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Tennessee gardener ‘regaining strength through gardening’

A gardener in Tennessee is using his love of gardening to improve his health following open-heart surgery.

Dyersburg resident Terry Sipes divides his time between fishing in his boat and tending to his sizeable yard full of corn, watermelon, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, cabbage, okra, hot peppers and bell peppers, the State Gazette reports.

On top of all that, Mr Sipes has 150 tomato plants, which are all in different stages of growth, so he can provide fresh food for his children, grandchildren and neighbors until winter.

He is using his love of cultivating his outside space to recover from surgery to address an 80 percent blockage in the main artery to his heart, plus a bout of pneumonia after the operation was complete.

Doctors gave him rehabilitation exercises to do, but Mr Sipes revealed he decided to recuperate in his own way.

"I said, 'I can do everything we are doing here in my garden at home.' The doctor said that would be OK. To just take it easy and do what I felt like doing. Me and that tiller have gone around and around (this garden). I'd rather be doing that than be in the house walking on a treadmill."