Garden club spruces up Grapevine Housing Authority units

Posted Monday, Apr. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In 2006, the Grapevine Garden Club worked on a flowerbed by the front door of a 79-year-old resident living in an apartment on West Texas Street.

She wanted her shrubs pruned so she could sit outside on her porch and visit with passersby.

Her neighbor asked for help, and by the following year the club was doing more and more landscape work for the residents of the Grapevine Housing Authority units.

This year, about two dozen garden club members used their green thumbs to add a little color and comfort to the lives of several tenants through their West Texas Street beautification project. Many wore purple club T-shirts and fun hats to promote a party atmosphere.

“We knew that the gardens needed to be barrier-free and easily accessible to the tenants, so after visiting the Housing Authority Office to offer our services, we made a few calls to the elderly residents who lived in the area,” said Suzi Guckel, the project’s chairwoman. “We found they were very interested and excited about working with the Grapevine Garden Club.”

Their work has included turning over the soil, adding compost, thinning and transplanting existing plant material, pruning shrubs and planting perennials and a few annuals, as well as mulching and watering the beds.

They also tried to accommodate requests.

“One resident wanted a herb garden, and she was able to physically work with us to bring this dream about,” Guckel said of a past project.

Seven years later, some of the club’s “good friends on West Texas Street have passed, but others have moved in,” club spokeswoman Joetta King said.

“Our members enjoy the outings and the residents always help or offer gardening advice,” King said. “They will work with us when they are able or supervise when they are not. But everyone enjoys sitting on the porch and visiting on West Texas Street gardening days.”

Helen Russell, 69, a retiree, said she looks forward to the annual event.

“It’s wonderful that they do this,” said Russell, who was a custodian for 20 years with the Grapevine-Colleyville school district. “I want to give kudos to those ladies and gentlemen. They work tirelessly. I appreciate their time. They’re sweethearts.”

Eddie Waite, 57, a longtime resident, said it’s a worthwhile project.

“When they’re done, it looks better,” he said. “The flowers make everything look good. It makes for a prettier place.”

Pat Bray, the mother of three, grandmother of 11, great-grandmother of 16 and great-great-grandmother of one, said she enjoys the fresh flowers and the company.

“I love Grapevine and I love it here,” said Bray, 79, as garden club members planted red begonias off her front porch. “I’m not leaving Grapevine.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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