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, October 22, 2010

Garden Workday 10/21/10

I returned from Chicago this week, after visiting the beautiful Chicago Botanic Gardens. If you ever travel to that area it is a must see. They have almost 400 acres of formal gardens, with 9 islands. On arrival you keep looking for a castle on the property. They also have some unique areas; a large garden on the roof of their science center, a state of the art enabling garden, an amazing bonzai collection, and a very large garden railway (16 trains). I have encluded a couple of photos of the hundreds I took. One is a view of one of the islands, and the other a bed adapted for wheelchairs.

This bed has a duel purpose. It has three levels for various sized wheelchairs and it is water efficient with the water draining from the highest bed to the lowest.

While I was gone much has happened at the Hospice Home Garden. The gardens have been vandalized twice. We had broken hardscape, pulled plants, and some items just tossed in the canyon. Most of the damage was to the Faerie Garden, which was designed as a children's play area. We even received threatening notes demanding money. It is very sad and difficult to comprehend why someone would do this. The police have been notified and the newspaper came on Thursday to ask questions. You may see something in the Daily Sun. We have put all items of value away in our greenhouse, except for a few that are too large, or might be repaired. It is really not the cost of the items but what they mean to the people who donated them for their loved ones.

On Thursday, we had a small crew that worked on mulching the roses, and putting away the garden for the winter. Even though I say winter, I picked several roses yesterday to bring in the house. It really hasn't been cold enough to freeze them out. Linda Guarino returned from her trip to Africa. She transplanted some herbs, and put the tea and faerie garden items in storage. Cynthia Katte and Marilynn VanWagner also put items away and then helped me mulch the roses. Thanks to A & A Tree service we got a large load of wood chips.

We will be in the garden on Saturday from 9am-12pm planting bulbs and continuing our mulching. We will continue at the garden probably until mid-November weather permitting. Most of our time will be spent watering as needed and mulching for winter. Come join us if you can on our regular Thursday workdays.

While I was gone I attended a horticultural therapy conference and I will occasionally share some ideas from that. In several of my classes we talked about the Green Man which has been a garden symbol for centuries. He symbolizes growth and renewal. Google that if your interested in what it is all about. I actually made my own Green Man box to put small treasures in.

Loni Shapiro

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