Time to Smell the Roses
Photography: Timothy Thimmes
To visit someone’s garden is to be invited into a personal oasis, a space of green and flowering things created to soothe the spirit and nurture the soul. The “Take Time to Smell the Roses” garden tour last summer was a wonderful chance to peek behind our neighbors’ fences while helping fund breast cancer research.
Event organizer Naomi Lippincott is herself in remission from breast cancer. “Remission is wonderful,” she says, “but it isn’t the same as a cure.” Chain Reaction for a Cure is a Web-based non-profit founded by Tracy Loewer, a college friend of Naomi’s son. Tracy developed breast cancer at the age of 33. “Tracy motivated me all through my treatment,” Naomi reports. “She’s such an inspiration, and so unselfish about what to do with the rest of her life.”
The idea behind Chain Reaction for a Cure is to get everyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer to access the Web site, donate just $10, and then ask ten of their friends to do the same. The donation multiplied by ten over and over will raise substantial funding for research.
Last year Naomi felt it was time to do even more. She gathered a group of kindred spirits around her, and together they organized a garden tour and reception to support Chain Reaction for a Cure. The tour featured six different homes around Park City and one near Heber City, as well as a group of flower-filled front yards along Park Avenue.
The garden tour opened the gate to David Belz’s yard near The Shop in Old Town. Inside, viewers found a rushing stream and a Zen retreat under the boughs of an ancient willow. This open space of shade and sun and green native plants was surprising and restorative amid the clutter of buildings and busy streets of Old Town. Water also provided an essence of peace at the Jaffa-Herbert garden in Park Meadows. Opening to the expanse of the Park Meadows Golf Course, this lovely garden featured cleverly placed stone patios with inviting benches where tour guests could peer into the bubbling stream and seek shadowy trout.
The Elbert family’s amazing garden demonstrated how a rather small backyard can become an elegant extension of the home. Fragrant honeysuckle covered a trellis while thyme flowered between the stones along the walkway leading to a stunning stone dining area. Best of all, a children’s play area and secret paths brought depth and magic to this special garden.
Naomi and her dedicated committee had hoped to raise about $25,000 with the tour and the following reception, which featured live and silent auctions. They actually made over $84,000, all donated to fund research for a cure for breast cancer. Naomi plans to organize the tour again in the summer of 2009. Rather than exhaust her fellow volunteers and generous sponsors by trying to make the garden tour an annual event, Naomi wisely prefers to give them a year off, so that they too can take time to smell the roses.
To join Chain Reaction for a Cure, visit chainreactionforacure.org. To help Naomi Lippincott with next year’s garden tour, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.