Hank's owner honored for his green thumb

For Peter Skiadas, gardening runs pretty deep.

The owner of Hank's Place in Chadds Ford was recently honored by the Brandywine Gardeners Club for his work in beautifying the Chadds Ford region through the landscaping surrounding the restaurant.

The opportunity gave Skiadas a chance to wax philosophic on his gardening, which for him is somewhat of a spiritual experience.

"It is the mystical contemplation of nature," he said. "And when the plants and the flowers grow, I feel happiness inside."

Skiadas even grows herbs and produce for his business on a lot behind the restaurant, including basil, tomatoes and eggplant -- all of which makes its way into his moussaka.

"My basil for the whole year, we use it in our sauces and all that," he said.

His ghome garden is equally beautiful, he said, and also stocked with herbs and vegetables.

Having emigrated from a rural area in Greece where his family maintained a working farm, Skiadas said that gardening comes as second nature to him, thanks largely to lessons his father taught him about growing and cultivation.

"I learned a lot from him, and my mother, too," he said. "And all the things we needed for the house came from that farm."

Lonnie Angstadt, president of the Brandywine Garden, said that Skiadas' green thumb that prompted them to award him with a plaque commemorationg his efforts.

"We certainly appreciate all that he does to keep Chadds Ford a beautiful place to visit," she said.

As well as its gardening efforts, the 15-member club also does various other projects throughout the township, including decking the Barnes-Brinton house out for the Chadds Ford Historical Society's annual candlelight tour.

And while Skiadas said he still has some of his own Christmas decorations to put up outside Hank's, his sight is firmly set on the warm weather to come - and the gardening he'll do when it gets here.

"I'm just waiting for spring to come. I'm anxious," he said.

Hank's Place is located in the village of Chadds Ford at the intersection of Route 100 and Route 1.

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