Plants are usually an integral part of a garden railway, and dwarf varieties along with pruning are often used to keep them in proper proportion. Some go so far as to use bonsai techniques, however this can be very time-consuming for large areas.
Buildings are also often used in a garden railway, though they too must be constructed to withstand the weather. Train stations and freight depots are popular, some even building whole towns trackside. The loco shed is a common place to store a locomotive (or the whole train) when not in use.
Other geographic features are used, such as a small pond to represent a lake, rocks for boulders, or tunnels through "mountains" or under stairways. Tunnels can be a particular challenge, because everything from cats to raccoons and more like to hide in them, particularly to get out of the rain or heat, sometimes even to sleep, nest, or hibernate. A derailment inside a tunnel can also be permanent if careful planning is not done to ensure that it can be reached by access panels (trapdoors) or at arm's length from either end.
Model railroading combines many interests and can engage you and your family in a life-long activity. Because most of our railroads are in the garden, the hobby frequently is shared by couples.