Sunday, September 1, 2013

Growing My Own (Crop of Trees, That Is)

My crop of "trees" getting ready for harvest.

It's harvest time on the prairies. The season got off to a slow, cool and wet start, but now farmers are on the fields, bringing in crops of wheat, oats, barley and canola. It's a time of optimism and gratitude as the bins are filled with the land's bounty.

It's not quite harvest time at my house, but my crop of trees is looking good, too. In my case, it's my Autumn Joy Sedum plant, from which I harvest trees for my layout each fall.

Right now the Sedum is green, but soon it will turn red and then, just before harvest, brown--at which point I will pick my next crop of trees.

A finished Sedum tree.

As I have noted earlier in this blog, I use a mixture of Sedum, Yarrow and Spirea for trees on the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision. Of the three,the Sedum requires the most work; the individual stems need to be glued together to make one tree.

After that step, all it takes is a green spray paint for the leaves, and black and brown for the trunks, along with hair spray and ground foam. The result is decent looking trees, and at a great price, too--free, except for the above-mentioned materials.

(As with many other things on our layouts, trees are best viewed from a distance, and then obliquely as part of the landscape--and preferably with a train being the centre of attention. Read more about seeing, our brains and model railroading here.)

The best thing about the Autumn Joy Sedum plant is that, according to one gardening expert, it "thrives on neglect. Too much water, rich soil or fertilizer can cause the plant to droop." Since I definitely don't have a green thumb, that is welcome news!

Click here to read about how I make my Sedum trees.

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