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The Train Garden

Garden Welcome

Welcome to the garden of Lori and Peter Thomas.  Lori is the Master Gardener; Peter is the master of making garden dreams come true.  We have been evolving this garden since we bought the property in 2010.


Based on public records and oral history, this land was part of a subsistence farming homestead dating back to a log cabin built in 1890.  In the 1920’s, the landowner was “bought out” (forced out of the county), so that the land could be used to raise cotton, which was in high demand following WWI. Not suited for cotton growing, the land was turned over to decades of moonshining starting in the late 1920’s. During the construction boom of the 1990’s the land was used to store heavy road-building equipment.  In 2010, this 3-acre parcel was carved off to pay the property taxes of a larger estate.  When we bought the property, the first action was to properly dispose of the old refrigerators, car motors, and deer carcasses which had been dumped on the land.  The next action was to plant blueberry bushes, which was the start of restoring the land to respectful stewardship.


Using environmentally conscious gardening practices, the focus has been equally divided between protecting natural habitat, creating ornamental landscapes, and growing food.  Over 2 acres of the property are set aside as undisturbed woodland, which supports native plants and wildlife, and sequesters carbon.  Via trail cams and personal observation, we know the land is regularly visited by deer, coyotes, raccoons, rabbits, snakes, hawks, bluebirds, frogs, and a myriad of smaller creatures.  There have even been sightings of a river otter and black bears.  We have encouraged wildlife through the preservation of native berry-producing and seed-bearing plants, building of a dead hedge, and creation of a tiny pond.  


The following garden narrative starts at the walkway in front of the house and continues in a clockwise circle around the yard, ending at the driveway.

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