It's quite possible the lawn mower at Connie and Dan Klebs house on Bryant Avenue in Wadena feels a little under utilized these days.

That's because, little by little, the Klebs have been increasing the flower gardens and eliminating grass. The chief gardener of the property, Connie, said she's been laboring over the yard for about 20 years. Each year it grows a bit more as she cuts back more and more sod to make room for the flowers, shrubs and trees to take over. Even paver paths have been removed in an effort to allow the flowers to fill in. It's much to the delight of area birds and bugs.

"I just try different things in different places," Klebs said of her handy work. She worked at a greenhouse through college, so she had an appreciation for plants early in life.

The Klebs' yard was chosen as Wadena Garden Club's Yard of the Month for September and in the final days of September, the yard still sported many flowering varieties.

She estimates over 300 different perennials surround all sides of the house. Small trees and shrubs like lilac, maple, crab apple, pussy willow and birch are dropped here and there in the mix. While not a part of the scene in the fall, she's got 1,092 tulip bulbs that make the slender lot a blooming beauty each year.

Of course having such variety on scene doesn't come without work.

"I can spend hours out here," Klebs said. "This is where I spend all summer."

A chicken feeder is filled with succulents at the Kleb's yard.
Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
A chicken feeder is filled with succulents at the Kleb's yard. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

A quick walk through and Klebs constantly finds plants and weeds she wishes were elsewhere. An injury this year kept her from doing all she wished she could have done.

"I didn't plant that," she said as she pulled a volunteer plant from a group of hostas.

Unless you look closely you can miss a lot of the character in this yard. Tucked under coneflowers is a chicken feeder filled with succulents. Along the back shed is an old pig water tank overflowing with grasses and flowers. Stock tanks are used for her fruits and veggie growing. She has plans of adding a pond on one side of the house so she can have koi fish among the insect filled flowers.

One plant was covered in monarch butterflies, enjoying a rest on the bright purple flowers. It's a place people passing by and creatures flying through find hard to miss.