How does your garden grow?

Jeannine and Bob Chase stand in front of one of their clematis vines they tend at their home in Chester.

by Marcie Klomp

Bob Chase never promised his bride of 59 years, Jeannine, a rose garden, but the couple does have roses . . . and clematis and lilies and wildflowers and bleeding hearts and hostas in their gardens.

Their yard has been a showplace on Highway 63 in Chester since they moved from Spring Valley 10 years ago. They have added flowers, plants, a waterfall and painted their house which all compliment and lure customers to Chase’s Antiques. The shop is located at the back of their property.

Bob said, “We garden together.” When explaining how the couple landscaped together, Bob joked, “She tells me what to do.” Jeannine shot back, “He doesn’t always listen!”

Well listen or not, the two work well together as their gardens are overflowing with plants and flowers.

Jeannine’s favorite plant is the blue angel hostas. Bob enjoys the hibiscus’ at the front of the house.

The couple has done a great job of getting plants to grow in their burr oak savannah. Jeannine explains, “Burr oaks send out poison into the ground, so everything planted here gets along with the trees.”

Apparently taking care of their yard was not enough because an “ex-friend,” according to Bob, gave them the 12 large pots set on the boulevard and filled with flowers. The flowers got Chases thinking about other towns that have hanging plants on their light poles.

Chases went to the flower auction near Riceville and purchased enough flowers to fill their pots. Last year, they also bought enough flowers to fill the hanging planters on the main drag. Howard Falck made the holders and helps with watering when Bob is on vacation or unable to water them.

Watering keeps Bob busy all summer. It might even keep him from getting into trouble, but don’t bet on it!

If you get a chance, stop by the antique shop as an excuse to check out their garden. They might even let you sit a spell and watch the birds and other wildlife flitting around.


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