New Blue Bell Gardens 072616
New Blue Bell Gardens will soon bring natural beauty to the Canyon, delighting cats and residents alike
Work has begun on a landmark new project in Laguna Canyon, Blue Bell Gardens, the brainchild of Jeff Zakaryan, volunteer advisory board chairman of the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats, and a concept happily embraced by Susan Hamil, chairwoman of the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats.
The beautiful future “pocket park,” which will be a great resource for the Canyon, is strongly supported by community leaders including Ruben Flores of Laguna Nursery, Jorja Puma, immediate past president of the Laguna Beach Garden Club, Josh Brown of Native West Landscapes, the Laguna Beach Beautification Council, and Jon Madison of Madison Square Café and Gardens.
Recently the project also received a Community Assistance Grant from the City.
“Blue Bell Gardens will surround the area around the Blue Bell Cat Retirement Sanctuary with beauty at last, after the devastating flooding and mudslides of December, 2010,” Hamil said. “This project will create and sustain a rich, native habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and lizards, enhance the ecology and conserve water through intelligent use of natural resources.”
Native West Landscapes has already begun working on the paths and first few plantings. They specialize in creating sustainable gardens with plants and flowers, native to California that need the minimum amount of watering.
The work on Blue Bell Gardens begins, slowly but surely
The completed project, which Flores has described as a future “…jewel of the Canyon,” will feature 13 unique gardens on the property. Beyond giving the cats in their (safe) cottage home a great view of local wildlife and insects, and many new scents to savor, Blue Bell Gardens will provide a serene horticultural oasis.
In time Blue Bell Gardens will feature the work of local artists and offer horticultural education programs for residents and local school children.
As a way to raise funds - $17,500 is needed to complete the gardens by the end of 2016 – Blue Bell is offering opportunities to sponsor individual gardens for a tax-deductible contribution of a minimum of $2,500.
Six of the gardens have already been reserved. Sponsors include Ann and Charlie Quilter, the Birdhouse Village; Barb and Jeff Zakaryan, the Blue and White Floral Garden; Dr. Ned Momary, the Orchard; the Laguna Beach Garden Club, the Monarch Butterfly Garden; Native West, the Canyon Road Garden; Visionscape/Laguna Nursery, the Blue Native Garden; Jan Hobbs, the Cat Nip Garden; and Massen Greene Foundation, the Blue Grow Succulent Garden.
Excited and talented volunteer Lisa Villela is already painting birdhouses even though the final design of the Birdhouse Village is still being decided
The Blue Shade, Blue Glass, Mourning Dove, and Blue Flower gardens are still available for sponsorship of $2,500 or above, along with Meow Meadow and a few others. Each garden will have a personalized market recognizing the benefactor, if desired.
Sponsor and hard-working volunteer Zakaryan said, “We are passionate about the Blue Bell Cat Retirement Sanctuary, which provides a unique and loving home for beloved cats. Given its long history in Laguna we also feel the Blue Bell Gardens project will inspire others – in large and small ways – to enhance and preserve the precious natural resource we all enjoy in the Canyon.”
The Blue Bell Cat Retirement Sanctuary offers loving and compassionate life-long care for cats whose owners can no longer care for them.