K&K loses a great friend, neighbor, inspirer, & role model
The late Ruth Pieper, fits the definition of a determined, and independent old lady. If only this old lady could have been our neighbor for 15 more years.
Ms. Pieper, known to us as "good looking, grandma, current events specialist, weather broadcaster, and history guru", was born April 3, 1921 in Fayette County, IA.
This is the same County, where Ruth graduated from both high school, and college, got married, raised two incredible children, taught at five different schools for a combined 45 year stint, and was a influential supporter of the Hawkeye Library and Hawkeye Garden Club.
Ruth had many passions. She loved reading, quilting, crossword puzzles, gardening, Diet Coke, watching golf, having her hair done, coffee with friends, driving, Salem Lights, receiving the mail, chocolate, and watching television.
She received over a dozen magazines and newspapers weekly, and would read every single word, in every single publication, most often, the very SAME day. Who does this?
So, why was Ruth such an influential component of K&K Gardens? Very simple. It was all her idea!
The concept of K&K Gardens can be attributed to Ruth. Gardening, landscaping, water gardens, Master Gardening classes, growing heirloom vegetables and flowers, selling plants instead of giving them away, turning her backyard into retail space, and so much more, were her ideas.
She saw my interest in gardening, and encouraged me to enroll in a Master Gardening class. She circled pictures in seed catalogs, and told me to "grow these". She encouraged me to sell plants, instead of giving them away. She even came up with the names for our PegaZebo, and Piazza!
It is impossible to forget Ruth. Her willingness to lend an ear, her stories of past experiences, her daily updates from the back deck, and that squeaky door.
During the years of conversing with Ruth, she never once, mentioned anything of a Gardener's Retreat Center. It wasn't until after her passing, I received her message, and it was received, loud and clear. Just like Ruth.
Thanks to all our customers, friends, and fans, Ruth's passion will live on. It will be lived, in the house with the squeaky door.