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Putting Down Roots

Got trees?? We do now!

In our talks with the Edenton planning office, we were informed that we needed some sort of screen for along Rocky Hock Creek Road. After considering fencing options and scouting out various full grown trees, we decided to plant Leyland Cypress. It is a fast growing evergreen with a pyramidal shape, having dense growth and tall height. The perfect choice for a border to provide privacy and reduce noise. So, why not plant 40…no wait, let’s make it 50. Okay…ordered, paid and loaded in the truck. No problem!

Leyland Cyprus trees loaded in Tom's truck

Tom unloaded them with his very versatile skid steer. That machine has saved us so much sweat and labor, I have come to love it! On a beautifully warm Spring Sunday after church, we began our project. Tom measured and marked off the spacing for each tree with precision, ensuring we would plant in a straight line. We dug, planted and mulched over and over again. During our lunch break, my dear husband said we needed to work smarter not harder. (He often uses these words of wisdom on me.) At the days end, we had nested 15 trees and were sweaty, bug bitten and tired. The next morning, he reserved an auger.

Tiffany planting Leyland Cyprus on the second day of planting
Tiffany planting Leyland Cyprus on the second day of planting

After seeing that machine operate, I knew we were in serious tree planting business. That auger has some real power, a little to much for me. I make sure I try all equipment we rent or own, but I didn’t love that one. Before lunch, Tom had the remaining 35 holes dug and the trees sitting in their spots.

He had the skid steer bucket filled with soil so it was easy for me to fill the holes. Then with my trusty wagon, I filled up the empty tree buckets with mulch and spread it around each one. We managed to have 25 trees fully planted, nearly double of the day before. It was looking fabulous.

Tom finished up the remaining 10 the next day….while I was recovering and getting my fingernails clean!

We love the look of our tree line along the road, and Tom comments that he can see growth even after a few weeks. I nod, smile and say “Of course honey, me too.” We are looking forward to see the tree line in the years to come. He loves the look of it so much that he ordered 10 more. Oh my, the auger has been returned!

Planted Leyland Cypress trees along Rock Hock Creek Road
This picture is a recent one with all trees and grass in bold green

Got Visitors?? We do now!

We hosted our FIRST boating visitors at StillWater. We met Jim & Stephanie Palmer in 2019 at a marina in Kilkenny, Georgia as we were making our way South. They have been living full time on their 49′ 2006 Carver Motor Yacht for four years, and are a wealth of traveling knowledge. Loving life on the water, every winter they make their way South. By the time we both reached Brunswick, Georgia we were the best of friends. If you would like to check out their adventures, you can find them at

Jim & Stephanie on Our Floating Home in the Chowan River

I was so excited to see them again… especially at our new location in North Carolina. It seemed to take forever, but finally it was the day of their arrival. We had their marina spot all prepped with a brand new power pedestal complete with 50 amp power and water. Tom & I took our whaler out to the river to meet them, and guide them in to the basin. We went slow, as it’s always a little daunting to take your large boat into a new place. Finally, they were secured and connected and our fun catching up began.

Tom & Tiffany securing lines for Our Floating Home

Tom teaching Jim to use excavator

It was a grand time together. We gave them tours of the marina property and the quaint downtown of Edenton. As we did, they fell in love with the history, houses and the people. We enjoyed hours of fun talking, cooking, eating, and exploring. Stephanie and I worked on our blogs and taught each other tricks we had learned. We did “girly” stuff, and even shopped in every store downtown. It was all so easy and comfortable.

Meanwhile, Tom taught Jim how to operate the excavator and took him on rides in the woods with the Mahindra. They did “manly” stuff. One morning, Tom left them a “special surprise” hoping Jim would fall into the water. BTW, he didn’t. It was a rainbow snake that he accidentally ran over with the equipment while clearing the land. It was very unfortunate, because they are quite friendly, beautiful and keep the marina cleared of small rodents.

A dead snake that Tom put by Jim's boat to scare him

For us, seeing the two boats together in the basin was a pretty inspiring vision. As I have written in a previous blog, we have such wonderful ideas and plans for this property. We are so excited to bring more life and activity to this wonderful place, and are so very grateful for being led to discover it. I was sad to see them go, as I thoroughly enjoyed the company. Although, before we know it, we will be hosting lots of guests here!! Until then, we have lots of work to accomplish. So, I had better go and get working. See you next week!

America & Our Floating Home at StillWater dock

5 thoughts on “Putting Down Roots”

  1. YAY! I love being featured! We were thrilled to visit StillWater Retreat and Marina and can’t wait to return. We had a fabulous visit. I love Tom’s insight “We need to work smarter, not harder” brilliant! Be sure to post the progress of the trees!

  2. What a gorgeous boat you had at your marina!! Connecting with you and Tom was the highlight of last year’s trip for sure. I love the trees, and of course driving Tom’s big toys! 🙂 Great blog post.

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