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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Garden Workday 8/26/10

A new Arizona walnut getting ready to be planted. Photo by Loni Shapiro.

Signs of fall are in the air, with many of our perennials fading, cool mornings and turkey vultures gathering overhead. We had a large crew in the garden today. Laura Davis, Nancy Palmer, Joe Harte and Marcia Lamkin all worked on planting a new Arizona walnut tree. Phyllis Hogan and Donna Chesner, Michael Moore's widow, stopped by to look at the new area for his memorial garden. Linda Guarino and Becky Lewis worked on thinning more iris at the south end of the gazebo. Al Katte came and put together our new chipper. It not only works well, is easy to operate, but it also is very quiet. Perfect for some of our mechanically challenged crew. He will do a demo for us next week. Carol Lease worked on caring for the birds, our water feature, and smoothing a flagstone pathway. David Hockman worked on re-sanding some pathways and leveling sinking bricks on a bench pad. Cynthia Katte worked on the compost, watered and deadheaded. Judith Chaddock deadheaded many of our spent perennials and Kay Balzer worked on redoing our north Switzer Canyon bed - smaller and less spread out. Crys Wells worked on many of our weeds that are beginning to flower. I did many little jobs and kept people busy in the garden today.
Dave Hill and Zane brought out many visitors from the house.

Plans for next week include our usual bird care and watering as needed, continuing work on pathways and benchpads, re-doing the front gardens, and preparing entries for the fair (floriculture). Laura, Nancy, and Marcia will continue to work on the new garden.

New in the garden:
An electric chipper donated by Dave Hill
More iris has been thinned and is available for anyone who wants some. Leftovers will be taken to the fair on Friday.
A new Arizona walnut tree.

Upcoming special workdays:
September 11th - 9am-12pm - weeding party
October 23rd - 9am-12pm - fall bulb planting

"Ideally, a garden is a cycle of events in which the gardener grows, along with the soil and the crops. Food from the garden and bright, fragrant flower blossoms invigorate the gardener to grow more food and blossoms, a perpetual cycle of delight."

David Wann The Zen of Gardening

This past weekend I attended the regional Highlands Master Gardener conference in Payson. David Wann was one of the keynote speakers. His talk was one of the best I have heard regarding sustainability. He has a newer book - Simple Prosperity: finding real wealth in a sustainable lifestyle - which covers the themes from his talk. I will share some of his messages in the coming weeks. He is not only a gardener, and writer, but a philosopher.

Loni Shapiro

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