Pictures of the Day

Beginning this weekend, the North Texas Water Garden Society will stage their 21st annual “Tour of Ponds.”  This is when various homeowners throughout the entire Dallas / Fort Worth metropolitan area present their decorative ponds for public viewing.  Former Dallas City Councilman Ron Natinsky and his wife, Nancy, are among the homeowners.  But, Ron Natinsky has done something different with his pond; it features a quarter-mile of train tracks winding through a scenic village and a large water garden highlighted by a stream, a bridge and glimmering koi fish.  Some men – myself included – never grow up when it comes to model trains, cars and the like.

“We visited Switzerland and Germany and we saw these miniature villages,” explains Natinsky.  “I had to have one.  These were big, man-sized toy trains.”

These sets are known as G Scale to toy-train enthusiasts and are roughly one-twentieth actual size. When Natinsky began his train collection about eight years ago, they were not readily available in this area, so he brought engines and train cars back from Europe.  Now several area retailers sell garden train supplies, as well as many online businesses.

The Natinskys have created a backyard village with surprising details.  A doughnut shop has a police officer standing out front; a pair of sunbathers lounge under the protection of a dinosaur; and a miniature Love Field hangar is home to several airplanes.  The area is kept in scale with dwarf vegetation such as mugo pines and dwarf yaupon hollies, Japanese maples and pomegranates.  These are just a handful of photos of the Natinsky setup.  Check out this 360 view.  All photos by Lara Solt, Dallas Morning News staff photographer.

Ron and Nancy Natinsky oversee the garden railroad at their North Dallas home.

Several dwarf ornamental plants, including a pomegranate, landscape the area around the pond.

Ron Natinsky saw garden railroad setups in Europe and told his wife he had to have one for his own.

Ron Natinsky rearranges a miniature gas station in preparation for the pond tour on Saturday and Sunday.

The Natinskys’ address is one of more than 30 included in the North Texas Water Garden Society’s 21st annual event.


1 Comment

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One response to “Pictures of the Day

  1. Entirely awesome, someday I want this much time on my hands!

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