Volunteer caretaker keeps flowers growing all year at post office
HUGHESVILLE – It may take more than one glance before realizing that the geraniums in front of the Hughesville Post Office are real and not artificial. This was by no accident, but through the volunteer efforts of Hughesville resident, Diane Bower.
About 4 years ago Bower said she purchased some small seedling plants from the Hughesville High School plant sale and decided to plant the red geraniums in the brick planter outside in front of the Post Office. She also planted some pink and white ones inside the front lobby where the mailboxes are close to the front window.
The ones inside the building seem to flourish in that location all year long. Bower said she has been returning every year about two to three times a week to take care of them. Postal Clerk Donna Thompson said, “They grow up over the yellow sign in the window, sometimes over six feet high. They grow very well here.” Bower will still water them in the middle of winter. Meanwhile the ones on the outside grow extremely well until the end of October, or when the first frost arrives.
They face the west sun and have grown over three feet high. “I come and water them about two times a week,” Bower said who walks from her residence on S. Main Street to the Post Office.
A former employee at the post office, she relates how she is familiar with the building and decided to plant them while she was the postal custodian. “I learned a long time ago, that water is the key to make them grow,” she added. She related her experience in the 80s when she would purchase large McGowan apples at Wentzler’s in Muncy Township. “Those apples were huge,” Bower said and her inquiry led her to discover how important it was to give plants quality water. “I use no fertilizer,” she added, “and start with six inch plants every year from the Hughesville High School’s plant sale in early June. I like supporting the school.”
Bower keeps a bucket of water inside the post office for watering. “I feel geraniums are hearty, and when in bloom, they are absolutely spectacular,” Bower explained as to why she chose geraniums for the site.
“Growing them here brings out the beauty of them. I will keep them babied until the snow flies.” Bower also takes care of the flowers in front of the school apartment building on Main Street in Hughesville, all volunteer on her part.