April 18, 2014

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Should the county emergency management agency office duties be a separate office?
Kylee Baumle

Passionate or obsessed? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 1:14 PM


By Kylee Baumle

There was a lively discussion on Facebook last week as several of us watched Nik Wallenda walk that tightrope across the Grand Canyon without a safety net or tether.  A common thought was that you’d have to be a little crazy to do what he did.

I tried to put myself in his position, a little difficult to do, but I considered his family’s legacy and the tradition of making a living by performing stupendous feats.  Few outside his family can truly understand what that is.  To be that passionate about something might border on obsession to some.

What does that mean? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:56 PM

There are terms that are unique to every hobby, craft, profession, and interest, and unless you’re a part of that particular group, or you’re new to it, it can be confusing. Gardening is no different. Once you’ve got a little experience under your belt, you’ll know the basics and as time goes on, you’ll continue to learn.

One of the first things a beginning gardener learns is the difference between an annual, biennial, and a perennial. An annual has a life cycle of just one year and a perennial is a plant that lives for two years or more (usually more). Depending on the plant, a perennial has the potential to live for decades, yet some only have a natural life of a few years. So, if you’ve had a perennial that has done well in your garden for a long time and it up and dies for seemingly no reason, it may be that it succumbed to natural causes or old age.

To everything there is a season to pinch and prune PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 2:03 PM

By Kylee Baumle

I love to prune. I enjoy it in all its forms: pinching, pruning, deadheading, and in the most basic way, snapping off. There’s just something satisfying about cleaning up a plant and making it look neater. But in many cases, it’s not just about a plant’s appearance.

All plants are different in their requirements, because of their growth habit or the texture of their stems. Reasons for cutting on a plant can vary, too.

Certain plants have specific times when you should prune them, like spring bloomers. Lilacs and forsythia begin to work on forming the flower buds for the next year, shortly after they’re done blooming. If you wait too long to prune these, you stand a chance of cutting off next year’s bloom. In other words, don’t wait until fall to do it.

When an annual acts like a perennial PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 2:20 AM

The title is a little misleading, in that a perennial is defined as a plant that dies above the ground during cold weather and grows back from the roots in spring. An annual doesn’t survive winter at all. But what about all those annuals that seem to survive year after year?

You know the ones; poppies, snapdragons, cosmos and even lettuce manages to make an appearance. Even though you didn’t plant them this spring, there they are, sometimes in greater numbers than you planted the year before.

There’s a long list of annuals that are notorious for self-seeding. After they’ve bloomed, if they’ve been pollinated by insects or the wind, and you don’t cut the spent blooms off, they’ll form seed pods and once those have matured, they’ll pop open and disperse their seed to the ground below.

Choosing plants for your garden PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:18 PM

By Kylee Baumle

My mom and I had a day of what we call nursery hopping last week. It was really my first time out shopping for plants, although that wasn’t the impetus for the trip to Toledo and back.

I wanted a bent willow chair and one of my Facebook readers told me a certain garden center there had a lot of them. They did and I purchased one.

Well, you can’t go to a garden center and not look at the plants. And few die-hard gardeners have enough will power to walk out of such a place without at least one or ten of them. I may or may not have been on the high end of the plant count.

Peonies are putting on a show PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:38 PM


By Kylee Baumle

As nearby Van Wert prepares to celebrate their annual Peony Festival next weekend (June 7-9), it’s shaping up to be a good year for their bloom display. A cooler than usual spring has delayed some flowering of earlier varieties and prolonged the bloom of mid-season flowers. Based on the celebrations of the recent past, this is a good thing for those hoping to see a variety of blooms while attending the festival.

Any festivals that are centered around flowers, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Tulip Festival in Holland, Mich., are taking a chance that timing will be right for visitors to see the very thing that’s the cause for the celebration.

Tips for beginning gardeners PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:34 PM

By Kylee Baumle

This past week, I was interviewed by a major herb and vegetable plant company for a series of videos they’re doing and one of the questions they asked me was, “What is the one piece of advice you would give to a beginning gardener?”

In many ways, I’m still a beginning gardener myself, but because they asked me this question at this particular time of year, it was easy for me to give an answer: Don’t get in a hurry.

When I started taking an active interest in planting the vegetable garden, after years of my husband being in charge of it, I’d get in a hurry. The long winter had me chomping at the bit to get those seeds in the ground and growing. But to everything there is a season, you know.

The monarchs need our help PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:20 PM

By Kylee Baumle

I’ve talked about the monarch butterflies a few other times in this column, so regular readers know that I’m one of their biggest fans. It won’t be long before we’ll be seeing them in our gardens again. The hummingbirds have returned from their wintering grounds and the monarchs aren’t far behind, having been sighted as far north as Kentucky.

Our recent cold weather may slow them down a bit, because they can’t fly at temperatures below 50°F, but an even bigger factor is the presence of milkweed. The caterpillars of the monarch butterfly feed exclusively on plants in the Asclepias genus.

The thought of growing milkweed in your gardens might not appeal to you, but the monarchs are in trouble and they depend on milkweed for their survival. Their habitat is dwindling due to spraying and while I understand why farmers don’t want it in their fields, roadside mowing, among other factors, is also contributing to the lack of food sources.

The Master Designer PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 1:46 PM

By Kylee Baumle

The long-awaited truly spring weather arrived last week and with it a venue for releasing some of our pent-up energy. The garden began waking up long before we could detect it, even though it seemed like overnight it turned green and burst into bloom.

The problem, of course, is that we try to expend that energy all at once and weary bodies and sore muscles are the consequences of our winter inactivity.

Last year’s drought, among other things, prevented us from doing some intended major redesigning of the main gardens here at Our Little Acre. So this spring has us scrambling to get most of it done before a garden club visits at the beginning of June.

The 'Grandma" flowers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 3:24 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Petunias, marigolds, ditch lilies, red salvia, Ageratum, Portulaca, geraniums. What do these flowers have in common? Your grandmother probably grew them. Maybe your mother, too.

When you walk into a garden center, do you stop and ooh and ahh over them? Or do you do like I do and give them a cursory glance and walk right past them on your way to the “more interesting” plants and the new introductions?

Somewhere along the way, petunias and marigolds became boring. Ditch lilies got taken for granted. Red Salvia and purple Ageratum became cliché. Portulaca, or moss rose, perhaps bears too much resemblance to its cousin, that persistent weed, purslane. (Although purslane is a delicious salad edible!) Geraniums, which aren't really geraniums at all, but pelargoniums, have just graced one too many window boxes and garden borders.


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