants as Contorta (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick) and grapevine tendrils; the tightly coiled wood of these plants are used to recreate the elegance of French Quarter wrought-iron balconies. Details are endless: delicately shaved wood becomes the flowing tail of Andrew Jackson's horse that stands in Jackson Square; acorn tops crown columns on mansions depicted such as the one at 2222 Esplanade Ave.; and bamboo forms the calliopes of a Mississippi River steamboat. Leaves are pressed flat to collectively form the spires of St. Louis Cathedral, with the city's most famous church standing at a height of 39 inches and serving as the focal point of Busse's train garden.
Remember that 1972 horror movie about the giant rabbits, Night of the Lepus? Watch for the rabbit hopping on the track at 2:20 in the video below.
Labels: busse, garden railroads, model railroads, mr. siebert