Design Hints

Farming: Remember When

Hay rakes, tractors, plows and wagons are among the antique farm equipment prized by collectors today. The designs are synonymous with American ingenuity, and their iconography recalls simpler times. Country homeowners can distinguish their properties with gardens that focus on agrarian implements purchased at auction or online. Alicia Hissom, who lives in New Martinsville, West Virginia, acquired her hay rake from a neighbor. She later discovered that the cherished relic originally belonged to her husbandís grandfather. Here are her tips for incorporating farm equipment into a flower bed:

Design Hints

  • Consider Sight Lines. Pick a spot in your yard where the piece can stand alone and be admired from many directions, such as the end of a driveway or the edge of a property line.
  • Define with Borders. Encircle the equipment with medium- to large-size fieldstones. This will help protect the item from being damaged by lawn mowers and trimmers.
  • Amend the Soil. Remove the sod layer and fill the garden area with a nutrient-rich potting soil or topsoil that will minimize erosion and drought.
  • Pretty Up with Perennials. Plant a ground cover such as ivy, creeping myrtle or pachysandra. Or simply lay down a layer of bark mulch.
  • Reach New Heights. Add a small bench that functions as a pedestal for a container garden. For springtime color, fill planters with daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.
  • Light the Scene. Illuminate the area with solar-powered lights. Garden centers sell lights in a variety of shapes and degrees of brightness.

Written by Cheryl Hackett
Photographed by Gridley + Graves