I will admit that, until now, I have shown no ability to keep plants alive (I once killed a cactus by underwatering it, for example). Given that the Durango & Jasper is meant to be a garden railroad, this clearly needs to change.
Starting from such a stunning position of ignorance, I’ve decided to take advantage of a lucky coincidence and hire Nancy Norris, the gardening editor for Garden Railway magazine, to plan, install, and teach me about these living things that I will be nurturing. She lives not far from me.
Nancy came by a couple of weeks ago for an initial chat:
We chatted about my vague plans and she seemed to like the general flow. She had lots of good ideas and we modified my initial thinking. Here’s a track plan with some colors to mark the different zones as I loosely described them to her:
In the forest area we have, of course, trees. The peninsula in the center is a log loading area and we chatted a bit about making that have some different colors and perhaps some bonsai-like plants. The desert area will have succulents and cacti of various kinds. The transition will attempt to make a smooth segue from forest to desert. We also spoke about adding some more drama in some of the rock formations.
Nancy will be here in a couple of days to take the next step of selecting specific plants and getting more detailed about what to do. The last time she was here we ended up buying a few hundred pounds of rocks, some that are a bit of a contrasting color to the existing granite, to build some interest near the right end of the transition area (we were talking about something we called a “rock fall” in that area).
I plan to document here the various decisions and the progress as we go along.