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LOCOMOTION: It won’t just be green thumbs...

LOCOMOTION: It won’t just be green thumbs attending the Southern California Home & Garden Show at the Anaheim Convention Center starting Saturday and running through Aug. 21. One of the highlights this year will be an elaborate outdoor model train set landscaped with live miniature trees and other greenery. Nine separate tracks will crisscross the display, some of them available for control by show goers. Says show producer Randy Bauler: “You have people who like model railroads, but like to get outdoors.”

IVY LEAGUE: The Fountain Valley branch of World Savings never needs a paint job. That duty is left to Mother Nature. . . . The 13-year-old bank was designed so that it would be entirely covered in three different types of vines and Boston ivy. It took about three years of growth for the vines to entirely cover the building, and the greenery blooms every summer. “It’s pretty drought-resistant stuff,” says group Senior Vice President Tom McBroom. “It’s a topic of conversation among our customers.”

FLORAL MICKEY: Gardeners are so concerned about the floral portrait of Mickey Mouse that greets Disneyland visitors that they replant it five times a year to keep it looking fresh. That’s 19,000 plants. . . . Mickey’s face is purple and white sweet alyssum, his tongue is red alternanthera. He is bordered in summer by yellow marigolds and in winter by yellow or blue pansies. “It’s probably the most photographed area of Disneyland,” says landscape supervisor Karen Hedges. The bed has even kept up with the times: the portrait was modified last year to keep pace with the latest rendition of the famous mouse.

ROYAL OAK: The oldest living thing in Orange County? It’s actually a tree--but which one is a matter of debate. . . . Tom Larsen, president of the county Tree Society, says he believes that it’s the “Mother Oak,” a huge tree inside Rancho Mission Viejo near San Juan Capistrano. Mike Evans of the Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano said he suspects some sycamores in the area are older. . . . But they do agree on the age: 300 years plus.

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