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Jo-Anne and Pam, the design and build team with a little help from our friends!

Hospice Garden

This was a garden project that I undertook after losing my sister to cancer in September 2003. When she became too ill to live at home, she was fortunate to be offered a room at a charitable “hospice house” near her home in Utica, New York the Abraham House.

The guest care in the house is by volunteers and they are totally dependent on private donations to keep running. As my sister was there for several weeks and she and her friends were able to enjoy and benefit from the garden space, I felt that I very much wanted to do something to thank them for all the care and support they offered my sister and our family during these difficult times.

The garden was in serious need of rejuvenation, so it provided the natural focus of my attention. Thus, a memorial garden was born - the “Grow with Love” garden, with a heart shaped lawn included in the design. Myself and my partner went there in the summer of 2004 and organised a rota of volunteers to help with various aspects of the garden build; managing to get lots of the materials either donated or at a substantial discount. Very long days, through all kinds of weather we persevered and it resulted in a celebratory garden that included three seating areas so that visitors could have privacy and sit within the peaceful setting and a range of colourful planting.

We brought with us a handmade copper bird water feature that was imported from Hungary and this formed a focal point sited by a small pond and set behind a decorative metal arch. We constructed the pergola from handstripped red cedar poles and rustic trellis was made from a cedar frame with bittersweet vines used as decoration. The garden build and its joyful realisation, was and is, a celebration of life and love and continues to be enjoyed by resident guests at the Abraham House and their families.