August 20, 2014

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Kylee Baumle

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: 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.

The gifts of gardening PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:24 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Every year at this time, I experience a wee bit of stress and I have a feeling I’m not alone. The holiday season tends to do that. In spite of it coming at exactly the same time every year, Christmas sneaks up on me and all of a sudden, here it is and I’m not ready.

I don’t have to fix a meal, nor do we host any major festivities in our home. Our family is blessed in that we don’t really need a thing in the way of physical gifts, yet it’s just that aspect of Christmas that incites panic in the week before. It’s not supposed to be that way.

So I started to think about nontraditional gifts that can be found right in my own backyard. Yes, it’s too late for this year, but it’s never too early to start planning for the next, especially when the gifts are homegrown.

How cold is too cold? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:42 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Goodness, last week was a cold one. Temperatures in the teens (and lower!) made me want to go into hibernation until I at least can’t see my breath when I’m out there. And what's with that wind, anyway? We can do without that making things feel even colder.

But, we’ve got a lot of winter yet to go and no one wants to hear more whining about the weather, although farmers and gardeners are wont to do that from time to time. I do have to wonder though, how some of my plants out there are faring in this.

Around here, we're in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b/6a, which means that theoretically, plants that are rated for these zones should reasonably be expected to survive temperature extremes as cold as -15° to -10° F. But the rules for this are not hard and fast.

Monarch butterfly progress report PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 8:04 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Earlier this year, I mentioned the plight of the monarch butterflies. I encouraged you to plant more milkweed in your gardens and to consider not cutting it down. Apparently, some of you took it to heart, as I had several people stop me when I was out and about and tell me they’d planted some. I also noticed several roadsides where milkweed is now dispersing its cottony seed. Mother Nature is doing her part, too.

Please don’t stop. The reports are coming in from the overwintering sites in Mexico, where most of the monarchs east of the Rockies have now arrived and the news is not good.

The numbers are lower than ever, dropping from an average of 350 million to 60 million. The colonies where they congregate normally take up a space of about 52 acres but they now only occupy a little less than three acres. THREE.

Poinsettias: It's all about the leaves PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:31 AM

By Kylee Baumle

You can’t hardly go anywhere these days without seeing poinsettias of all kinds, red, pink, white. Purple? Blue? Glittered? Those last three are just wrong, in my book. If you like them, fine, but I get a little twitchy when I see them.

I feel the same way about those blue orchids that have been sold for the last couple of years. There is no such thing as a blue orchid and if you buy one, you’re going to be disappointed with subsequent blooms, because I assure you, they won’t be blue. Those are white orchids that have been injected with a dye to make the blooms look blue and unless they’re injected again, the plant’s next blooms will be white, their natural color.

Cornucopia: Giving thanks for the harvest PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:52 AM


By Kylee Baumle

Turkey, cranberry salad, pumpkins (and pies made from them!) – these make us think of Thanksgiving, and so does a cornucopia. I’m not sure my kids would know just what a cornucopia is, although I know they’ve seen it. They’d probably just call it a basket of fruits and vegetables.

What exactly is a cornucopia anyway? Why the unusual name for an unusually shaped container of edibles? And what does it have to do with Thanksgiving? I decided to do a little sleuthing to find out.

'Tis The Season PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:33 AM

By Kylee Baumle

For over a week now, I’ve seen Christmas decorations and heard Christmas music in a handful of stores. I’m not irritated by it like some people are, maybe because I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire and anything that attempts to jump-start me at such a major event on the calendar is probably a good thing.

The garden year goes by a slightly different calendar, dictated by the weather and daylight hours. For those of us who live up here where the four seasons are distinctly different from each other, the growing period pretty much comes to a halt after a hard freeze.


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