The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 5, 1991 · Page 21
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 21

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 5, 1991
Page 21
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Saturday. October 5. 1991 THE C INCINNATI ENQUIRER FeaturesC-3 . Garden designer on the fast track . K ''V i v r I 1 -i s V""-2. ii f . The next year, he established the railway garden at Kings Island and operated it about three years. Since then, he has done railway-garden displays for Procter & Gamble Co., Lazarus in Columbus, Krohn Conservatory and the Greater Cincinnati Flower & Garden Show. "I've always enjoyed the challenge of some unusual things." And he especially enjoys "creating the total environment, mimicking mountains and streams," he says. "It's something you visually really participate in." In 1984, Busse and Tim llyinksky founded the Garden Railway Co. in O'Bryonville. But with the design of railway gardens becoming more popular, Busse recently separated from the Garden Railway Co. and established his own business, Applied Imagination, strictly for landscape and design work. . PEGGY LANE Landscape architect Paul Busse, 41, has created private railway gardens big and small. Small, like the train and track on a wall outside the kitchen garden of Reuben and Katie Katz, which can be operated from a switch in their Hyde Park kitchen. Big, like the one he's working on for a client that will include almost a quarter mile of tracks as it cruises along the edge of a woody area and travels across the yard. Although he has designed a couple of dozen private railway gardens around Greater Cincinnati, his work is not always hidden from view. In 1982, 11 years after graduating from Ohio State University, he put on a railway garden display at the Ohio State Fair. "It was the first time the general public had seen anything like this," says Busse, the only railway-landscape designer in this area. r,mi. i The Cincinnati EnquirerJohn Curley Paul Busse works on a custom-built railroad. Trains CONTINUED FROM PAGE C-l way hobby, made popular in Europe some years ago, is gaining popularity in the United States, especially in warmer climates. The local garden railway club has about 100 members. And the Garden Railway Society convention held in Cincinnati in June, drew 1,750 people from across the country. Mark Morovitz, spokesman for Garden Railways magazine, estimates there are 5,000 garden railways in the United States. Though railroad gardens can take many shapes, Robinson, a contractor, envisioned a miniature mountain, rock-hewn tunnels, a river, a waterfall with a 3-foot drop, several pools, six bridges and giant trestles (6 and 10 feet long) crossing the river. It was to be visible from the different levels of Robinson's hillside home. For the construction, he hired Paul Busse, one of the founders of the Garden Railway Co. and owner of Applied Imagination, a railway landscape design firm. Master plan Busse trucked in dirt. He dug compete with a saloon, a stable and store, with more to come. All buildings and plants are scaled to the railroad's size. Thus, ground-hugging junipers represent forests on the hillsides. Tiny Japanese thread-leaf maples sweep the sides of the trains traveling the valleys. Small succulent sedums represent other plants in a mountain scene. Ivy and ajuga cover flat areas. Eventually, the plants should grow together so the garden won't require mulching, says Busse, a landscape architect. The whole thing is about 40 by 50 feet and uses 250 feet of railroad track. Lighting is being added, and Robinson plans to add a switching yard. He has about 10 outdoor engines and locomotives and more than 60 rolling stock (passenger cars, coal cars, box cars). Now fully planted except for some perennials, the pools stocked with goldfish and a large catfish that outgrew the family's indoor aquarium and planted with water plants, the railway garden is just about complete ... Until, that is, Robinson envisions another environment; the " back yard still has plenty of room for additions. areas for a stream and pool, taking advantage of a natural rain runoff at the side of the house. For authenticity, he used portions of real railroad ties to shore up walls. And he hauled in rocks and stones from area gravel pits and Augusta, Ky. Then, with helpers Julya Yarden and Bridget Schaupp-Vukelic, the garden was laid out. Designs for the three railroad trestles were researched at the public library, where Busse found an 1892 civil engineer's terminal handbook. "I really want to make things look right," he says. "The bridges are where the creek got tighter or the cliffs higher. You put them where the least amount of resistance would be, otherwise it wouldn't feel right." After Busse built the templates for the bridges, he and Robinson worked together on them and found they could have one completed in about two hours. Family affair Robinson is one of the lucky hobbyists: His wife, Carolyn, and their three adult children share an interest in his hobby. Carolyn Robinson is building villages to sit alongside the railroad. Her first is a western town Lhm. ZZ3 3 Contemporary Furniture Sale Imagine the oritfinal kid proof sofas and sectionals Imagine savings of 25 on any custom order Imagine your choice of great fabrics or leathers Imagine delivery oy manKsgiving Final 2 Days O No need to dream about that wonderful furniture buying experience. It awaits you every day at Gourmet Furniture. Sunday Saturday Save 25 I-27S I ncinerfKd. FT on Contempo Classics. Orders now through Nov. 1 Delivery before Thanksgiving for in-stock fabrics 1-71 1 Coopci 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 12 Noon -5:00 p.m. Come early for best Selection! Mon. & Thurs 1 1:00-8:00 Tues. Weds. Kri. 1 1:00-6 00 Sat. 10:00-6:00 Sun. 12:00-5:00 969 1 Kenwood Rd.. Blue Ash 793-9699 . 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