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The Long Drag to Garsdale – A Fir Tree?

Southern Fabricator


Well spring has sprung here down under and with the weather and winter colds fading away hopefully, I now get to catch up on gardening chores after a 4 month break. So while trimming down the hedges I found that an asparagus fern had grown through and being an observant ######, I remembered having seen an article by Bill McClanahan in a Kalmbach book I bought back in the early 70’s called ‘scenery for model railroads’ in which fir trees were made using wooden dowels that had finely drilled holes which then had asparagus fern inserted in.

At the time I never got around to replicating John Allen and Jack Work’s method until now. As I had already decided to use the multi strand wire method instead of wooden dowels for the size of tree actually growing on the embankment between the Carlisle Platform and the Garsdale Railway cottages this was a good time to try out a modified method of my own.

This involves using a 1/3 Glycerol to 2/3 water solution to soak the asparagus fern overnight and then place it on a paper towel to dry out thoroughly before attempting to attach the fronds to the wire frame by using Craft Super Glue.
So far I haven't attempted to use any acrylic paint on the the tree as it looks reasonable, but will do if foliage fading occurs. The Glycerol treatment should prevent this but time will tell.

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Looks a very effective method to produce a good looking tree which I have considered attempting myself.


I have seen / read that by adding a few drops of green food colouring to the 1/3 Glycerol to 2/3 water solution it helps to preserve the colouring although I'm not certain about its longevity.

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