Fall’s climax of color is a reward for Kearney woman’s gardening

KEARNEY — Fall is Julie Bohm’s favorite season because that’s when the colors of her flowers are most vivid.

In particular, fall’s shortened days have triggered the mums to bloom, and it’s an eruption of color.

“I like the spring because of the new flowers, but fall is my favorite because of the colors,” Bohm said about her splashy landscape and gardens in north Kearney.

The place is a masterpiece painting with assorted trees, plants and flowers that display Julie’s gardening skills as well as her and her husband David’s pride in their home. While Julie tends to flowers, plants and trees, David keeps the lawn green and lush.

Julie Bohm yard

Grandson Henry Hanson of Hamilton, Virginia, helps his grandmother hold the Sertoma Yard of the Month sign.

Mike Konz

The couple’s commitment to a beautiful landscape has been rewarded. Julie and David are the recipients of the Kearney Sertoma Club’s Yard of the Month Award for September.

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David said Julie is the star of the show, with more than 40 years and three generations of experience in gardening.

It’s her favorite hobby, and she has her grandmother, mother and mother-in-law to thank for that.

“I’ve been doing it since I got married,” Julie said. “I grew up on a farm, and I learned a lot about flowers from my mom, mother-in-law and grandma. It’s my biggest hobby.”

Gardening reminds her of the past, provides lots of healthy therapy and is a source of pride, she said. “I can go outside and work on my flowers for a couple of hours. It’s not a chore.”

Julie has benefited from other gardeners’ experience. Family members and other flower and plant enthusiasts are generous with advice. In addition, there’s a lot of satisfaction in trying new plants, adding a special feature or charting out a new spot for a berm or garden. A couple of years ago, David constructed a fountain that added a soothing element to the landscape.

Julie Bohm yard

Julie Bohm has a unique approach to landscaping. She includes a variety of trees, perennial plants and annuals that come alive from spring through fall.

Mike Konz

To anyone interested in taking up gardening, Julie said keep it simple and build upon your experience. There will be successes and a few failures, but gardening and landscaping can be very rewarding.

Julie’s extensive experience translates into confidence and know-how. She knows how to blend perennial plants and annuals and what to expect as each new season passes. Like so many gardeners, Julie’s plants bloom at different times of the year, beginning in the spring, continuing into summer and climaxing in the fall.

Julie described how experience has taught her to garden in multiple layers. “I recently planted a new berm where we had lost a tree a few years ago,” she said.

The assorted plants and flowers she selected included black-eyed Susans, mums and tall flowering phlox as the major visual elements. She picked seedum as a flowering ground cover.

“The tree is a hydrangea. It has this big white cone-shaped flowers that bloom through mid-summer to early fall,” Julie said.

Annuals cost less per plant and provide lots of color, but perennials demonstrate their value over time as labor savers. A perennial will grow for years in the same spot.

Julie Bohm yard

Julie Bohm’s knockout roses reward her with lots of deeply colored flowers. She’s planted the roses in several places around her house.

Mike Konz

Julie is proud of her knockout roses. She keeps them pruned. It encourages them to fill out and not grow lanky.

Not every flower or plant goes into the earth.

“I do some flower pots, too,” Julie said.

The Bohms enjoy the outdoors, including their backyard. The couple can lounge on the deck. “We have a TV and couch on the deck. We put the TV out in the spring and take it inside in the fall.”

In gardening, there’s always something new to try or learn, Julie said. The internet and magazines are helpful for ideas and learning, and she has an app that IDs plants. “I try to identify my plants because people will ask me what they are.”

Plant lovers are generous with advice and eager to pass along their enthusiasm, Julie said. “Now that I’ve had so many plants, I know what I like. My friends and sisters who have flowers have really helped me.”

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