Hi all, my name is Kathy Czibere, and I am the Gardener in the Shell Healing Garden here at the hospital. I have been caring for this garden with my team since the hospital was built in 2012. I strongly believe in the importance of green spaces, allowing for the mental recharge nature provides.
The work I do in this space begins in February/March. We start by trimming the trees and shrubs in order it maintain health and size. April is Spring cleanup, and I cut all the grasses down, trim perennials back and rake up the leaf debris. May is when the planting begins, and pots and beds are filled with flowers.
June, July, August I do lots of weeding, watering and fertilizing. In order it keep the flowers in the big pots growing vigorously, they require fertilizer weekly, and a gradual increase of water. In June, weekly water requirements per pot are 12 gallons, July 16-18 gallons weekly, and August a whopping 20 gallons per pot weekly!
In September as our garden starts to fade, I remove the dead flowers, and start preparing for winter. This is also when planning for Spring starts. I pick plants and quantities, and send this info into Alberta Hospital Greenhouses, where our plants are grown.
We have received many donations in past years. Shell Scottford has donated funds as well as people power, Home Depot has done the same. The Hospital Auxiliary generously donates funds annually. Thiels Greenhouses offers us a discount on plants purchased.
I really enjoy volunteering in the garden, nurturing a space for patients, staff and visitors to stroll, to rest, to visit is rewarding. Come on out, and feel the “recharge”.