Going From Stubborn Grass To A Cozy Retreat [Watch The Transformation]

With the amount of manicured land and historic architecture at The Mill, there’s a great deal of effort that goes into keeping everything in great shape. But, even with the time and care that are put into the grounds, there are still occasionally areas that need a little extra attention.

The truth is, when you’re dealing with the maintenance and preservation of land, you can’t completely control how everything goes. Many times, it’s best to accept what you’re given and work to make it beautiful.


That has been the case for a grassy area found between the Historic Cheese Factory and one of our popular locations for outdoor ceremonies.

The “cheese factory” once served as a post office and a ticket house for the ferry road, dating back to the late 19th century. It was later converted to a cheese factory and it’s one of only a few structures that still stands in the Mill Creek Historic District today.

Read More About The Preservation Of The Mill’s Cheese Factory

The culprit is believed to be a lack of sun and after attempts to improve the grass growth, a new strategy was born. We decided to turn the space into a mulched sitting area with benches, potted plants and trees, and more.

The first task was to take out one of the existing trees. Then some of the surrounding trees were trimmed to clean the area up a bit. Once the trees were taken care of, dirt was hauled in to even everything out.

Keep in mind, all of this work was planned and executed between Monday morning and Thursday afternoon to be ready for events through the weekend!



With dirt filled in and the ground nice and flat, we added a generous layer of fresh pine bark mulch–creating an inviting space where the once spotty grass was.



Once the mulch was in place, we headed to Waynesboro Nurseries to get an assortment of plants to bring the new outdoor space to life! We packed the car full of hydrangeas, azaleas, rhododendrons, and autumn ferns–so many that it actually took two trips (it didn’t help that we were using Gabe’s Honda Element as our truck for the day.)



8 Hydrangeas were planted…



plus 11 azalea and 3 rhododendrons…


and we planted 50 autumn ferns…



The new space was really starting to take form and look great. The area that was already mulched, around the Cheese Factory now blended wonderfully with the new mulch. And even though it was a large amount of mulch that was added, the newly planted greenery helped to keep the area bright and lively.


With the space coming together nicely, we added wooden benches for seating and some plants to accompany them.


What a beautiful view…


Here’s the same space on a special day at The Mill…


To complete the look around the benches, we added a couple potted japanese maple trees. In the pots, we added decorative elements such as sedum, moss and creeping jenny.



With a table and a few chairs added, the space was complete.


The space is now ready for guests to enjoy and it will act as an incredible retreat from the sun during the summer or a great place for anyone who wants to have a seat and enjoy the scenery.

To learn more about the historic property and event opportunities at The Mill at Fine Creek, contact us at 804-379-8211.