• Last modified 328 days ago (June 29, 2023)


Flowers a touchdown at football field

Staff writer

Mary Thiessen’s green thumb extends beyond her own home in Peabody.

For four or five years, Thiessen has taken care of a garden at a football field in Peabody City Park. She planted perennials — flowers such as mums that return every year — in the northwest corner of the field.

A retired elementary school teacher, Thiessen was matter-of-fact when asked why she took on the project.

“I was asked to,” she said, smiling.

NM Patton, who looks after the park as a volunteer, asked for her help.

Thiessen happily obliged.

On Tuesday, the flowers were a bright spot on a gloomy, rainy morning. She fussed about weeds that weren’t even noticeable.

The garden is irrigated, so despite a drought, she doesn’t have to worry about watering the flowers and plants.

At her home on N. Olive St., Thiessen grows columbine, petunias, rose of Sharon, mums, lilies, irises, pansies, creeping phlox, vinca, clematis, hollyhocks, and black-eyed Susans. Rows of peonies — pink, white, and red — stand in her front and back yards.

“The peonies were here when we moved here,” she said.

That was about 40 years ago.

Thiessen begin teaching kindergarten and first grade in Peabody in 1969.

Colorful letters that spell “garden” hang on one wall of a backyard shed.

She thinks she inherited her love for flowers and plants from her mother.

Thiessen started out with one area of flowers near her garage.

“It progressed from there,” she said.

Last modified June 29, 2023