[caption id="attachment_81454" align="alignleft" width="400"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2021\/05\/DSC_0685.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="604" class="size-full wp-image-81454" \/> Louise Barnisky is growing flowers and friends at Pocahontas Center. Her gardening project brought residents and employees together for a fun gardening project last week. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful petunias and pansies that Louise and friends planted on either side of the front door, as well as the variety of flowering plants along the sidewalk and the zinnias in the back yard. L.D. Bennett photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nLouise Barnisky has long been known for having one of the greenest thumbs in Marlinton. Her burgeoning vegetable gardens were an annual triumph of hard work and shrewd gardening skills.\r\n\r\nThe vegetables that came out by the bushel not only went into her cooking, canning jars and freezer, they were also generously distributed around the community.\r\n\r\nIn her front yard, the flower beds were a glorious profusion of proud irises and brilliant lilies, colorful gladiola blossoms and sweet smelling roses which made Louise\u2019s home the summer showplace on her street. \r\n\r\nIt was not unusual to find Louise hard at work digging, trimming, weeding or harvesting every day except Sunday, which was set aside for worship at her church \u2013 Huntersville Baptist.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve always enjoyed growing things, and I tell you, I just love flowers,\u201d Louise said, as she looked out the window of her room at Pocahontas Center.\r\n\r\nShe pointed out a large deer feeder that her son, Thomas, and grandson, Johnny, installed for her and the other residents\u2019 viewing pleasure.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe deer come right up there,\u201d Louise said. \u201cI love watching them. And so do a lot of other people here.\r\n\r\n\u201cBoy, those deer know when that feeder timer goes off! They must listen for it, because as soon as that feed comes out, here they come!\u201d\r\n\r\nThis past year, Louise moved into Pocahontas Center and has found that she\u2019s quite happy there.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve made lots of friends here,\u201d Louise related. \u201cIt was my decision to move. I just knew it was time, so I decided to try it for a while. And I haven\u2019t been sorry I did.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey\u2019re good to me here. Everyone is so nice. And I\u2019ve been happy with the food,\u201d she added with a laugh.\r\n\r\nThis is high praise coming from a lady who, besides being a consummate gardener, has long been known as one of our community\u2019s best cooks and a talented baker.\r\n\r\nBesides cooking, baking and gardening, Louise loves her family.\r\n\r\nThey are the focus of her life.\r\n\r\nBut gardening is a close second.\r\n\r\nAnd now she\u2019s taken an interest in gardening at Pocahontas Center and has several of her friends there, digging in the dirt with her.\r\n\r\nWith a $100 gift from her friends in the Marlinton Woman\u2019s Club and a few other private donations, Louise bought flats of flowers to be planted in the flower beds and flower pots at the Center.\r\n\r\nThe Center\u2019s social worker, Sharon Moore, Brenda Cagel of the admissions office, and Lisa Robertson, restorative aide, were Louise\u2019s assistants \u2013 and they were on a mission.\r\n\r\nLouise and her team went on a shopping trip to the greenhouse on Droop Mountain and Buckeye Country Mart in search of plants.\r\nThe baby plants and potting soil were brought home to the Center where several residents and employees joined Louise in getting them in the ground last Friday.\r\n\r\n\u201cEveryone at the Center helped at one time or another,\u201d Center Activities Department employee Donna Shearer said.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe had a ball with it. Employees would take their lunch break or any minute they could, to help with the project.\r\n\r\nAs the saying goes, \u201cMany hands make light work.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cIt only took about three or four hours, and we had it all done,\u201d Louise said. \u201cThe long flowerbed along the front walk needed something.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe put lots of different flowers in there, and we planted zinnias in the flowerbed in the backyard and then, at the front door, we put petunias in one planter and pansies in the other one.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs we were inspecting the flowers, Louise lamented that they looked like they really needed watering, but how would she be able to water them regularly without a hosepipe nearby?\r\n\r\nBefore you could say \u201cJack Robinson,\u201d here came Mike Thomas, the maintenance supervisor, with five gallon buckets of water.\r\n\r\nAs Louise and Mike hugged, she said: \u201cI told you everybody here is good to me!\u201d\r\n\r\nFollowing the success of her first botanical foray, Louise is looking forward to continuing her gardening at the Center.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019re going to have to be watering and weeding these flowers. And deadheading some of them, too,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\n \u201cI\u2019ll be needing a lot of help keeping up with them.\u201d\r\n\r\nFinding help shouldn\u2019t be a problem.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt was worth a million dollars, to see how much our residents enjoyed being outside and working with those flowers,\u201d Shearer said.