Ceci Sanchez has been a Key Biscayner since she moved here as a teenager with her parents in the early 1960’s after fleeing Castro’s Cuba. Her and husband Ed chose to settle here as well and raised a family.

In the early 1990’s she met volunteer gardener of the Key Biscayne Library, Ellen Merritt. They took their mutual passion into the stratosphere with magnificent beautification projects on the property well documented in innumerable Islander News stories, as well as coverage in the Miami Herald.

Although Ms. Merritt has now passed, Sanchez faithfully continues her legacy by encouraging the village to nurture and protect community landscaping in need of tender loving care. She is hopeful the new administration will find time with their heavy load of priorities to budget for a full time horticulturalist and arborist to protect the village’s green investments.

“Let’s take better care of our plants and share them with the community,” she said. “I have trees and all kinds of babies that can be replanted elsewhere because I’ve run out of space.”

Sanchez also would like to recycle the plants dug up to make room for new landscaping projects rather then throw them away, and start a group of like-minded gardeners to share her passion and spread the joy of co-creating with nature around the village.

Village Manager Andrea Agha said the community is blessed to have Ceci, and they look forward to working with her and enhancing the landscaping program in the near future.

Islander News will continue to follow the developments of the village’s own historic grand gardener; Ceci Sanchez. Here is a peek inside her secret garden paradise.

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