Heart of the Home: DIY Garden Project

A reader shares how she and her husband constructed a farm barn and railroad bridge from her childhood and placed them in their flower and vegetable garden.

| Winter 2018

  • Joan's garden is pleasing to the eye, but more importantly, it brings back memories of days gone by.
    Photo by Joan Heier
  • One section of Joan Heier and her husband's multiple-section garden.
    Photo by Joan Heier
  • The replicated farm barn from Joan Heier's childhood farm is part of her garden landscape.
    Photo by Joan Heier
  • Joan Heier and her husband's DIY flower and vegetable garden features a replica of the railroad bridge near the farm where Joan grew up.
    Photo by Joan Heier

Garden Replica of Childhood Farm

I had always wanted a flower and vegetable garden combined with memories of the farm where I was raised. A while back, after visiting the farm, now owned by a first cousin and his wife, my husband and I decided it would be fun to build a replica of the old red barn, built in the 1900s, as well as the railroad bridge that was located nearby.

My husband constructed the barn and bridge, and then I painted and placed the doors on the barn, the tracks on the bridge, and the steam locomotive on top of the bridge. As a child, we had a windmill with a stock tank, dogs, cats, cows, chickens, sunflowers, and a Chevy pickup similar to the ones we used in our garden. My grandma, who owned the farm before my parents bought it, farmed with horses and a hay wagon, so we added those as well.

My husband also built a model of the gray bench we used to sit on when we were kids, as well as a red, white, and blue bench for the inspirational area. I searched thrift stores to find just the right things to put in the garden.

Every time I go to the garden and see the setting we’ve created, childhood memories flow through my mind as I remember the great times we had living on the farm, and all the fun we kids had playing in the barn and on the bridge.



Joan
Hays, Kansas






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