Santa Paula Times

Hospice Home & Garden Tour: Schrock garden pays homage to Jane Schrock’s legacy

April 13, 2016
Santa Paula News

When Dr. Larry Schrock was working to help design the garden on his Santa Paula property, he made sure to include a paved pathway with handrails that wind through each and every corner of the nearly one acre lot. 

“I could see Jane out there gardening at 90 years old,” he said. “I wanted her to be safe and have easy access to every part of the garden.”

At the time, the Schrock’s had recently rebuilt their home of 40 years - a three-year undertaking that began after the original home burned down due to faulty wiring.

“Jane had just been diagnosed with cancer when we were working on the garden,” Dr. Schrock said. “I wanted her to do what she wanted with it. I wanted it to be as she always imagined.”

Part of Jane’s dream included an empty lot next to the home. 

“She would tell the owners, ‘I’m going to buy that lot one of these days,’ and I wonder if they thought she was crazy,” Dr. Schrock said. “But one day they came to Jane and told her it was hers.”

The Schrock garden had much to boast even prior to that expansion of property. The entire house is framed in a variety of roses: Double Delight, Lemon Spice, Peace, Mister Lincoln, Chrysler Imperial, Angel Face…the list goes one. 

“Jane loved roses,” Dr. Schrock said. “And they have grown spectacularly.”

As the rose collection, that is accompanied by a variety of other plant species including recently planted sunflowers, comes to an end, the pathway to the larger portion of the garden begins, as does the adventure into what Dr. Schrock has been told is the most diverse collection of fruits and vegetables on one property in all of Ventura County. 

Among the succulents, blooming plumerias, poinsettias, and magnolia trees, are more than two dozen types of fruits and vegetable growing organically throughout the property. Cherimoya, grape, peach, plum, apple, apricot, passionfruit, orange, pomegranate, raspberries, mango, lemon, avocado, fig, and persimmon are a partial list of the fruit thriving on the property. The vegetable collection includes potatoes, squash, pumpkins, peas, artichokes, lettuce, and onions, to name a few.

“We used to bring in loads of manure annually,” Dr. Schrock said. “We stopped doing that a few years back, but it made a huge difference. It seems anything can grow here.”

The finishing touch, as far as Jane was concerned, was a stone waterfall filtered with recycled water - a key element to the peaceful ambience of a garden that makes visitors forget they are in a residential neighborhoodThe entryway to the Schrock kitchen is just before the beginning of the garden’s pathway. The garden, quite literally, bears the fruit of Jane’s labor. But the kitchen was where Jane thrived the most.

“Our original kitchen was small,” Dr. Schrock said. “Jane was the Briggs 4-H leader, and she was constantly cooking and baking for the group and for our family. She could make more in that small space than anyone I know.”

So when the couple was designing plans to rebuild, it seemed only natural that Jane have her dream kitchen.

“She loved cherrywood,” Dr. Schrock said of the cabinet choice, each bearing a unique stained glass designed specifically by Jane’s request. There are two focal points outside of the kitchen hardware: a large stained glass window featuring hummingbirds, also designed specifically for Jane, and an original Italian stone slab that Dr. Schrock found in a warehouse in North Hollywood - both magnificent features in what became an elegant cooking and baking space for Jane.

The two pantries, however, carry the best parts of Jane. One cooking pantry separate from a baking pantry each house the recipes, cookbooks, and all necessary ingredients, that Jane spent countless hours collecting and perfecting.

“She was an amazing cook,” Dr. Schrock said. “Until the moment she could no longer cook.”

Jane Schrock passed away in April 2015, but her spirit is very much within the walls and in the garden of the property she designed almost from scratch. And with the efforts of Dr. Schrock at the couple’s four children and grandchildren, the garden continues to thrive.

“I see these flowers that bloom without a single seed planted,” Dr. Schrock said. “They are flowers that come from the birds. They are beautiful, and I look and them and know that Jane is here. Something that beautiful couldn’t come without her.” 

Joanna & Randy Axell home and barn located at 14732 W. Telegraph Road is the best in ranch living dating back to 1867 where visitors will enjoy the couples love of art, history, and antiques.

The hillside garden of Dr. Jon Schrock, 508 Glade Drive, was a labor of love created by his late wife Jane that is celebrated throughout Ventura County. 

A unique plywood paradise in the Oaks is home to Doug Green and Brian Kiesow, an abode designed in the mid-1940s by a square-thinking engineer with a wild streak mixing maximum utility with strong touches of fun. It is located at 1009 Holly Road.

You’ll be flying high with a rare look inside the Santa Paula Airport hangars of Judy Phelps, whose CP Aviation is located at 830 E. Santa Maria St. and Wilma Melville (Hangar #7) offering a glimpse into the lives of two remarkable women.

Phelps was selected the 2011 National Flight Instructor of the Year and continues to rack up awards and recognitions for her skills; CP Aviation, a showpiece of the airport, is located at 830 E. Santa Maria St. 

Melville is the founder of National Search Dog Foundation, who after responding to the Oklahoma City Bombing created the organization that matches firefighters with shelter dogs to rescue those lost in the rubble of disaster. Her hangar is #7 and reflects her rich life with memorabilia.

Presale tickets for $40 each are available at the Hospice Office, 113 N. Mill St.; Santa Paula Times, 120 Davis St.; and the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, 200 N. 10th St. Tickets will be available at the door for $45 each.

For more information call 805-525-1333.