Garden makeover remembers landscaper

PITCHING IN: Friends of Vicki Wood Trust who created a garden sanctuary at Nelson Tasman Hospice.
PITCHING IN: Friends of Vicki Wood Trust who created a garden sanctuary at Nelson Tasman Hospice.

Friends and family of patients at the Nelson Tasman Hospice have a new garden sanctuary to enjoy, thanks to a new community trust.

The Friends of Vicki Wood Trust has been busy creating the private outdoor space for the hospice over the past month.

Friends and family of Vicki Wood formed the trust and plan to undertake small voluntary landscape projects for the community in her honour.

Vicki Wood
Vicki Wood

Vicki was a passionate, vibrant landscape designer who lived in Motueka. She captured a lot of peoples' hearts with her open and friendly manner. She died aged 49 after a short battle with cancer last year.

Fittingly, the trust's first project was to create a garden sanctuary at the hospice which Vicki used to call her "Club Med".

The Friends of Vicki Wood Trust trustees are landscape architects Heidi Stewart and Karina Amey, and family members Heather and Russ Cederman.

Heidi, who is a director of Canopy Landscape Architects, and Karina from Vista Design designed the garden sanctuary after approaching the hospice to ask if they would like to have a new garden created for them.

A long list of sponsors helped provide items for the garden, including major sponsors Goldpine and Mitre 10 as well as nurseries and landscape based suppliers. Heidi estimates the project was valued at about $40,000 including, time, labour and materials.

The trust held a working day earlier this month with a volunteer group of 20 who turned up to help. A core group of the volunteers were landscapers who had worked with Vicki.

The make-over included updating the hospice's entrance with signs, pots, wall art and planting, creating new planter boxes and planting along the front and side of the building which will provide a lush green outlook for patients.

The focus of the project, the outdoor garden room, was also created, providing a private, peaceful, green outdoor space for patients and family and friends of patients to take time out in.

Stuart Kere, a carver of 16 years, created an Oamaru stone sculpture as a focal point for the garden.

Stuart created the sculpture for Vicki "a dear friend and also to acknowledge the hospice for their outstanding work they do for the community".

Heidi says the trust was conscious that many of the plants already at the hospice had been previously donated, and these were re-planted and re-used where possible. The trust was also aware that the hospice garden volunteers did a great job maintaining the gardens and it was nice to meet and work with them.

Heidi says they have already had great feedback from the hospice staff and patients.

"I think we managed to achieve something special which will make a real difference in people's lives when they need it most."

Hospice manager Frans Dellebeke said the garden was an absolutely beautiful way for the trust to remember Vicki, who had stayed at the hospice.

Frans says the makeover had transformed the entrance to the hospice which was looking tired, and had improved access to the front rooms.

The trust is looking for future sponsors and future projects. For more information on the trust visit