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Garden Photo of the Day

The Beauty of Barns

A quick look at this quintessential country structure

Today’s GPOD comes from Taunton Group Publisher Renee Jordan. Renee likes to take a lot of photos with her phone, and recently dedicated some time to photographing barns she happened to see in Southwestern Connecticut. Maybe it’s the New England in us, but we think barns always look cool. What do you think?

Though Renee didn’t take this shot, we wanted to know who else was asked by a parent who discovered an open door, “Whadda we live in a barn?” 

Finally, not a barn (obviously), but Renee’s favorite photo of her hydrangea.

Have a garden you'd like to share? Email 5-10 high-resolution photos (there is no need to reduce photo sizing before sending—simply point, shoot and send the photos our way) and a brief story about your garden to GPOD@taunton.com. Please include where you're located!

Sending photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box is just fine.

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  1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

    Thanks for sharing you photos, Renee. I also think barns are pretty cool, and we have wonderful specimens of barns, and old wooden bridges here in PA. Each of the barns show so much character and integrate so well into their surrounding landscapes. I feel like I have been transported back in time.

    1) Since we are talking about New England structures, below are 2 photos I took in Rockport, Mass. While technically it is a fishing shack, and not a barn, it fits right in with today's post.

    The building is titled "Motif #1", and it is the most painted building in the US. In the 1840's, Rockport became home to a colony of artists (the town maintains that heritage today). This building became a popular one to paint. The original was destroyed in a blizzard in 1978, but an exact replica was built within 1 year, and stands today.

    2) Since we are talking about barns, I couldn't resist sharing a photo from Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, where we vacationed last year. This area was settled by a group of Mormon's in the 1890's, where they arrived from Salt Lake City. This was a community of 27 homesteads from 1896 - 1937. The beauty is amazing. Hope you enjoy the extra photos.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 12/15/2017

      Thanks for capturing, describing and sharing some wonderful history, Kev. The fishing shack is amazing. Bet the original building could have told some ripper stories! Cheers from Oz

    2. Maggieat11 12/15/2017

      Absolutely gorgeous photos, Kevin! So glad that a replicate was built... and as for the Grand Teton photos... wow! What an experience! Thanks for sharing!

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        It is a very cool building to see. The whole town of Rockport is very pretty, and a great place to visit. We usually stay in a B&B when we go.

    3. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

      Wonderful photos, Kevin. Both trips had to be memorable. Seeing those jagged mountain tops in the background makes one extra aware of the courage it took for the earlier settlers to leave safer and more comfortable situations and establish new communities.

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        The trip to the Tetons was stunning. Pictures cannot do justice the incredible beauty of the location. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must have been to exist in a location like that. The early settlers were tough people, for sure.

    4. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/15/2017

      Amazing photos and great structures, Kevin. Thanks for sharing. Aren't the Tetons grand? I was there four decades ago (!!) and the memory is still fresh. Stunningly beautiful.

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        Thanks, Tim. The Tetons have been my favorite mountains to visit in the US.

    5. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

      Great shots Kevin. After living in Colorado for many years there is something about old timber barns with the backdrop of a mountain range that always make me wonder about 'the stories' they could tell.

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        Thanks, Sheila. It is fascinating to think about what life was like in that mountainous terrain over a hundred years ago. I was struck with the incredible beauty of the location.

        1. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

          You're right Kevin, the ranchers that raise their livestock and farm their land with mountain backdrops are a very passionate and hardy group of souls. The conditions often are very harsh. It takes a different kind of spirit...

    6. user-6817665 12/15/2017

      Thanks for adding to the post, Kevin, great shots!

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        I am glad you did not mind me adding to your post. It seemed like a perfect time to share them.

    7. User avater
      Linda on Whidbey 12/15/2017

      Beautiful photos, Kevin. I agree with Sheila that there is just something about the timber barn against the mountains that evokes such a feeling of peace.

      1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

        Thanks, Linda. The pictures do not do justice the incredible beauty of the location. I just stood there in awe.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/15/2017

    I love old barns too!

  3. user-4691082 12/15/2017

    Great photos Renee! And thanks Kevin for the ones you sent! I will be submitting my Longwood photos this morning. Frank, I only have one outdoor container made because it keeps snowing or the wind chill is too bitter to be outside!

    1. user-7007498 12/15/2017

      My pleasure, Rhonda. It sure is cold. We had such a warm autumn, I haven’t had enough time to adjust to the change.

    2. frankgreenhalgh 12/15/2017

      Looking forward to seeing your Longwood pics., Rhonda. One container is a good effort given your challenging weather conditions. I wouldn't want you to catch a cold. Cheers from a warm part of the world

      1. user-4691082 12/15/2017

        I will send photos next week of my home and garden. I’m sure Kim is already overwhelmed with the 25 photos I sent this morning. No one wants to see a post from me 3 days in a row!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 12/15/2017

          Also looking forward to seeing your home and garden pics., Rhonda. I think you were in Texas when it became apparent that Kim has moved on and Steve is managing GPOD at the moment. Lovely early summer weather here at the moment. Cheers 'darlin'

          1. user-4691082 12/15/2017

            Thanks Frank, for letting me know about Kim...

  4. user-7007816 12/15/2017

    Great to see your photos. Unfortunately, very few traditional barns remain in Michigan. With all the specialization in farming, the multi-function barns have been abandoned.

  5. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

    Barns makes such wonderful photo subjects...they seems to communicate instant nostalgia and stir the imagination. Your pictures are lovely, Renee and, and, oh my, I can certainly understand why the one of your gorgeous hydrangea is a favorite. I love when the blooms take on those deeper pink tones and the leaves slip into autumnal yellows ...like a beautiful woman in her mature years.

    Speaking of barns...a few years ago, my husband built one for the birds...

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/15/2017

      I love your bird barn. Darwin is a genius. :)

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 12/16/2017

        We had fun adding the little froo froo touches...ha, not that the birds care.

    2. user-6817665 12/15/2017

      Thank you! I love the sentiment of the aging (beautiful,hah) woman ... no surprise this is my favorite shot! :)

    3. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

      Do the birds take a chance and fly in with the horse guarding the door? Darwin creates a lot of beauty. Is there a tool he doesn't have?

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

        I have never seen a bird checking out the "aisle way" but, maybe, I should put some birdseed in there and see if that would tempt a tiny but bold chickadee.
        I had a male/female bluebird twosome spending a lot of time scoping out the openings this fall. It will be interesting to see if they return in the spring to set up housekeeping. I'll have to measure the diameter of the holes to see if they are bluebird friendly. I will confess that the construction of the birdhouse was more for its ornamental appeal but it is gratifying when it seems to attract birds.

    4. User avater
      Linda on Whidbey 12/15/2017

      Love this, Michaele. It looks like a Tenn. barn.

    5. user-6536305 12/15/2017

      Beautiful bird barn! Your husband is gifted in hands. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Maggieat11 12/15/2017

    Beautiful photos... would be nice to know the history behind the barns. Thanks for sharing! And that is an awesome hydrangea!

    1. user-6817665 12/15/2017

      Thanks, Margaret! There are so many barns in Connecticut, this website overwhelmed me when I started my 'seek them out' tour, versus just capturing what I drove by every day. https://connecticutbarns.org/

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/15/2017

    Having gown up in Iowa, I, too, have a fondness for barns. As far as the barn colloquialism, many years ago when my daughter was about two, we were walking into our apartment and trailing behind my wife who left the door open behind her. In my frustration I called out, "What? Were you born in a barn?" to which my daughter replied "Jesus was born in a barn." Oops. :)

    1. Chris N 12/15/2017

      From the mouths of babes...

    2. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

      Now it's my turn to say, "Thanks for the smile", Tim.

    3. frankgreenhalgh 12/15/2017

      Nice story, Tim. Funny how we use the same expression if somebody leaves the door open - or sometimes it is 'born in a tent'.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/15/2017

        I love things like this. I wonder where these expressions get started. A tent definitely works, too!!

    4. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

      Haha... Bet she was giving you a very stern look, too!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/15/2017

        Actually it was a very cheerful and matter-of-fact proclamation. She was precocious and loved to contribute what she knew. At about the same age, perhaps younger, we told her she looked worn out after a long day at the zoo. She worriedly told us she was not a toothbrush. She loved to brush her teeth and she had only heard worn out in reference to a toothbrush about to be thrown away... :)

        1. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

          I bet you were smiling as you remembered her concern that she would be tossed like a well used toothbrush. Those are treasured memories not to be forgotten. Love it!

        2. user-7008735 12/15/2017

          That's a delightful story, Tim!

  8. Chris N 12/15/2017

    I grew up in Chicago (in the city proper) so I did not see a lot of barns. The farm in the zoo at Lincoln Park and the barns at the Hawthorn Melody dairy's petting zoo were the most familiar. My great uncle and aunt had a place on Lake Geneva so we would drive up through northern Illinois into Wisconsin watching the farmland all the way. Having now lived in Wisconsin for 31 years and done a lot of field work here as a graduate student, I now know barns in all stages from brand new to old but meticulously kept up, to neglected, and finally, to abandoned and collapsed on their field stone foundations. I find them all endlessly fascinating.

  9. Cheryl A 12/15/2017

    My goodness, these pictures have been up for hours, and you all have been awake writing about them! Yes, I love barns (also being a lover of horses), and especially old barns, where you can smell the hay and old leather and other fragrances - yes, I'm sure the walls are breathing their history to us if we will be still and be. It is rare to find an old barn now, as mentioned earlier, and I sometimes think we are losing a lot besides just old barns with the push toward 'efficiency' and large scale everything. But on to that fabulous hydrangea - aren't hydrangea's just the coolest plants... I want to send in some pictures of my quercifolias soon - what a spectacular show they are even still putting on~

  10. User avater
    Vel Rhodes 12/15/2017

    Love the photo of the hydrangea!

  11. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

    I love barns... the look of them, the subtle and sometimes in your face smells that eke from every corner of them, the memories of my uncle's barn in Arkansas that instantly became a playground with my cousins as we would swing from the rafters holding onto gnarly ropes and finally the barn I would walk to after school that housed my pony. There was never a care or worry I couldn't work through in that barn as I brushed my pony. So yes, I have very fond memories of barns and whenever I see one it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thanks for this post Renee, it brought a big smile to my face.
    Have a wonderful weekend my GPOD friends!

  12. hedygalow 12/15/2017

    Marvelous pictures

  13. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 12/15/2017

    Like Tim, growing up in WI dairy country, there were many barns in my youth. I remember taking photos of them from the time that I had my first camera. Summers were spent swinging from the rafters into the newly mown hay on my cousins farm. What is interesting about barns is how different they are from one part of this country to another as you can see from the photos that Kevin submitted compared to Renee’s. Thanks, for making us feel nostalgic this morning, Renee, and for the pic of your gorgeous hydrangea.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

      Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood, Linda. Those kind of memories are priceless and, sadly, so much rarer for today's kids.

  14. BTucker9675 12/15/2017

    My family history has farmers on both sides from Wisconsin and Indiana - wonderful barns that provided great pleasure when my sister and I were young.
    I have total hydrangea envy brought on by the last photo...

  15. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 12/15/2017

    I simply love barns! Thanks for sharing these.

  16. greengenes 12/15/2017

    I love barns both big and small! They make such a lovely background for plantings! I especially enjoy seeing them when people turn them into homes! Thanks for the barn inspirations today! Oh...And the hydrangea is awesome!

  17. tennisluv 12/15/2017

    How delightful! Barns, especially the red painted ones in the Northeast, just seem to beg to be painted or photographed. As a child and even today as an adult, these are exotic beauties from another world. The rural area of south Georgia where my family farmed didn't go in for painting barns. You did see some typical barns, but tobacco curing barns were more common. With no snow, life stock & hay protection was not paramount. In addition to three tobacco barns, we also had corn cribs (rather than silos), smoke houses, and pole barns (basically open sheds) for protecting farm equipment. Tobacco barns were also used for roasting whole hogs for family gatherings. Pictures show a tobacco barn; tobacco auction; poles on which tobacco was strung, then heat cured over several days; and tobacco in the field. A bye gone era I thought you might find interesting.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 12/15/2017

      Wonderfully evocative photos, Sonya. The one with the fella up in the rafters surrounded by tobacco leaves certainly makes one think of earlier times.

    2. Sheila_Schultz 12/15/2017

      Wow Sonya, these photos are truly priceless.

    3. user-7007498 12/15/2017

      Great photos, Sonya, with interesting stories. Thanks for adding to my education.

    4. frankgreenhalgh 12/15/2017

      Thanks for the great pics., Sonya. You obviously had a wonderful childhood on the farm. Tobacco growing in the north-east of the state of Victoria ended about 30 years ago, but much of the infrastructure is still standing. The growers initially struggled a bit to find suitable alternative crops - some grew vegetables, others tried green tea. A horticultural industry in which I'm involved at the moment (i.e. in retirement) is interested in purchasing some of the tobacco industry infrastructure. Cheers, Frank

    5. User avater
      Linda on Whidbey 12/16/2017

      Love these photos, Sonya. There are still some large tobacco barns in southern WI, but the industry has died out there, too.

  18. user-6536305 12/15/2017

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Dvngardener 12/15/2017


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