August 29, 2014

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Kylee Baumle


Mad for tulips PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:39 PM

By Kylee Baumle

The anticipation of spring and its delay in arriving this year made us embrace it with more enthusiasm than usual. That makes it hard to believe that we’re already past snowdrop, crocus and reticulated iris season. We’re into daffodils and tulips now and our gardens have exploded in glorious rainbow colors.

Tulips are an interesting lot. Originating in the mountains of Turkey (it’s their national flower), the cultivated tulip that comes to mind for most of us has been hybridized from a much smaller species. We have many hybrid tulips in our landscape, but my favorites by far are the sweet little species tulips.

Miniature anything usually has a cuteness factor and tulips are no exception. But beyond that, species tulips are known to be much more reliable about coming back year after year and even naturalizing, than their hybrid cousins.

 
Living by nature PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:28 PM

By Kylee Baumle

When asked for directions to a certain place, some people will say, “Go one mile to 127, turn left, and go three miles north,” while others will say, “Go down the road until you get to the high school, turn left, and go until you see the big church on the left.”

Both sets of directions will get you there, in spite of them being quite different; one uses miles, the other, landmarks. As I drove to Fort Wayne today, and knew very well how to get there, I found myself looking for landmarks all the same.

Some things change over time, while others stay the same. For the most part, we expect buildings such as schools, churches, and courthouses to be around for a very long time. But, there are other things that remain constant through the years too. I’ve come to expect sights and sounds peculiar to each season.

 
A new crop of garden books PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 1:52 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Just like the garden, gardening books have seasons. Though there are new ones coming out all the time in all months of the year, you’ll see more new ones than usual in spring and the months leading up to it. That’s not by accident. Towards winter’s end, gardeners new and old are ready to get up off the couch and out digging in the dirt, so they are more likely to seek help via books.

It’s not that I think you can learn everything about gardening by reading a book, because there really is no greater teacher than experience.

 
Tough love in the garden PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 2:10 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Every year I make the same vow – no more plant heroics. If a plant isn’t performing well, it’s outta here. With perennials alone, there are too many wonderful things available so there’s really no room or reason for keeping stragglers and prima donnas. One of the nurseries I occasionally order plants from has over 1,000 perennials suitable for our zone (5b/6a) alone – more than enough from which to choose!

Yet there they are – surviving, not thriving – and still green. If they still have green on them, they’ll be fine, right? If the sun shines in just the right way, the rain falls at the perfect time, and I remember to fertilize when they need it, they’ll make a turnaround and eventually live up to the expectations I had when I planted them.

 
The passion of the Christ in nature PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:16 PM

By Kylee Baumle

As Easter nears, I’m reminded of its parallels in nature. It’s not a far stretch to try and apply the miracle of Easter to the natural world around us. After all, if you believe the way I do, God has His hand in all of it. Over the years, believers have assigned religious legends to plants and several have persisted to this day.

I’m not a psychologist or a philosopher, so I won’t presume to know why human beings do this, but it’s a common thread in nearly all civilizations. Let’s look at some of them, as they relate to the Christian celebration of Easter.

When you think of Easter plants, what comes to mind? Easter lilies are likely to be the first thing you think of, but this flower is one of the newer traditions, compared to most. Its white color signifies the purity of God and the trumpet shape is said to represent the proclamation of Christ’s resurrection.

 
Old vegetables in a new garden PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:15 PM

By Kylee Baumle

My husband and I have had a vegetable garden ever since we’ve lived here, which is going on 36 years. Over the years, we’ve grown the usual fare; peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, lettuce, corn, spinach, beets, broccoli, but in the last eight years or so, I’ve tried to plant something a little different, just to keep it interesting.

One of the first years that I tried to get creative, I planted an assortment of purple vegetables. We’re used to seeing green veggies, but imagine a garden full of purple or burgundy ones!

We had purple-podded beans (which turn green when you cook them), burgundy okra (beautiful plant and fruits, but we didn’t eat them), red Chinese beans (a.k.a. yard-long beans), purple lettuce, and even burgundy sweet corn (just as tasty as yellow). It was a beautiful thing to behold.

 
Poppies, potatoes and peas PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2:28 PM

By Kylee Baumle

In that order, plant them. Potatoes on Good Friday, peas as soon as you can work the soil, but what’s with the poppies, you ask. They’re a summer flower, right? Right. But if you don’t sow the seeds now, you might get a scant crop of bloomers.

There are perennial poppies – Papaver orientale – the big, blowzy flowers you see sometimes along the ditch banks in May. These you usually buy as plants at the nursery, sitting them carefully in your garden because they hate to be moved, and they come back every year.

Another perennial poppy we can grow here are the Icelandic poppies (Papaver nudicaule). These are sweet little things looking like the darling offspring of their Oriental cousins and come in orange, white, salmon, pink and yellow. As perennials, these are short-lived, most times only lasting for a couple of years in the garden, so allow them to self-seed if you want them year to year.

 
It's flower and garden show season PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 4:37 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Throughout the year, I attend various home and garden shows, flower shows, and other horticultural events. Some of them I return to every year, which might puzzle those who aren’t as passionate about gardening as I am. If you’ve seen one garden show, you’ve seen them all, haven’t you?

Not by a long shot. It’s true that I’ve stopped going to a couple of them because the time, energy and the long drive to and from the events didn’t garner enough return on my investment. Some shows are more home than garden. I’m there for the garden.

 
Gardening with Grandma PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 2:51 PM

By Kylee Baumle

I went to visit my grandma the other day. At 98, she’s a treasure and a pretty amazing person. Though she’s in good health, she lives in an assisted living facility now. She’s done her fair share of gardening in her day and several years ago, I sat down to talk with her about it. I was curious as to how much or how little things had changed over the years.

She was a young girl in the 1920s and that’s a long time ago by anyone’s standards, even hers. But some things never change, especially when it comes to the affairs of Mother Nature. Seeds get planted, they germinate, and they grow.

 
The wildflower show is about to begin PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:35 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Spring fever is hitting hard. The sun is shining more days than not, and even though we still have some snow now and then, the temperatures seem to be inching ever upward, even if it’s slower than I’d like. To make things worse, I look through the photos I’ve taken in previous years and I see that in less than a month, we’ll have quite a few flowers in bloom. But I want it NOW.

All things in good time. While I long for warm spring days, and even summer heat, I also enjoy the early walks in nearby woods, where I can watch the floor come to life, one wildflower at a time. In my mind’s eye, I can see it as time-lapse photography. First comes the skunk cabbage, we’ll end with the fire pinks, and by then it’s summer.

 
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