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Friday, 21 March 2014
How does your railway grow?
I love gardens but I'm not a gardener. Perhaps I was once when I lived in Herefordshire and had 1/2 an acre to play with and dreams of a proper garden railway. Today though I just have a few square yards on a brownfield site, and have to struggle with the limits of both a heavy clay soil and an awful lot of shade.
At this time of year I look out of my home office window and despair. The enthusiasm of the early Spring bulbs has given way to tiredness and the tulips look like they are only making a half hearted effort to fill the gaps.
Only my lovely hellebore looks in the peak of condition.
If I take a step back, or we could go forward in time to mid April I know the picture would be very different.
Thanks to the use of the miracle that is gypsum the soil structure of the lawn and the flower beds has been transformed. On the otherside of the fence the soil is waterlogged and the grass is yellow. Our lawn is already greening up and for the first time since the house was built is almost weed free. It has been dry enough to cut for weeks.
The honeysuckle and the clematis are looking good, the roses need some effort but I know they will put on a good show. The sweet peas,though not of the 5" gauge variety, have survived the frosts and have probably never looked so robust this early in the year.
And then I look around the workshop....
It is pretty much the same story.
So many projects are at a critical but disheartening stage. A Ratio 4 wheel coach in the middle of being converted to un-paneled departmental status, an old Triang clerestory coach in mid conversion to a non clerestory Dia.E40.
Buildings that looked OK last year but now need to be replaced by more rigorously accurate versions, RTR locos and wagons that look too out of the box, and the seed of an idea that might grow into something.