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, and the company is owned and operated by his daughter, Laura Busse Dolan. Paul remains creatively involved, and the driving force of Applied Imagination lives on through its enthusiastic artistic crew.