The making of Fern Lake Township . . .

Time to dress up the town a little and add some nature. I wanted a few trees, and after trying to make a few different ones, I hit on a much easier idea. I bought some silk flowers on sturdy long stems. These will be cherry blossoms for Fern Lake.

I stripped the plastic from the lower part of their stems (which had some REALLY hard wire inside), the part I don't need for the trees.

Then I wrapped three stems together with brown florist tape, above the part where I stripped the plastic off the wire. This wrapped part will be the tree trunk.

Next, I drilled a hole in the board where I want the tree to go, just barely big enough for the collective wire ends to fit through.

I put the grass back down and cut a rough X where the hole in the board is.

I inserted the wire ends of the tree into the hole, and the wrapped trunk stopped it from going any further, as the hole was nice and snug. You can see the long wire ends here below the grass covered board. I can tape them to the side of this cabinet if I need to.

And here's what the new tree looks like from the top! You might also notice the final building, the flower shop, has it's outside trim all finished. I forgot to take pictures of it, but the process is the same with all the buildings. It still needs a sign, which I'll get to one of these days.

I added a second tree, making it the same way, but using only two stems of the same kind of branch, for a slightly smaller tree.

And finally, using only one stem, a young sapling stands in front of the doll & toy shop. That's enough trees for the town. For season changes, I can easily pull these branches out of the holes and replace them with branches with green leaves, autumn leaves, or bare branches for winter! Tree problem solved.

Here is the view of one side of the street with the first tree.

And this is the other side with the second and third trees.

Here's a fresh view of the town with the lake back in place (which I did end up attaching to three pieces of foam board). I also added little tufts of grass around the base of the trees, and some small ferns along the edge of the lake by the bridge.

It still looked like it needed something, but I couldn't decide what exactly. I tried adding a little pier to the end of the lake. It looked ok, but that still wasn't what I was looking for.

Then it hit me! The water needed to look wet, not like fabric!! So I got a couple yards of thin clear vinyl at the fabric store and covered each lake section with the vinyl, making sure not to be too careful with it, so I didn't smooth out all the wrinkles.

Here's a view of the lake along one side of the street.

A closer look at the ripples in the water along the other side of the street.

One more view of the lake with a few reflections through the open windows and door of the food store. Can you tell I'm liking my little lake? Next week I start on the insides of the buildings at last.