Retirement resident’s green thumb full of flair

Local News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — One man deserves a little TLC for what he does for his retirement community.

Richard Pierce spends his days keeping the Hawthorne Inn beautiful. He plants, waters and fertilizes the dozens of flowers and plants decorating the facility.

Pierce does it all from his scooter and says it keeps him happy and active, but gardening is only half for him. He says he does it to brighten up the lives of other residents.

“When I water, I water the whole plant.”

It’s just one tip from Pierce.

“I love working with the flowers. They turned this area over to me this year to keep it up nice and clean.”

He’s lived here for nearly four years, but he’s been a gardener for life. Recently, he started using his talents to transform the courtyard.

“What was one or two flowers has become a whole garden.”

Charlotte Robbins is the activities assistant for the retirement community. She says Pierce does it all by himself.

“Everything he does is in the power scooter. He takes the hoe and gets the weeds and everything.”

“Some days, I work out here a-half-a-day.”

Pierce says the hard work’s worth it.

“I really enjoy doing it. I’m a person that don’t like to sit in and watch TV.”

The fruits of his labor go beyond flowers.

“I like it to be nice for the other people and I’ve had a lot of people comment about them.”

Pierce wants to keep the project up as long as he can.

“Maybe next year, I’m going to get a radio out here.”

He wants to add more flowers outside the dementia wing. That way, he can brighten even more people’s day.

“I like the hanging baskets because everybody, there’s people live right here. They look out here and watch me take care of this and feed them, water them, comment on how beautiful they are.”

Pierce pays for all the upkeep of the flowers himself. He says he’s just lucky he can still garden.

Pierce also likes to keep busy putting together puzzles. He glues, frames and sells them. He then uses the money for garden supplies.

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