Tuesday, October 19, 2010
hospice garden, continued

Here are a few pictures of the plants we moved and re-planted at The Chris Brownlie Hospice back in 1995........ These were the plants we had to move from Woody's Garden to the Hospice......All those arms had to be wrapped to make sure they did not break off. Frankly, I think Seven and his crew did magnificent work!In this picture above, you can see the large plant in the foreground and some of the smaller ones---right there in the middle----which we were now ready to plant because Joe Leone had finished with what he had to do with the cement walkways and cement steps...... And Joe had "tiered" the incline of the hill with these Railroad Ties so that the planting areas had some depth to them......You can see above, a few of the smaller pieces that we planted on the day these were taken back in 1995. We planted lots of little Cacti---hoping that they would grow and survive over the long haul. Not all of them did, but, that was not surprising. There are so many factors that go into the survival of any plants, but particularly the survival of Cactus...... In this picture above, you can see Seven---over on the far left of the picture, and one of his guys....These men worked so very hard and with so much skill.....Cactus and Succulents have special needs and the people caring for these plants need to know and understand these 'special' needs.....Above, Seven is over there on the right, continuing to plant some of the smaller pieces.....That Pachypodum over on the left was one of those beautiful plants that I knew might not make it over the long haul...But, for the present, back in 1995, it was a wonderful and beautiful addition to the Garden--different than anything else we planted..... There it is....right there in the middle of the picture. This amazing plant has a very glorious and beautiful leafy soft top and the lower part looks dangerously harsh and spiny....I find this so Artistically beautiful as well as quite extraordinary in the context of 'nature'....It's like the Beauty of Lions or Tigers---yet, they are dangerous and can be very scary predators. If course there are differences. Pachypodums are only dangerous if you happen to brush up against the spiny parts. These plants are actually all quite benign and they have a very beautiful fragrant flower, when blooming---in fact the flowers smell very much like Plumeria. We actually planted two of them. What I love about this picture above is---You can see the "work" that is going on...The piles of Cactus Mix over on the lower left---this "mix" is an essential part of any Cactus or Succulent surviving. It is the proper environment for the roots of these Plants so that there is not only the correct drainage---The Most Important Component Of Cacti Survival---but also, there are also very special nutrients in this 'mix'. Oh, and by the way...See those chairs over on the upper left....I got these comfy chairs so that the people living at this Hospice could sit out here and be surrounded by these incredibly peaceful and beautiful plants....a peaceful 'living' inspiration. You have to remember that 20 or more years ago, AIDS patients had no place to go and no hope of survival---(I know over 40 people who died back in those horrendous early years of this pandemic...). All these of men above may not look that sick...but they were. And they had no place to go. No one---no 'facility' was set up for people with HIV/AIDS---well, there were very few places, at that time, that were accepting of people dying of AIDS. Because back then it was a death sentence----back then. before the so called "cocktail". The work continued and the Garden began to really take shape. Adding the smaller pieces made a huge difference. Above.....everything cleaned up and Seven watered all the new plantings as well as washing down the stairs.....There were still two elements that needed to be added to this Garden. Some pretty small stones that would cover all of the dist and would help the smaller plants stand out. And a rather simple but needed railing for the steps, which would help those people who were still mobile to steady themselves as they walked down or up those nice wide steps..... Above, the wonderful Seven Lopez, who was my Gardener back then and still is my Gardener today in 2010! He is not only a really dedicated man but a lovely human being, too.....I could not have executed this Garden without him and his great crew of men......The next set of pictures will show the 'Dedication' ceremony in May of 1995....This will be coming along soon.....And yes, there will also be pictures of how this Garden looks today.........

More To Come..........

Links to this post:


had this to say:

This is really wonderful. I was hoping you might have some "after" pictures. And I am truly sorry that you lost so many friends to such a terrible disease.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 1:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I look forward to seeing the pictures, Naomi. Seven looks like a capable and caring person.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 3:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

fabulous pictures naomi! What a huge undertaking and great thing this is... and you have all the photo's to remember it by!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 3:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great job Noami and you know with such long serving Gardener, he is not such your Gardener but a friend now :D

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 3:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful site. So many interesting things are growing and thriving. Please continue your efforts. I have a memorial garden dedicated to my sister. Please walk through and if there's someone you'd like to dedicate a flower to--let me know.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 10:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Just beautiful work those men did. How wonderful that Seven is still your gardener. You definitely inspire loyalty and friendship.
I have a friend with AIDs that got it from her husband. He has passed but she is surviving today thanks to the coctail. A lot of beautiful people were not so lucky.
Thank goodness those fellows had such a lovely place to go. Looking forward to the current pictures. Hope you have one of a present day Seven.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 11:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The most difficult thing about creating a garden is making it seem as though its truly natural, and not merely a man-made display of foliage. It takes a true artist to do that.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 12:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What an absolutely compassionate kindness you showed in arranging this. If you could see my keyboard- you would see tears on it. I am moved.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 8:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely. I truly admire gardeners whatever their project. This was clearly a labor of love

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh dear Naomi,
I'm so impressed how professionally this move was done.
Thinking not only about outside look, but also the wellfare of the Plants - even drainage.
Too many people do not think about tha latter; result:Plants die from driesness or overwatering.

btw. I've had a working week with very long days - I like it. That's a reason for not commenting as I should. I think you will love my last report from Provence;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 2:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Seven and his men did a fine job. I love that dangerous plant, the one with the soft top and spiny bottom...and the way it curves, almost like a dangerous woman, is very sexy. lol

I'm sorry you lost so many friends to that horrible disease. I remember watching "Gia" a while back and thinking how awful it must've been in those early days when so little was known about AIDS and there was so much fear.

Btw, I have some catching up to do here on your blog (must read Part I) but my days are incredibly busy so I will return this evening with a glass of wine and more time!! I must wake up the kiddies for school now and start another day in paradise!

Hope all's well with you, my friend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 3:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

lovin' following this progression. well, of course i do! you never disappoint! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What great hearts you and Seven have. You showed such compassion to the sick when others turned their heads away from them. I know nature can be a relief from pain. My husband had a friend who was terminal with cancer and the only thing he wanted to do was sit in front of the window and watch the birds and the plants in his garden, he said it helped him so much.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 7:32:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I never would have thought catus could be so beautiful and spiritual. Thank you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 6:59:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

It must have been so heartening for the patients to feel that some special people were working like beavers to make their life a little easier and pleasant. You should all be proud.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 8:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I dedicated two trees to my sons Stephen Elliott and Michael Elliott {who died of AIDS in 1994} in 1995. Can you tell me if their plaques still exist? They were on the right side of the driveway going into the complex.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 9:38:00 AM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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