Your reading list

Raid sheds and barns to adorn the landscape

After the hustle and bustle of the planting season subside, gardeners have time to stand back, take a deep breath and survey the results of their labours. This is the time to undertake adding interesting art to the farm landscape.

There is a multitude of garden art objects, such as water fountains, birdbaths, statues and obelisks available in stores.

Suitable artifacts for a farm garden are agriculture-related artifacts found in stashes of old implements and scrap iron.

Implement wheels, with rusty patinas, or weathered wooden wagon wheels, make wonderful focal points in a flower border, behind shrubs or as a gate. A collection of three different sized wheels creates a unique focal point.

Implement seats and various sized gear are becoming scarce but one of these objects is effective tucked behind a small shrub, a clump of perennials or decorative grass or positioned behind a rustic container of flowers.

Three furrow plows, garden scufflers that were pulled by horses to cultivate the potato patches, hay rakes with their almost semi-circular teeth suspended from the backs of the machines and old wooden wagons can be used in landscaping.

Another way to display agricultural artifacts is on a wall, preferably a weathered grey wooden wall of an old shed or wooden granary. Rusted, well aged pitchforks, shovels and rakes, ice saws, dehorners and other farm tools can create a unique display.

The metal bowl from an old cream separator or even the entire separator can be used as a container, with the plants tumbling forth making the unique container more striking. Old copper boilers and washtubs can be used or they can become novel water features with the addition of water, a pump and a few water plants.

An old farmhouse might yield more treasures from cistern pumps and metal heat registers to wooden chairs and metal trunks.

The beauty of such objects is that they reflect the history of the farm and agricultural industry and many have sentimental value for a family farm. They provide conversation pieces and spur history lessons from the elder generation.

Albert Parsons has a diploma in horticulture from Guelph University. He operates a garden design/landscape consultation business from his home in Minnedosa, Man. Contact:

About the author


Stories from our other publications