ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bob's Bed at ThistleDew Farm

We have a tradition at ThistleDew. Things of importance must be named.

I know, this may sound crazy to some people, but crazy is a term I've often heard associated with my way of doing things. The really crazy thing is that I have an ability to encourage others to join in my crazy schemes. If I was an unscrupulous sort I could have worked on Wall Street and been in that whole mortgage mess! Thank goodness my collusive nature is related to craft projects, rock collecting, gardening and nature adventures.

Anyway, back to Bob's Bed. The first project after closing on the house in January was to build a bed along the entrance drive. Our drive is about a half mile long. The first 1/4 mile is shared with three other families. Our actual property drive is a 50 foot section that goes through the woods to the road but it is undeveloped (25' for Terri's family and 25' for Melissa's family). We quick deeded the existing drive to share among everyone - it is cheaper to share the maintenance costs and keeps the woods more natural. So Bob's Bed is shortly after our actual purpose made drive begins winding up to the fork in the road which divides the Preast Homesteads.

The previous owners still live next to us and own about 15 of the original 50 acres they purchased 20 years ago to run a nursery and tree farm. With one thing and another they let the nursery go and about three years ago started selling portions of the property. Brian and Jane have 10 acres, the McClanahans have five acres, Terri and Ron have five acres and Dan and Melissa (that's me) have 12 acres, We all surround Steve and Sandy the original owners.

I decided that a bed needed to be where the previous owners accessed that part of the property just before the creek. Well it used to be a creek until Tennessee entered into the second straight drought year! Rain, Rain every where but not a drop on ThistleDew!

I went to Lowe's and bought some drought resistant plants - Mexican Heather, two other heathers, and a cute shrub that the leaves shimmy on. We already had Rosemary we'd started from cuttings, pansies I got from my Mom in Indiana, Tulips from Easter (I bought Tulip plants and used the flowers on the Easter Table and planted the bulbs - if the squirrels haven't eaten them all I hope to have them next year as recycles.) I was given a load of small flat rocks from my friends mother to make a perfect border (Previously they were stacked into a pile with random catus' throughout to make a southwest theme.) As I started digging and earth moving to make the bed the entire family got involved. It was so fun. Sean and Brian (two nephews), Dan, Ron, Terri, Ashley and myself. We laughed and sweat our butts off. La Trois Belles (that's Terri, Ashley and I) went to a local swanky nursery and Ashley picked out Bob. We wanted one of those shaped Spruce trees but they were $100 bucks. Ashley decided she would shape Bob a plain spruce into a topiary. Of course after he was planted she decided it was plant cruelty to trim Bob up so he stayed a small cone shaped spruce for many weeks. He since has had his neck trimmed so there is a head shape and a triangle shape for his body.

Along with Bob we have added some lemon verbena, a butterfly bush, pineapple sage, parsley(which is now loaded with monarch caterpillars), dahlias and some cool rocks.

The bed took about 4 hours with us all working on it. It was a great family project and everyone takes pride in the first sign of humanity on that part of the drive. I'll post a picture so you can say hello to Bob!


Lisa said...

it sounds beautiful ! I wish I had some help like that here. Your living my dream. To live on some shared land where everyone helps everyone else. I started a memorial garden for my son that was killed two years ago but it's not much. Next year I have big plans on a koi pond, gardens and new front yard/garden. Can't wait for photos of Bob ! ( I like that tradition, besides, crazy is a good thing)

Thistledew Farm said...

I would like to send you a rosemary cutting or start. Rosemary is a symbol of everlasting. I will get your address off your site. Please put the rosemary in your son's memory garden and when you look at it think of all the people who are there for you...even those you've touched that you aren't aware of.

Lisa said...

you made me cry. That is so sweet ! I would love to have one. Then I can remember him each time it's used and think of my new found friends in Tennessee. I'll have to send you my addy through your profile or something because I don't think you will find addy anywhere. I feel I have found a great new friend and I love reading the blogs. Thanks for allowing me to read them.

Thistledew Farm said...

I am a big fan of memory gardens and things that carry on a good tradition. The rosemary will make you smile and feel good which is the part you need to cherish. I will tell you the hurt will never go away, but neither will the happiness so let's bring on the happiness when we can!
Lisa, send your address to lilpony52 at, no spaces and change at to the symbol, just did that to make it harder for someone to SPAM me then I can touch base with you to mail the rosemary start.