The Carthage Press
  • Senior gardens at CH&R at 73

  • A resident at Carthage Health & Rehab has enhanced the plant-life around the facility.
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  • A resident at Carthage Health & Rehab has enhanced the plant-life around the facility.
    L.D. Gregory, 73, a native of Springdale, Ark., planted some seeds he had in the spring in three places around CH&R. He has lived there since October 2013, recovering from a pinched nerve in his back. That hasn't stopped him from his routine of getting up every morning at 4 a.m., to go outside to tend to his gardens.
    “Hot weather don't bother me,” he said. “I like to be outside. It gives me something to do and I like beautiful flowers. It just got a little bigger than what it was supposed to.”
    Gregory's gardens have captured the attention of residents, staff and visitors – especially one particular sunflower that has grown as tall as the building.
    Just some of the flowers Gregory tends are: sunflowers, zinnias, and a unique bloom of salvia. One zinnia plant has 34 blooms, and in the backyard, he manages tomato, cucumbers, green pepper and watermelon plants.
    He doesn't hesitate to lean down to uproot a dandelion from the lawn.
    “It's just common sense,” Gregory said with a humble smile. “All you need is water and dirt – all I got is time – you can't just sit around. Hopefully I'll live to be a hundred.”
    Gregory moved a lot in his life. From one side of the country to the other, he has farmed. At one time, he farmed 450 acres in Texas. He earned his high school diploma in Jefferson City. He retired, though, from truck driving in 1994.
    For the last 20 years of his life he has gardened.
    Gregory's advice on how to live a good, long life circles back to “common sense.”
    “Do what you want to do,” he said, before taking in a dip of chewing tobacco. “That's what I did.”
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