All Aboard for Fun
When Norma and Walter Ward moved into their Houston-area home, their backyard consisted of some grass and a tiny concrete patio. More than 20 years and countless hours later, they transformed the 65-ft. by 70-ft. space into a lush, fanciful retreat. Walter’s first project was to expand the patio and add a koi pond. Shortly afterward, Walter’s parents gave their son, a model-railroad enthusiast since age 7, the first sections of LGB G-gauge track and a kit to build a steam engine. That engine now pulls five yellow passenger cars through the garden.
Walter has progressed around the yard to add waterfalls, two more ponds, bridges, walkways, two swinging benches, and numerous garden beds and plantings. The railway now includes a second engine and freight cars that travel on approximately 200 ft. of track looping around the yard and into the garage, where the trains are housed when they’re not being used. For this remarkable backyard transformation, Norma and Walter are the winners of our 2014 online “Break Out of the Indoors” photo contest.
Design, construction, and landscaping: Walter Ward, Pasadena, Texas
Photographs: courtesy of Norma Ward
For more photos and a link to a video of the Wards’ trains in action, go to FineHomebuilding.com/extras.