Green-fingered miracle man lives for his garden

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

NINETY-YEAR-OLD gardener John Pierce has been hailed a miracle man after beating cancer.

Now the residents and staff at the Hillbury Care Home in Wrexham where John lives are tucking into produce from his garden and the greenhouse provided for him by Hillbury’s manager.

John became a resident at Hillbury in 2007, but at that time was confined to a wheelchair following treatment for cancer.

Now he is up and about and growing a host of vegetables, salad greens and tomatoes. John puts his good recovery down to the fact he’s enjoying his gardening so much.

He said: “When I arrived here from the Wrexham Maelor Hospital I had just had an operation for my twisted bowl and couldn’t move at all.

“The nurses and staff here had me doing physio’, which I have kept up with even today, and that made all the difference.

“They asked me whether I would give crutches a go and I did and then got a stick and now they can’t keep me still.”

Living in a care home meant John missed his garden and the taste of home-grown vegetables and tomatoes.

“They have activities here to keep people busy which is a good thing.

“I was given a grow bag and three tomato plants last year and they asked me to try growing them.

“That was right up my street and I had a wonderful crop.

“This year the manager presented me with my own greenhouse. It’s not huge but it does the job.

“Now I’ve grown marrows, tomatoes, lettuce and beans. I give some to the kitchen, so all the residents can have a taste and they go down a treat. I also give some to my two sons when they visit.”

John, who lived most of his life at Legacy, Rhostyllen, says being able to grow his own vegetables has given him a massive boost.

“When I lived at Legacy, before my wife died, I had my own garden and used to have the neighbour’s garden to grow stuff in too.

“I’ve always liked being outdoors and now I spend most of the day tending my plants.”

See full story in the Leader

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