• Last modified 1065 days ago (July 22, 2021)


Petunia 'tree' takes root in Marion

Staff writer

Doug Lind has two trees in his front yard on Walnut St. in Marion — a more prototypical tree and a flower tree.

“I’ve enjoyed watching people drive by, slow down, and back up to see it,” he said.

The “tree” is a metal stand set three feet into the ground with concrete. Nineteen hanging baskets make up its “branches,” each filled with at least three petunia plants grown from seed by Lind and his father.

The tree came from his father’s old home in Concordia. His father saw a gardening decoration similar to the tree in a catalogue and had a friend create the structure.

When his father moved closer to home, Lind took the tree with him.

“I was afraid whoever bought the house would let it go or tear it down,” he said. “So we transplanted the metal tree to my yard.”

Lind has been gardening since 2005 and maintains 200 tomato plants and 2½ acres of sweet corn. He has allegedly cut back this year, but after his retirement July 1 from the Kansas Department of Transportation, he plans to “kick off and go hog wild” with gardening.

According to Lind, the tree takes attention every day. His father helps him grow, fertilize, and maintain the flowers.

“I’ll water it three times a day on a hot day,” he said. “In the early spring, during rough weather, I’d bring the plants into the garage. Now, they’re so loaded and intertwined with each other that I would do a lot of damage if I brought them in.”

He has considered filling the tree with plastic poinsettias for Christmas and decorations for Halloween, but it has and will always have petunias in season.

Last modified July 22, 2021