introduction to plant modelling
             how to model realistic grass
             making trees
             making hedges
             modelling small plants and flowers
             list of common UK trees
             list of common UK shrubs
             list of common UK climbing plants
             UK flowering plants & flowering time


how to model plants

a little bit of rural England in 00 scale - Pendon Museum

We have come an awful long way since the days when model ground was represented by coloured sawdust stuck on the baseboard with glue. As the model scale increases we can add individual flowers, proper leaf shapes and even petals!

part of the hotel garden

It is important to decide what time of the year you are depicting. Should rhododendrons be in flower....would you have bluebells or cow parsley? Time of the year will also affect grass and leaf colour. Also check where one would find certain plants. Foxgloves, for instance like shade.

A field near the station. Elderflower, young bracken, gorse, red campion and last year's fat hen can be seen

One must remember that flowers planted in gardens have also changed over the years. Formal gardens of the 1930s are very different to those we see now. The Royal Horticultural Society can be very helpful in these matters provided one pays for the membership.

the woodland near the viaduct on County Gate

We have also fixed the compass direction of the model, as there are great differences between North and South facing aspects.

County Gate is modelled in early June, so grass is green and all the trees in leaf. Elderflower is still is full flower and foxgloves, campion, cow parsley, buttercups and poppies adorn the landscape. Many folks are surprised how green our model is. For those who live in Northern Europe, just step outside and take a look! I notice that some modellers lose confidence when modelling their plants and allow everything to be faded and yellow. Perhaps that is fine in a dry high summer but nature is vivid and exciting. I would rather celebrate it. Gorse can be covered in rich yellow, trees can be in blossom.... Its a colourful world out there!

The hedgerow and fences

Now I have to admit that I really hate British hedgerows! They often obscure the road and can consequently cause accidents. However my real hate is that I rather believe that they represent a huge social statement. They are put there by landowners to stop us oiks seeing broad horizons....(we might want some of it!). Recently I drove over a hundred miles and I am convinced it was the same hedge all the way! How nice to drive in the rest of Europe or the Americas where one can actually see where one is!

Nevertheless, County Gate has hedges and of course fences and if they are to look reasonably real a lot of time has to be spent on them. They say you can tell the age of a hedge by the number of species found in it. In other words, a lot of work for the modeller. Again, decide the month you are modelling and don't start unless you have good photos in front of you.

The hedgerows along the Malmsmead road

Fences also require a lot of attention. If there are sheep, wool will have stuck on the wires. Often as not, animals will have excavated a run under the fence somewhere. Look for the details and bring your layout to life.

The fence along the harbour branch. One wonders when the cart was last used!

An animal run (perhaps also small boys) under the fence at County Gate. A pheasant enjoys the sunshine ignoring Hunslet, the black and white cat (sitting on the loco) who is feral and lives in the scrap yard. He gets fed sometimes by the staff.