Submitted by Pamela Goodwin
Gardening is one of my favorite things to do. At Coach Road Apartments in Upton we are only allowed to have two pots. In my yard God planted His own “stuff”… Some kind of ground cover… It spreads each year. I haul out a big tree which takes up too much space in my small living room. Last year one of my pots was a cherry tomato. It grew so high it kept blowing over… So I finally planted it in the ground, tying it to a drain pipe. The tomatoes were delicious. When I need more vegetables I get them from my daughter’s huge garden & hot boxes, which I help plant, weed & harvest.
A few weeks ago I was eating lunch & heard a chain saw. A shrub in Barry’s & my backyard was sawed off & thrown into the maintenance man’s truck. A Cardinal was nesting in it the previous year. Winter before last it was seriously damaged.. I had asked in writing if it could be tied up…never happened . Last summer another maintenance man trimmed the top, cut out some dead sections & trimmed the side so it wasn’t extending into the pathway. I believe it was supposed to be destroyed then.
After a big snowstorm I had mentioned at a Housing Authority meeting that I would be contacting a town official about all the falling branches near cars, sidewalks & benches. ( For the most part …our part- time maintenance men don’t do tree work. A group of volunteers come once per year and they have never been ” up back “.) Heavy snow had some branches quite low over staircases, down near one’s face. ….I was made fun of .. “Who would I call about acts of nature? ” I was told the official didn’t have much say since this is Housing Authority Property, not town. Betty Prairie Roche, the Executive Director, stated that she would be getting in touch with him. Ultimately, he did come out & walked the premises with Karen Covino, a resident, and I. There were a few things that he pointed out to us and he said he wanted to email, Lisa Taylor, our manager specialist at Dep’t of Housing & Community Development. He wanted to also talk with, the town manager. I gave him Lisa’s contact information & assured him that nothing would be done without Ms Roche’s approval or work order. After the demise of this living thing I put up a small slate saying “R.I.P.”… a bit of humor, I suppose. Often one believes if a tree or bush is cut , another should replace it. I would have to check the dates; possibly this all happened before I announced my candidacy for Commissioner. After an exterior inspection by Sarah Glassman of DHCD & Jack Cooper of MA Union Public Housing last October..they didn’t like the mold on the dirt & the bricks on the back side of buildings C & D. Practically nothing grows in many places up back. I believe there is an attempt to gain some town property to alleviate the parking problem, perhaps widen a narrow ramp so a wheelchair may use it, etc.
Recently a Spring flag has been stolen from my back yard. I had to get rid of patio chairs & a small, round glass table that are “illegal” according to our lease. Those chairs are all over this place, they are safer to sit in than folding ones. I obeyed the written demand back then. In the last few weeks a small glass table that someone else had has been removed. I’m worried about what goes into my backyard now. I’ll have to take pictures to document what I have for pots, a flag, a folding chair. This “stuff” wasn’t a problem in 2013. In 2014 lots of things shifted.
Several Housing Authorities have greenhouses, pretty gardens, bird feeders & bird baths. As one ages or develops health issues it’s these little things that make a difference.
Maybe my big tree won’t see the light of day except through my window. I’ve had it for years & don’t want it mutilated or MIA.
I long for a peaceful, lazy summer, sipping ice tea in my back yard. We’ll see