August 29, 2014

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Kylee Baumle

Say it with flowers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:15 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Valentine’s Day is here and many of you will be receiving flowers from someone who loves or cares for you. The most commonly given flower is the red rose, but what if you get something else? Is your lover trying to tell you something in a subtle way, something that they’re reluctant to say any other way?

Flowers have a language all their own, some of which remains commonly known and used to this day. Red roses mean love and yellow ones signify friendship. But, the messages of yesteryear weren’t always those of love or friendship.

Though the language of flowers has its origins as far back as the 1600s, their use to convey specific messages has been linked most significantly to Victorian England. During the mid-1800s, it became popular in the U.S. as well.

Golf or garden? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 5:38 PM

By Kylee Baumle

As a garden book reviewer, I receive quite a number of books in the mail each week for me to consider giving my opinion as to whether they’re worth the time and money readers might spend on them. It may come as no surprise when I say that I look them over and for the most part, choose to read only the ones that I think I’m going to like. I try to keep things positive that way.

There are very few books that I’d say are outstanding, but there are an awful lot of good ones. One that I recently read and reviewed was “The Roots of My Obsession.” It’s a collection of essays by some well-known figures in the world of horticulture, telling how they got started gardening, what they like best about it and why they do it.

Will Buckeye Chuck bring us good news? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:32 PM


By Kylee Baumle

Just two more days and another January will be history! And on Saturday, we get to find out if we’re getting an early spring again this year. It’s time for Buckeye Chuck to make his annual appearance and give us his expert opinion about the weather. His cousin, Punxsutawney Phil, lives one state to our east and is the one most of the country will be watching on Feb. 2.

Buckeye Chuck is Ohio’s resident prognosticator and since 1979, holds the title of Ohio’s Official Groundhog. He’s been predicting weather since the early ’70s, but the tradition has its origins in Germany and says that if the groundhog emerges from his hole and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.

Forcing the issue of spring PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:54 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Holidays are over, real winter has set in and it doesn’t take long before I tire of it. I look wistfully through my pictures of the garden that were taken in warmer days, at the daffodils, the irises, the Black-eyed Susans. I remember how the sun felt on my face and how I would shut my eyes and attempt to commit that feeling to memory, so that I could conjure it up on the coldest days of the winter season yet to come.

It doesn’t work (it never does) but I will keep doing it, hoping one day I really can feel the stored memory. Hope springs eternal. Now if spring would just do the same! But, there are other winter-defying tricks I’ve got up my sleeve.

Is the January Thaw real? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:11 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Oh, we love our traditions, weather folklore, and old wives’ tales, don’t we? The woolly worms have predicted a cold winter (aren’t they all?) as long as you encountered the right kind of caterpillar. We’re heading into the down side of January and we just experienced the “January thaw.”

Just what is that anyway? Is it real or just another one of those folklore things? Do things really thaw out?

Yes, Virginia, there is a January thaw. And yes, some things do thaw out. Towards the end of January, the temperatures warm up enough to melt snow and the top layer of ground thaws sufficiently enough to make things a little slushy and muddy. You start thinking that maybe spring will be early this year, but then you remember how much of a tease Old Man Winter can be.

Get in the Garden! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 6:36 PM

Christmas is over, New Year’s too, and never mind that it’s currently 28 degrees and we’ve got a thick blanket of snow on the ground. The seed catalogs have started arriving and it’s time to garden! Yes, NOW!

It’s called winter sowing and I’ve done it for many years with good results. All you need are the right seeds, some translucent plastic gallon-sized milk jugs, seed starting soil and some duct tape.

When I say the right seeds, I mean anything that self-seeds naturally or seeds that require stratification or scarification. Those “s” words sound important and they are when it comes to seed germination. Some kinds of seeds need help in order for them to break free of their hard seed coats and start growing.

A gardener's New Year PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:25 PM

By Kylee Baumle

I love new beginnings. Whether it’s a fresh sheet of paper just waiting for me to make a list on it, a new grandchild just starting to make her way in this world, or another season in the garden, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Right now, it’s that brisk, refreshing winter air that’s filling me up with thoughts of the new year and what it will bring.

There’s always the anticipation and wonder of the unknown – those unexpected delights that you didn’t count on. (And some not so delightful, but we won’t think about those just now.) Take 2012, for instance. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t know that before 2013 arrived, there would be a little girl that would capture her grandma and grandpa’s hearts like only grandchildren can do.

Nor would I know that by year’s end, I would be putting the finishing touches on a book that will list me as one of its two authors.

New feathers for Pippa PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 3:38 PM

It may not seem like winter’s really here outside, although we’ve had a bit of snow here and there, but one look at the chicken coop, and we know. Sometimes with the change of seasons, chickens will molt and two of our six hens are doing just that. There are feathers everywhere and Pippa especially looks, well, bedraggled.

Pippa is one of our Silver Laced Wyandottes, meaning she has black feathers with white edges and right now she has fewer of them than normal. It would have been better for her had she molted earlier when there wasn’t the chance of the temperatures dipping to frigid levels, but it will soon be over and she’ll have brand spankin’ new ones to keep her warm.

Layla, one of the Buff Orpingtons, is also just completing her molt, and is looking mighty fine and fluffy. Her fellow Buff, Goldie, molted a couple of months ago. The remaining three, Patty, Bianca and Violet, have yet to do it.

Botanical Christmas legends PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:40 PM

By Kylee Baumlee

In less than a week, another Christmas Day will be upon us and we’ll celebrate in ways familiar to many, and with those known only to our particular families.

That’s part of the charm that this time of year holds for many of us, isn’t it? We keep traditions going, year after year, and it’s as important to us as teaching our kids to say please and thank you.

Even those who don’t practice the Christian faith will acknowledge the holiday in some way. Decorated trees glimmer with lights and can be seen in homes where God’s very existence is questioned. The custom of putting up a tree at Christmas is believed by some to have begun with Martin Luther.

What's in a name? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:09 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Flowers are blooming at Our Little Acre again! My first amaryllis of the season broke bud just last week and marks the beginning of a winter full of color in containers inside the house.

My love affair with amaryllis began about eight years ago, around the time I came down with gardening fever and I’ve amassed quite a collection of them.

I’d been looking through the many seed and plant catalogs that started arriving around Thanksgiving, when a striped wonder caught my eye. I was smitten by its unusual blooms, not having seen anything like it before. That wasn’t really saying much, since I’d been too busy working and raising kids to pay a whole lot of attention to flowers up to that point. But that flower was something special.


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