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.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Season Thank You

Thank You for Another Successful Year in the Gardens of Olivia White Hospice Home. Thank you to all our regular volunteer gardeners (master gardeners & hospice supporters) for a very successful garden season. We had a difficult year with few regular volunteers due to age related injuries, but Mother Nature came through with a great monsoon season to make our gardens more beautiful than ever.  Special thanks go to those groups that continue to support us throughout the year with their generous donations of time and or materials. Warner’s Landscape and Nursery continued with a 10th year of 10% of proceeds day for Olivia White Hospice as well as discounts for purchases.  Other groups who helped with their time included;  Flagstaff High School, NAU Honors Class, Girls for Good, and AmeriCorp. The Bountiful Alliance Foundation awarded another grant to continue to develop a garden to honor Michael Moore (writer and naturalist).  Work on the Native Medicinal Garden began in 2010 and continued throughout this year.  Last of all Dave & Terri Hill continued their generous support of the gardens with a donation of an outdoor table for residents, families, and staff.  

One of our many groups - NAU Honors Class
We entered the Native Plant Society contest and received 2 special recognition awards for the best Mini Meadow Garden (Kay Balzer) and most Heartwarming Canine Memorial (Loni Shapiro). Other major work included revamping the front garden beds, and beginning a remodel of an area where two ponderosa trees were removed and two sheds added.  That work will continue next year along with work on the corner garden. Thanks to the City of Flagstaff we will have an Urban Trail surrounding the property extending all the way to the Y.

The gardens and Olivia White Home continue to be an inspiration for all residents in Flagstaff. They help those in need of the services offered, need a quiet place to contemplate life, celebrate others lives, just enjoy passing by, and as a place for gardeners to learn.  This year visits included:  the Native Plant Society Annual Garden Tours, the Senior Companion/Foster Grandparent programs, and the Arboretum docents and staff. We also had a large group of visitors in the garden for the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Olivia White Home in August. The Mayor declared it Marilyn Pate Day - the founder of Northland Hospice and the Olivia White Hospice Home.

We begin our season in January with monthly planning meetings until April when weather permitting we began cleaning up the garden. Watch our blog ( for dates and beginning orientation to the gardens. We are always looking for new volunteers.

Flagstaff ….. thank you again for your generous spirit!
“Gardens are not inherently meaningful in many ways; but, making a garden and caring for it creates meaningfulness.
If you plant it, they will come."   
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions  

Loni Shapiro, Master Gardener
and the volunteer gardeners of Olivia White Hospice Home

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