Friday, September 17, 2004
Carlisle postal carrier's efforts adorn the post office
The photograph shown here was taken several weeks ago when the sunflowers in front of the Carlisle Post Office were in full bloom. Exclaiming on the beauty of these brilliant yellow flowers, postal clerk Kevin LeBoeuf suggested I might like to talk with his colleague John Belleville to find out what special gardening techniques he had used to create such magnificent plants. But unfortunately, by the time I was able to speak with Belleville at the post office earlier this week, the squirrels had attacked his plants and were going after the seeds, thus bringing down many of the flowers.
John Belleville, a postal carrier from Townsend who delivers mail on the Bedford, River and Nowell Farme Roads route, has been working in Carlisle for the past four years. "Gardening is something I like to do", said Belleville. "When I first came to work at the Carlisle Post Office, I thought the grounds looked pretty bland. I was growing sunflowers at home, so last year I asked if I could plant them around here." This year he also planted morning glories next to the parking area near the post office entrance. Check the plants as you step in to post a letter. The plants have grown as high as the roof, 13 feet tall, and their girth is "humungous," as Belleville is pleased to point out. He uses a TV antenna for support and has attached 10-inch strings at the top for the flowers to spread out.
So what are Belleville's secrets to creating such beautiful flowers down there on Bedford Road? "It's TLC," he tells me. "I pay attention to them every day that I'm here and I'm here everyday except Sunday. I fertilize them twice a week with Miracle Gro and I water them two or three times a day. I water them when I get here in the morning at 6:30, at 11 o'clock before I go out to deliver the mail and then before I leave for home at 1:30 in the afternoon, depending on Mother Nature." "The sun and plenty of water are the major factors," he adds. "And the location is a factor. There's no doubt about it."
Asked about the customers' response, he smiles and replies. "I'm not out front, but the clerks out there get many compliments and they share them with me." As Belleville leads me out back for one last look at a second plot of sunflowers, Postmaster William Ponte passes by. "Yes, " he says. "People seem to enjoy them. They add color to the post office."
© 2004 The Carlisle Mosquito