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She's been working on the railroad (garden)

Whether you're a gardening enthusiast or a model railroad buff — or both — North Barrington should be your destination June 29: Elaine Silets, noted designer and manufacturer of model railroads and garden railways, is opening her Gardens at Wandering Tree to the public.

The 10 acres of gardens include the 6,000-square-foot Gloree & Tryumfant Garden Railway with water features, bridges and trestles; 11 G-scale model trains; the Shabui Garden Railway — a Japanese water and stream garden with a train; and several other gardens. Another must-see is the Harvey M. Silets Memorial O-Scale Model Railroad Museum, which Silets designed and built for her late husband. The museum re-creates the Chicago area with trains, subway and elevated trains, trolleys, working roadways, an operating drive-in movie theater and 54 interactive pieces.

The beautiful gardens and model railroads will be supplemented by live music, two hobby shops, and booths from Stillman Nature Center, Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply, and Chicago Botanic Garden.

"It's about gardening, yet it's also model railroads, so take your pick," Silets says. "The garden walks are mostly for ladies. ... But we're doing this so men will come for the trains. And most garden walks are not for children. But this is. Something for everyone."

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10; $2 kids under 12. Proceeds benefit the Harvey M. Silets Memorial Scholarship Fund for students to attend Interlochen Arts Camp. There will be free shuttle service from three locations to Wandering Tree; go to trainlady.com for details.

— William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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