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Welcome


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Welcome


Applied Imagination is a nationally recognized, award winning crew of creative artists, botanical architects and landscape designers producing original public garden exhibits, seasonal displays and garden railways.


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Exhibition Schedule


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Exhibition Schedule


spring/SUMMER/FALL


Chicago Botanic Garden–Chicago, IL

'SUMMER RAILWAY'

May through October 2015

Fernwood Botanic Garden–Niles, MI

'SUMMER RAILWAY' 

Opening May 2015

Lauritzen Gardens–Omaha, NE

Seven model trains operate daily from May through October

Morris Arboretum–Philadelphia, PA

'GARDEN RAILWAY: ART & ARCHITECTURE'

Opening SPRING 2015

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State Fair of Texas–Dallas, TX

'GREENHOUSE ON THE MIDWAY GARDEN RAILWAY DISPLAY'

September 25, 2015 through October 18, 2015

Royal Botanical Gardens–Burlington, ON

'WONDERS OF THE WORLD'

Year-Round Display

Reiman Gardens–Ames, Iowa

'HARVEST FESTIVAL :: HUGHES CONSERVATORY'

Mid-August  2015 through November 2015

WINTER/HOLIDAY


New York Botanical Garden–Bronx, NY

November 2015 through January 2016

United States Botanic Gardens–Washington, D.C.

November 26, 2015 (Thanksgiving Day) through January 3, 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden–Chicago, IL

'WONDERLAND EXPRESS' 

November 2015 through January 2016

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park–Grand Rapids, MI

November 24, 2015 through January 3, 2016

REIMAN GARDENS–AMES, IOWA

'TREASURES FROM THE ATTIC :: HUGES CONSERVATORY'

November 2015 through January 10 2016

EITELJORG Museum–Indianapolis, IN

'JINGLE RAILS'

Saturday November 21, 2015 through January 18, 2016 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Krohn Conservatory–Cincinnati, OH

November 14, 2016 through January 3, 2016.

Columbus Public Library–Columbus OH

December 2015 through January 2016

Franklin Park Conservatory–Columbus, OH

'MERRY & BRIGHT'

November 21, 2015 through January 3, 2016


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Videos


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Videos


Tracks of Imagination on KET's Kentucky Muse featuring Paul Busse and Applied Imagination. ©KET

Holiday Train Show with David Hartman featuring Paul Busse and Applied Imagination. ©2007 Wickford Junction Productions, Inc.

Treasures of New York Holiday Train Show featuring Paul Busse and Applied Imagination. ©WNET New York Public Media

Locomotion in the Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden. ©Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Bellagio Conservatory trains set to music. ©The Bellagio Conservatory

CBS Early Show featuring Paul Busse and Applied Imagination. ©CBS

Jingle Rails at Eiteljorg Museum featuring Paul Busse and Applied Imagination. ©Eiteljorg Museum


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The Carson Mansion Story


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The Carson Mansion Story


The story of two generations that found inspiration in the magically magnificent architecture of Carson Mansion.


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Testimonials


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Testimonials


Most Innovative use of plant material. Perfect attention to detail.
— Ashley Stephenson, Chief Horticulturist of England Royal Palace
SPECTACLE — A Holiday Wonderland
— The Wall Street Journal
A Train to Fantasy and History.”
”Master Designer of a Whimsical, Shrunken City
— The New York Times
Wow, is that beautiful - better than Santa’s workshop - very inventive.
— Martha Stewart on Martha Stewart Living Show
It’s magical...our holiday attendance has grown tenfold.
— Richard Schnall, Director of Horticulture, NY Botanical Gardens
A most popular exhibit that is finished to perfection - very intriguing.
— Jim Wilson on Victory Gardens Television
The best display we’ve ever had at The Ohio State Fair.
— Governor James Rhodes
A pioneer in lending authentic details to the landscape...more than just a fantasyland of miniaturized scenes.
— Brooks Peters, Architectural Digest
It’s an interesting exhibit for adults and children. Grandparents can make connections with grandkids because that’s history from their generation.
— Iana Turner, Horticulturist, Morris Arboretum
It was a landmark year. That year our attendance nearly doubled to over 70,000 and membership grew by 65 percent. Not only does the Garden Railway get kids outside and encourage them to connect with nature, but the arboretum is a wonderful place for family to connect with one another.
— Paul W. Meyer, executive director of the Morris Arboretum

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About


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About


Paul Busse, founder of Applied Imagination, has always been a big fan of trains and gardens. After graduating from Ohio State University in 1972, with a degree in landscape architecture he formed his own company specializing in creative outdoor living spaces.

In 1975, Paul discovered LGB's new g-scale model trains, which ran both indoors and out. His first train layout was installed in a friend’s hobby store, garnering local press for the store and for Paul's landscape company. At the request of Ohio Governor, Jim Rhodes, Paul created his first public garden railroad for the Ohio State Fair in 1982.

By 1984, he had officially added garden railroads to his company's repertoire, and in 1991, he formed Applied Imagination. This new company was a great artistic convergence of his work with landscaping, garden railroads and his unique use of plant material to create "botanical architecture".

Applied Imagination has created countless award-winning garden railway displays across the country including installations at New York Botanical Garden, United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C., Chicago Botanic Garden, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Atlanta Botanic Garden, New Orleans Botanical Garden, Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas, and The State Fair of Texas. 

Attendance records have repeatedly been broken where Applied Imagination creations have appeared. Most notably, at The New York Botanical Garden, who will celebrate their 23rd anniversary of its Holiday Train Show this year. New York City's Mayor Bloomberg declared this show one of the 5 best things for a family to see in New York City during the holidays.

Paul is now retired, but still remains creatively involved, and the driving force of Applied Imagination lives on through it's enthusiastic artistic crew.