Train Garden and Shade Gardening – What a Great Combo!

Shade garden

Shade garden

Train or miniature gardens are somewhat common in our area. So are shade gardens, especially those that bloom color like the Astilbe in the shade. One really has to take their time to soak in all the beauty and interest in this particular train garden. The photos should help you experience this small space gardening. Hosta has quite a popular following among collectors, breeders and hybridizers. In this area, hosta grows exceptionally well. The couple owning this garden are members of the local hosta club. Container gardening is also done especially well, which I will show in Part 2.

Front  entry to home and pretty garden welcome

Front entry to home and pretty garden welcome

When you first arrive, you notice the attention to detail in how nicely the entrance lays out the welcome mat. Flowers are colorful and beds line the walk. Next you notice you are entering a special garden, hinting at what theme the gardens might reveal as you walk to the rear of the property.

Train Mailbox

Train Mailbox

Walking up the driveway, the wooden fence is beautifully adorned.

The fence is beautifully filled with flowers.

The fence is beautifully filled with flowers.

And …

The small yard is packed to every corner.

The small yard is packed to every corner.

This garden is very unique in that very little space is left not planted. There are raised beds to contain and organize plants. All is lush and very colorful for a shade garden. Notice the different levels. Many small gardens cannot have stairs.

But where are the trains? Rolling into the station as we speak.

Train Garden with waterfall.

Train Garden with waterfall.

What is behind us? More and more plants!

Decorating the home with plants.

Decorating the home with plants.

Here is a view a bit further back.


This gives you a better sense of the space around the trains.

This gives you a better sense of the space around the trains.


This is an indoor train that was on display just for the open garden.

This is an indoor train that was on display just for the open garden.

But you want to see more of the planting beds, no?

Planting-Beds-Whit-GardenDid you notice the paving? It is designed to look like a train track.  Of course we need a cart to aid in getting our luggage to the train.


All plants in a train garden have to be scaled to the train display.


Miniature Conifers


There will be a part 2 on this garden showing all the unique and creative containers. Maybe I will do Part 3 because the structures and decor items in this garden are so thoughtfully done.

On Nature and Wildlife Pics, I have a beautiful butterfly, but also the GARDEN where it was found. It is another garden you would not expect. See, Great Spangled Fritillary. Since I am traveling less this year, I have gardens and more gardens… so stay tuned.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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49 Responses to Train Garden and Shade Gardening – What a Great Combo!

  1. I love when people combine their favorite things into their garden and are so creative about it…can’t wait to see more.

  2. meander1 says:

    You’ve made my day by sharing so many detailed pictures of this creative garden. I can enjoy as many as you feel like posting ! Thanks.

    • I took so many photos and these people have so many creative touches to their garden. I did ask how they can do all this. Next post I mention how I never could handle all this in such a fastidious way! They are truly remarkable.

  3. arlene says:

    Love, love them all 🙂

  4. Jane Louise Photography says:

    I’m oohing and aahing as I look at your photos–these gardeners are so creative! Just love every little detail in their garden areas! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. cindy knoke says:

    Oh I love this!!

  6. It all looks like so much work, but the owners must be totally dedicated to it and enjoy it.

  7. What a lovely place. It’s sweet how they incorporated the train into their beautiful shade garden.

  8. How creative for such a small yard! Beautiful gardens! And the decorations were amazing. I loved the round wooded barrel with the train going around it and the luggage cart. Great photos!

    • Wait until next post on this garden on containers. The level of detail in their choice of decor was amazing. They have a train station built in and it is made to look like you are waiting for the train to arrive. (third post shows this)

  9. Thank you for taking us on such a beautiful and interesting stroll …. glorious start to my day!

  10. Debra says:

    This is a great way to create unity. Now I ask myself: do I have a theme to my garden and perhaps that is an important element to think about. I am not sure but I think I saw an old fashioned popcorn stand in photos 7 & 8 converted to a plant stand. That is so perfectly festive for this setting. It reminds me of the popcorn they sell in Stanley Park by their mini-train.

  11. A.M.B. says:

    That’s so creative! I’m impressed by how effectively these gardeners use their space.

  12. bittster says:

    What a colorful garden, I always like to see when the owner’s unique interests come through in the garden. I can’t wait to see what else you’ve discovered this year!

  13. Donna…..where is this train garden? Thanks. Charlotte House

  14. So much fun and beauty packed in small places. Very imaginative and well done! 🙂

  15. Sarah says:

    This garden is a labor of love. I am excited to see the containers too, as I have some areas that could use some colorful accents. They have great ideas!

  16. lucindalines says:

    Oh my I so very much love that train garden idea. I don’t know if I could go into that whole hog, but I am starting to think about how I could start putting train stuff into my garden. Wow!!

  17. My Heartsong says:

    I liked all those “touches” on the train theme.So well done, it got me thinking what other themes you could use, some of which I have seen such as wheelbarrows and watering cans, farm machinery, artwork, clay pieces,but this is definitely one of the best that I have seen.Those chairs painted the same colour invite you to relax, as well.

  18. What an impressive train garden. I’ve been to several that are in public gardens but never a private one. I think it is great that they incorporated their two passions to create a unique space.

    • I have too, but this one was very special considering it is private. I think it was more than two passions though, it looked like they made many of things in the garden. He must be a good woodworker too.

  19. Pat says:

    Beautiful gardens.

  20. Two things I love – shade gardens and train gardens! I have the shade gardens already in progress and am constantly trying to figure out how to wind the trains through. This post has given me some great ideas. I’m hoping one day it will be a reality!

  21. You have photos of things I didn’t even see! There was so much in this garden.

  22. Beautiful and very creative garden. Thanks for the tour. 🙂

  23. This is a wonderful and fun garden. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Mark says:

    I wouldn’t put trains in my garden, but I do appreciate the creativity and effort behind this project. Really impressive results and so much details, I almost don’t know what to look at first! 🙂

  25. Absolutely lovely pictures. It made me feel quite cool imagining myself in the garden shown, especially as we currently have a heatwave here in the UK.

  26. This is such a fun garden! I’ve never seen anything like this. In the area I live, most people either have a big garden for their whole yard, or nothing at all. I love the cute little hideaway, all the details, and how much beauty there is in a small space.

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