On New Ballas Road in Des Peres, there's a special spot that will brighten the day of passersby, even during a global pandemic.

Proud Italian Vincenzo Dominic Parisi and wife Rita Eugina have been working on 13 gardens in the front and back of their home for the past 10 years. The gardens are filled with colorful blooms — over 15 different flowers including hostas, day lilies, coneflowers, vodka begonias, moss roses and Missouri evening primroses.

"I just want to bring peace to the world," said Vincenzo Parisi. "Color attracts peace, and everybody likes flowers. That's why God put them there for us: for the beauty."

Parisi, 71, worked for Anheuser-Busch for 25 years before his retirement 20 years ago. He has been gardening for 42 years. 

With the help of his wife, who is currently studying for her nursing license, Parisi takes great pride in tending his gardens in order to give people relief as they walk or drive by.

"I was a flower child back in the 60's. I enjoy colors. They take a lot of pressure off of you," said Parisi.

Parisi hopes that, during the COVID-19 crisis, those who pass by his garden will absorb its message: don't give up.

"You have to work toward a goal in life. I'm out every morning at 6 a.m. tending the garden. If I can do it, you can do it. Everybody can do it," he said. "Don't give up because of this pandemic."

photos by Times photographer Diana Linsley