beloved

‘The Farm,’ a healing garden at Pennington Cancer Center, honors a beloved wife, mother and friend | Home/Garden

Charlotte Ferguson Murrell loved the outdoors — gardening, raising chickens and working on the tract of land, where she and her husband, George, raised their three children.

The former pediatric nurse also loved her coffee club of friends, close for more than 30 years.

When the 54-year-old Murrell died two years ago from colon cancer, some coffee club members decided, as a memorial, to spruce up the coffee service at the Baton Rouge General Pennington Cancer Center of Bluebonnet Boulevard, where the young wife and mother had spent many hours in treatment.

Then George Murrell designated the cancer center as a place where friends and family members could make donations in his wife’s memory.

The money poured in.

“It was unlike anything we have seen,” said Erik Showalter, president of the Baton Rouge General Foundation. “Contributions came from all over the country.”

That’s when the small, thoughtful project grew into a big, thought-filled project that patients and families will enjoy for many years to come.

“Our little coffee service project snowballed into a lovely healing garden,” said Leslie Gladney, who worked on the project with fellow coffee clubbers Pamela Gladney, Cheryl Kirchoff and Connie Miller.

The garden is nestled in a space between the buildings that house Pennington’s Infusion Center and the oncology waiting room at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center, just off Bluebonnet Boulevard. 

A balm to the senses, the garden is filled with white and pink flowers including a Natchez crepe myrtle, sweet olives, boxwoods, hydrangeas, foxtail ferns, azaleas, Shi Shi camellias, yew and agapanthus, along with blooming annuals. 

“The plan is to have something blooming year-round and something with a soft scent year-round,” Leslie Gladney said.

They’ve even given the tranquil spot a name.

“Charlotte was a farm girl, so we decided to call the garden