Creating an Honor Garden to Revere Your Service

Creating a Beautiful Challenge Coin Display

By MoA Creative Director, Kirk Stotzer

Having been a part of the creative staff at a retail plant and seed company back in ’06 and being a part of the Medals of America team have given me some interesting ideas on how to give veterans a better gardening experience while creating a military challenge coin display. By combining the best of my Veteran insignia and gardening knowledge I was able to create a wonderful concept for all of you who work at least one day a year perfecting your garden. Follow us as we take prized commemorative challenge coins and show respect to the service they represent in an honor garden.

An Honor Garden for Your Military Challenge Coin Display Needs

For only $12 at Lowe’s and about 30 minutes, you can start your honor garden.

Things to get:

  1) .85 oz Loctite Metal and Concrete Epoxy
  2) 4×8 Red concrete brick
  3) A perennial, in this case, a carnation.

If you already have a bush, flower, or tree growing that you enjoy, use that. Your honor garden can be as large or as intimate as you’d like. For a larger, more elaborate challenge coin display, you will simply need more materials and space.

I also want you to break into your challenge coin collection and use military challenge coins as the centerpiece for your honor garden. We have a large collection of Military Challenge Coins available on our website for purchase in case you’d like to recognize a particular event or insignia. In our honor garden, we also used a brass plate, which adds a very personal touch. We offer custom engraved id plates for low prices on our website. These challenge coins should hold up fairly well outside out of direct sunlight. I suggest brushing or spraying a semi gloss clear coat over the brass plate especially.

There are many websites you can visit to learn the meanings of different plants. Our carnation means “admiration and pride”. I suggest planting a perennial like a rose that will keep coming back every year. You may decide to use a nice annual and change out your arrangement every year, whatever suits you. Make sure the location of your honor garden is a place wear the plant will have the most potential for growth and longevity. Our carnation is rated for 8 hours of sunlight, so we place the plant in a proper location where it will receive plenty of sun and shade. Our full sun ornamental grass will also help shade the carnation and keep it from drying out in the South Carolina heat. We will also reuse the existing mulch around our garden bed. Make sure this is also a spot in which nobody is going to be walking. Dig a spot for your plant before you dig a spot for the brick.

Now, you will need to get something to mix the epoxy together before you put it on one of your coins. The back of our coins have a lot of 3D work, so we used a lot of epoxy to ensure they made a strong connection to the brick. I suggest arranging the coins in a way that is pleasing to you before you start gluing or you may end up flipping the brick over if you are sliding the coins around. If you are like me, crazy and impatient, you will want to put the brick and coins in the ground before the glue sets, but I do recommend waiting until the coins are firmly attached to the brick.  Find a flat surface to allow your creation to dry before you dig a spot next to your plant. Once the brick is dry, dig a shallow hole a few inches away from your plant. If you are expecting a massive amount of plant growth, dig your hole away from your plant accordingly. When placing the brick into the ground, make sure not to throw dirt on your brick in case the glue hasn’t fully set.

I know there are some more advanced gardeners out there and people that want to use different items; I say go for it. Your military challenge coin display can be designed however you see fit. Please feel free to make this project truly your own. Go for any idea you can achieve and don’t limit yourself to red bricks if that is not your style. Working and enjoying your garden can be a healing and productive activity. Allow your thoughts and memories to be concentrated in a healing area near beautiful living plant life in your garden. Post pictures to show us your finished creation or unique process for creating an honor garden on our Facebook page.

Medals of America has been the premier US Military Medals supplier since 1976. We also carry a huge selection of Military Patches, Challenge Coins and Military Ribbons.  Be sure to visit our site today and pick up the Veteran Gear you’ve been looking for.