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, September 21, 2012

Workday 9/17 & 20

On Monday, Julie Holmes came and helped move plants from the area where the trees will be taken down. Since we have plenty in the garden already - volunteers took the plants home. Katarina Karjala cleaned tea pots and put them away for storage for the winter. She also did some deadheading. Linda Guarino came and finished the irrigation in the front bed.

On Tuesday, the two ponderosa trees next to the parking lot came down. They were removed to improve the effectiveness of the solar panels on the home. Work will begin this weekend in leveling the ground and the following weekend in placing our sheds. Next year we will work on making the shed less conspicuous in the garden with trellis and plantings.


Thursday, was the day of our Annual Harvest Lunch. Several arrived early and participated in the workday before lunch. Jeanette Sletton worked on composting and mulching roses. Vicki Goodwin, Crys Wells, and Becky Lewis all helped with the mulching. Becky also helped Linda Guarino unload rock mulch for the front bed. Carol Lease worked on the irrigation. She added a few lines and plugged some lines where the sheds will be placed. Several people joined us for lunch - Debbie Crisp, David Hockman, Lee Lease, and Tess (resident). As usual we had a great meal - brats, German potato salad, baked beans, kale salad, calabacitas, jello salad, carrot and raisin salad and a couple of pies. Becky brought some homemade pickles and goat cheese, and Marcia Lamkin brought a banana bread. Katarina Karjala made an apple dessert using some of our apples from the garden, and Brandon Porter brought us a pie. We all ate to much and then enjoyed some thank yous and gifts for the season.

I will be on vacation the next 2 Thursdays - Monday workdays are cancelled. Laura Davis may be working on those Mondays if you want to work in the MMG. Contact her if you are interested. My next days supervising in the garden will be on October 8 and 11. While I am gone Betty (9/27) and Becky (10/4) will be in charge for the workdays. On the agenda for the next couple of weeks:
Deadheading all except penstemons
Watering indoors and all new transplants
Compost (empty red plastic can from pantry)
Cleaning and organizing the garage shelving (put questionable items in a box for my return)
     Black plastic tubing behind the door can be put around treetrunks for the winter
Mulching sparse areas throughout the garden
Moving geraniums out of pots and beds (what doesn't fit on the sun porch is available for the taking)
Beginning to put away hardscape
      Small items in the FG and throughout the garden (boxes in the greenhouse)
      Water features (under the table and in the corner of the back patio)

We may have 2 Saturday workdays in October - 13th and 27th - weather permitting. The first will be a day for planting bulbs and the 2nd Make a Difference Day for final clean-up.

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.  
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse


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