July 29, 2014

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Kylee Baumle

The power of a flower PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:16 PM

By Kylee Baumle

The doorbell rang one cold and snowy day last week. It was fairly early and I was still tinkering around upstairs, getting ready for my day. I peeked out of one of the bedroom windows and saw a Fed Ex truck backing out of our driveway.

I’d placed some orders recently, so I figured it was one of those that had been delivered. I also get quite a few books each week to consider for review and many of those arrive via Fed Ex. In any case, I didn’t run right down and see what it was until half an hour later.

When I opened the door, it was none of the things that I was expecting. The shiny black box with gold “FTD” lettering told me I’d received some flowers. Now who could be sending flowers to me?

The calm before The storm PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:03 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As I sit here looking out at what remains of the last few snowstorms, the sky is a bright blue and all is calm. And even though it’s a mere six degrees out there, the sun shining through the window feels warm.

But, there’s another round of snow on the way and nearly everyone I talk to is just tired of it. We are winter weary. Still, we make the usual preparations for what is to come, like buying milk, bread, and eggs (because apparently French toast is what we all will eat if it’s our last meal before we get buried in an avalanche).

Why do some trees still have leaves? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:37 AM

By Kylee Baumle

One of the things that people comment on when they visit us is our very large, very old oak trees and how beautiful and majestic they are. We have three of them in our yard and one of the neighbor’s is close enough that it looks like it could be ours and we benefit from the shade of all of them in summer.

They really are beautiful and their age is estimated to be over 200 years. One is a burr oak, one is a swamp white oak and I don’t recall at the moment what we decided the other one was.

These are common trees to the Great Black Swamp and their age makes it certain that they were here before early settlers began clearing the area for habitation and farming.

On your mark, get set.... PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:16 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As we’ve done battle with record cold and snowfall this winter, it can seem like there’s no end in sight to it. But even while Mother Nature is asserting herself in this season, she is ramping up for the next.

Under all that white stuff, bulbs are doing what bulbs do at this time of year and even if we still have snow on the ground at the end of the month, experience has taught me that we’ll more than likely see crocus blooms by the time March makes its entrance.

Truth be told, if I could dig down through the massive drifts in our backyard right now, I would probably find the snowdrops poking their noses out of the ground. Two years ago, the double ones were in full bloom on Feb. 20.

For the love of plants PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:32 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Last week, as I was relishing our final days in beautiful Ecuador, I had impure thoughts. It’s not what you think. Surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers at nearly every turn, the first thing that came to mind was, “How can I get some of those home with me?”

Because of the ideal growing conditions that their location at the equator affords them, as well as having the Andes mountains, the Pacific coast and the Amazon rain forest, Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. It is a plant lover’s paradise.

That also makes it pure torture, as U.S. laws don’t allow travelers to transport live plants into the country.  Don’t think that I didn’t consider sneaking some in though, because I did. I even went as far as purchasing two plants, just knowing that I could pull it off.

Winter at the middle of the earth PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:57 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As I write this, I’m in Ecuador, with my mother, visiting Karina, the exchange student we had in 1993-94. Some of you might remember her and what a delight she was to our family. She’s all grown up now, married, and expecting her first baby.

We’re here in this stunningly beautiful country for two weeks and so far we’ve gone bird watching in the cloud forest, looked into a volcanic crater, stood on the equator, and visited a flower farm, just to name a few things. And not to rub it in as we read about the crazy cold weather in Ohio, but the climate here is pretty close to ideal.

This is my third trip to Ecuador, having gone in 1994 and then again in 2003, when Karina was married. Each time has brought new adventures, though the purpose of each visit was to spend time with her, as she is a much loved member of our extended family.

Time to start on this summer's garden! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:18 AM


By Kylee Baumle

It’s hard to believe that it’s time once again to start thinking about sowing seeds for new plants for this year’s garden. Not those that you might start inside; it’s way too early for that. But what’s this, you say? Surely I don’t mean planting seeds outside, do I?

Indeed I do. I’ve talked about this before and if you took my advice then and tried it, then you know I’m not crazy. It’s called wintersowing and it couldn't be easier. There are a number of annuals, perennials, and even shrubs that can be successfully started outdoors in January and February right here in Northwest Ohio.

First, decide what you want to plant. For a comprehensive list of all the seeds that do well with wintersowing, visit the website: wintersown.org. A good rule of thumb is that anything that is known to self-seed, or need scarification or stratification to germinate will work.

Another snow story? It's not what you think... PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:18 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Last week’s big snowstorm caused some major problems for a lot of people and minor ones for just about everyone else, and we’ll remember it for a long, long time, but all I’m going to say about it here is that my garden is grateful that it came just before the temperatures plummeted. If the marginally hardy plants I’ve got stand a chance at all, it will be thanks to all that wonderful snow cover providing insulation.

But I’ll bet you didn’t know that my garden has snow all year round, did you? I wouldn’t exactly call it a snow garden, but unintentionally I managed to plant a fair number of “snow” plants.

The garden year starts while snow – the real stuff – may still be on the ground. Eventually sharing its beautiful, tiny, fragrant, white flowers, Galanthus nivalis begins to emerge in March, just when you think winter will never end and spring has forgotten all about us. The common name for this harbinger of spring? Snowdrops, of course!

A little story about clematis PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:39 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As a freelance writer, I often have assignments and take on writing jobs that require me to do a fair amount of research. Not only do I want to present accurate information, I also know that I’m going to be learning something new and I love that. But sometimes the research has unintended consequences.

I’m currently working on editing and writing some plant descriptions for an independent garden center in Michigan. It’s a pretty straightforward task, with each description needing to contain the same basic information: height, flower size, season of bloom, hardiness, growth habit, etc.

As I write these, I try to think like a gardener and ask myself what I would want and need to know if I were searching for a plant to grow in my own garden. The current plant du jour is Clematis. I’ve got 70 varieties to research and describe.

A lemon by any other name might be sweeter PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:58 AM


When I was a little girl, my grandparents left the cold winters of Ohio and made like snowbirds for Florida. They would go down to Bradenton sometime in the fall, come home for Christmas, and then go back down until spring.


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