- Real Estate
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This piece is presented by Lewis Drug.
When David and Shannon Peck moved into their west-side Sioux Falls home seven years ago, they knew it needed some work. They also understood why: the previous owner had been struggling with cancer.
“You could tell they had begun to paint but just never completed it. The landscaping was just overgrown,” Shannon said.
They ripped out the landscaping, but that’s as far as they got. The house was left surrounded by rocks and some stumps from past bushes, but no landscaping to speak of.
The Pecks got busy. Their three children were born. And then life got a lot more challenging.
In late 2014, Shannon was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. While she’d never smoked, tests revealed tumors everywhere.
“Behind my eye, my shoulder,” she said. “I had pretty much no range of motion in my arm. It was everywhere. It was in my hips. It was everywhere. It had gone crazy.”
Three rounds of chemotherapy shrunk the tumors, and doctors discovered Shannon had a gene mutation that was driving the cancer. A targeted pill killed the cancer cells and essentially eradicated the disease, she said. It since has reappeared in some small spots, so she’s back in chemotherapy.
“We’ll do it. It’ll be fine,” she said.
A friend nominated the Pecks for Lewis Drug’s first Flower Shower, a project to transform the yard of a deserving recipient with flowers.
“This story really touched us, just knowing about this young family that was dealing with a health struggle,” Lewis corporate vice president Nikki Griffin said.
“Also, Shannon’s husband has served our country in the National Guard. And the letter of nomination highlighted their wonderful spirit and personality and contribution to our community.”
When Shannon learned the family was about to get a yard makeover, she was stunned.
“Speechless. I don’t even know what to say,” she said. “This is amazing.”
Lewis Drug lawn and garden expert Doug Schroeder got to work strategizing with Shannon on the Pecks’ project.
“She wanted color, and she wanted fragrance. It all started from liking lilacs,” he said. “So we took it from there and incorporated purples, reds, pinks throughout the whole landscape.”
The Lewis team was ready to tackle the job. Almost 20 employees volunteered and spent hours preparing the yard for planting. Shannon worked side-by-side with them.
“Shannon was there working with us every step of the way, which helped inspire our team even more,” Doug said. “We had to come in with a lot of strong backs and get the landscape rock out of there, old plastic that was laid down, old etching. A lot of that had to come out.”
But because so many Lewis team members helped, the project was done in half the time Doug thought it might take.
“It was great. I was so proud and impressed to see our team come together,” Nikki said. “We worked long hours and we worked really hard and the energy was amazing.”
Cancer might have cut into this yard’s chance to shine – but not anymore.
“It looks so different,” Shannon said, looking around the backyard in disbelief. “I would have never thought of any of this. I just knew I liked lilacs and love the smell and look of them. It’s amazing.”
Two large, blooming planters flank the garage. The front of the home is surrounded by low-maintenance but colorful roses, hydrangea and weigela. A lilac bush in the front and lilac tree in the backyard deliver fragrance.
“Because the name is Flower Shower, we wanted to incorporate a lot of blooming product,” Doug said.
And the yard is only going to look better as summer progresses, Nikki added.
“You’ll see it blooming. We did some pots initially, so they’ll get that big pop of color, but it’s going to be something that lasts the duration. It’s going to be great.”
The Lewis crew even planted a vegetable garden, so the Pecks will be harvesting tomatoes, peppers and herbs.
“I really thought that this would just be a little section in front of the house, and I was tickled with that,” Shannon said.
“But what they’ve done is amazing. It’s just above and beyond. Everybody’s excited. The neighbors are excited. My husband is excited because this is a huge project he doesn’t have to think about. We’re going to learn how to take care of it. It’s like the perfect situation.”
“There is no one more deserving,” Doug said. “And I’m not going to be leaving them. I’m going to be checking in with them throughout the summer to maintain what we’ve got going here. They’re just super people.”
Lewis also plans to continue its Flower Shower, so watch for future opportunities.
“We received so many amazing nominations. Every story was deserving, and it was hard to pick just one,” Nikki said. “So it is something we want to keep doing. It is something we really enjoyed doing as a team at Lewis.”
Like what you see? Here are some easy, low-maintenance ways to get the same look Lewis created for the Peck family:
Easy Elegance roses: Roses don’t have to be high-maintenance! These are easy for anyone to grow.
Diamond Rouge hydrangea: It’s a new Paniculata hydrangea, and it’s the reddest on the market. It starts as a light ivory and becomes a vibrant red during the season.
Crimson Kisses reblooming weigela: Accent the yard with another pop of color. These also produce red flowers.
Dwarf Korean lilac bush and Beijing lilac tree: Classic lilacs provide fragrance throughout the season.
Go behind the scenes as Lewis Drug gives a deserving Sioux Falls family a complete yard makeover.