I am referring to our inherited strangled and tangled mess of borders that are around the house.  They were in the sort of shape where you walk into the house and a small part of you cringes at the sight of them.   They got ripped out with the John D.  Enough was enough.  We had the best of intentions, thinking a little shoveling wouldn’t hurt us…….  ….and yet it nearly did. 

80+ degree sunny weather in Wisconsin feels very pleasant when sitting rocking on a porch nursing cocktails but is as hot as a b’stard when trying to eliminate years of day lilies that have spread and locked down on the exhausted soil around the house.

One doesn’t feel too jolly either when confronted with the skin of a snake that is partially inserted up into the side of the house.  Our hopes of not running across a live snake were dashed when we disturbed the first one who came out of said hole in side of house.  We were then eye to eye so to speak when clearing out weeds from under a shrub. 

We decided that sunburned arms length was probably a better approach.  The dear Deere did most of the work.  I might add that after wiping my sweaty brow for the umpteenth time, my “I don’t want shit heaps around the farm” was diminished.  “Oh dump that stuff where we can’t see it…..no doubt the lilies will take hold and survive”. 

The house faces north so the front borders are now filled with part shade to shade loving plants such as astilbe, coral bells, hostas etc.  The dirt needs a lot of TLC.  Its dried out and sandy at either end where the sun hits morning and afternoon.  We added cow manure and topsoil but it will take years to make it better.  Either end of the border has been planted with more sun loving plants which include native prairie flowers. 

At the nursery I chose those plants that had the most bees hanging off them.   I wanted the overall look to be one of organized chaos with daisies fighting with native lupines to get their fair share of the sun.  Here is a list of our sun choices:

Helianthus Lemon Queen
Phlox Paniculata Nicky
Sedum Stonecrop
Coreopsis Crème Brulee
Leucanthemum Becky
Gaillardia Arizona Sun
Sidalcea  Prairie Mallow
Helenium Double trouble
Physostegia Crystal peak White
Liatris Kobold Dwarf Gayfeather
Alchemilla Lady’s Mantle
Veronina fasciculata Ironweed
Aquilegia canandesis Columbine
Veronica spicata Speedwell – Red Fox
Pontentilla Cinquefoil Monarchs Velvet
Perovskia Little Spires
Anemone Robustissima

 We rescued an apple tree that we had up on the roof deck at home and decided to set him free on the farm.  He is now planted out in the field.  I didn’t want to put him in the orchard as he’s significantly older and larger than the babies I currently have planted.  No need to intimidate them.  We invested in a lollipop crab apple to grace our side border garden and help with pollination of our other apples. 

We unfortunately haven’t seen our baby wild turkeys on this visit.  We saw Mum with eight babies and Dad with three teenagers pecking around the perimeter of the orchard last time we were here. But alas…sniff sniff….no sign of them. 

This alone has made me think we need a pond of some sort.  I know my little rain bucket at home has quite a line up of wildlife when it gets hot and I’m wondering if the turkeys have wandered off to find water.  We need a pond! Get the JD ready!

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