Sometime between March and November of 2019, Tony started constructing his installation of flowerpots, plants, garden ornaments, lumber, and concrete blocks on the side of the street in front of 67 Central Avenue in Boyes Hot Springs. I originally assumed his name was Richard because of the sign he posted in 2021. The sign, which is not up currently, is a bit puzzling, but I’m glad he gave himself credit, no matter what name he used.
Tony was born in Nayarit state, Mexico and came to the U.S. 50 or 60 years ago (he’s a bit vague on this). He has worked as a landscaper his whole life. “I know how to take care of plants,” he told me.
Joanie Bourg via Facebook:
“He used to come into Sonoma Mission Gardens where I worked for many years.. order plants or buy soil. The thing that struck me about Tony was his super boisterous laugh and spirit, and he obviously worked hard as a gardener.. I would see his truck everywhere. He’s a larger than life dude. I’m also a gardener by profession, so I know just how hard the work is. I love his fighting spirit.”
He has worked at that trade until he got sick. “The doctors took my money, and I’m still sick,” he said. He will go back to Mexico when it’s “time for the ‘cementary’,” he joked. He usually walks with two canes, which he made himself, because he doesn’t like the store-bought ones.
Tony has lived in the apartments next door to his garden for five or six years.
His garden evolves with the seasons. He grows geraniums and plants annual flowers in season. He also uses artificial flowers. Periodically he paints the pots a new color.
Tony drives a Ford work truck. I find it charming that he has replaced the Ford logotype on the tailgate with stick-on lettering, which is slightly askew. It’s a very competent looking truck.
Tony’s garden is getting noticed on social media, probably because it’s close to a popular restaurant, and it’s so great!
Thank you Tony Perez for your gift to our neighborhood!
This post will be updated as Tony’s Garden evolves.