Gardens Founded in 2001 - Home in 2002

Echinacea - Photo by Laura Davis

The garden began in 2001 with the help of Norm Erickson, a Northland Hospice volunteer, at the corner of Switzer Canyon Drive and Turquoise. At that time the home had not been completed but a beautiful sign was placed on the corner. Norm continued to work on the beds on the east side of the sidewalk along Switzer Canyon Drive and in front of the home, until 2008. The rest of the gardens were developed by a core of Coconino County Master Gardeners initially led by Laura Davis and since 2007 by Loni Shapiro.

The garden crew is active from April-October and sometimes in November weather permitting. Work happens weekly throughout the garden season on Monday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. It also is scheduled for one Saturday a month from April through October. Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 6:00 am of the workday on this blog. You must attend a spring orientation to the garden and Northland Hospice & Palliative Care in order to work. A summary of the work that has been done is included on the blog. Look for weekly postings on this blog during the garden season.

Volunteering in the Garden

2015 Calendar

April 13, 11:30-1:30 Lunch and orientation for new volunteers at hospice and TB testing for all

April 16, 9:15-10 TB tests read and 10:00 garden orientation. First Thursday workday 9-12

April 20, First Monday workday 9-12

May 2, Saturday workday 9-12

If you are interested in volunteering, please email

Please note: TB testing is required annually for all garden volunteers.

If you have current TB results that were done by a physician or at a hospital, these may be submitted to Northland Hospice.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the volunteer coordinator Kathy Simmons ( to schedule a time for testing and orientation.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Workday 5/6/2010

On Wednesday, Norvel Owens came by the garden with his bobcat, and helped us move a rock pile that has been sitting at the corner of Swizer and Turquoise for more than a year. Rocks were added as a backdrop to the large sign on the corner and to line the beds that are between the corner and the house. This will be the location for a new "Native Medicinal Garden" to honor Michael Moore. Some of the smaller rocks were piled near the sign to create a shady rock garden. Norvel made short work of a really big job. Many of the rocks were not only large but very heavy. Watch our progress as we work to improve these gardens (more natives and more drought tolerant).

On our regular Thursday workday we continued to clean up the gardens and began to prune our roses. There was more damage than usual with the heavy snows. David Hockman did his usual hole digging and planted a new tree. Hattie Braun came to give instructions on pruning to some master gardener trainees and those new to rose pruning. Vicki Goowin and Marilyn VanWagner found time to water much of the garden, while Hattie, Colleen Copeland-Larrabee, and Judith Chaddock pruned. I spent my time getting ready for a Saturday "Container Gardening" class in the garden. Nancy Palmer spent her time getting the birdhouses up on the trellis. Leslie Pennick came late and worked on the compost pile.

On Saturday, after spending a couple of hours in the classroom, attendees came to Olivia White and planted tomatoes, a shade basket, stacking herbs, and a wine barrel full of natives. The class of 8 made short work of their assignments and then planted a pot to take home.

Next week in the garden on Thursday, we will be finishing rose pruning, checking the drip system, watering the front gardens, and beginning clean-up of the south beds. We have a couple of shrubs to plant in front of the house and some hardscape to bring out. Joanie Abbott's crew turned on the water for us so the timers need to be set.

On May 15th, from 9am - 12pm we will have our first Saturday workday. The weeds are multiplying, and we will continue to deadhead all areas of the garden. Work will focus on the beds on Switzer Canyon for clean-up. We will begin creating new beds in those south gardens in June. Native medicinal plants will be added to the Michael Moore garden.

New in the garden:
Lasagna bed for veggies (variety of kale), potatoes and lettuce planted, two tomatoes planted and covered with frost cloth, stacking herb pot.

New blooms:
Pasque flowers, Guinea-Hen Flower (fritillaria)

We are not sure where this bulb came from. I looked through our old lists of planted bulbs and it is not something that was purchased. We order many bulbs in the fall and it may have come with some other small bulbs by mistake. It is beautiful!

Newly planted:
Native Garden - Limber Pine
Native Garden Pot - Alpine Strawberry, Yarrow (red & white (Greek), Shenandoah Switch Grass, 'Blue Lips' Penstemon, Blue Avena Grass, Tickseed, Wine Cup
Tomatoes - Juliet, Green Zebra
Herbs - Sage, Rosemary, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chocolate Mint, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Basil
Shade Basket - Coleus and Sweet Potato Vine

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