Heidi and Joe Trouten . . . How does your garden grow?

Heidi and Joe Trouten sit on a bench that overlooks their first garden at the back of their house in Lime Springs.

By Marcie Klomp

Heidi and Joe Trouten have one of the showplaces in Lime Springs. You can see it from any corner of the four-way stops as you come into town from the east.

The couple has been married for 28 years, and gardening together is one of their hobbies, although their favorite hobby is just sitting on their porch and enjoying what they have created.

One thing they like about their flower gardens is they are nearly maintenance-free. “We don’t do many annuals, and the perennials take care of themselves, except for watering,” explains Heidi. And they don’t do a lot of watering.

After planting something new, “We water daily to get it going then two to three times a week,” she adds.

She also admits she doesn’t weed “unless they’re sticking way up.”

She makes it sound easy, but it does take a little more work than that.

Joe said, “Every spring we thin out the ferns and cone flowers and give them away. We also mulch and pull the little trees.”

Heidi agrees. “We put in the work the first few years. Now it maintains itself and we enjoy it more.” She also admits Joe does a lot of the work. “He does 99 percent of the work. He puts the plants where I tell him to.” Joe and Jake Laursen added a new feature this year by installing a walkway. Joe was glad when that project was complete. “I call it the back-breaker.”

Although the couple likes all the plants, except the excess ferns and cone flowers, they each have their favorites. Heidi likes the Asiatic lilies and Japanese painted ferns. Her favorite, favorite is the miniature hollyhocks. “They remind me of my grandma.”

Joe’s favorites are day lilies and lilies.

Troutens have something blooming all the time. “We never put any thought into that, but it worked out,” Heidi marvelled.

Heidi says her love of gardening is genetic. Her parents, Di and Lester Voigt put in a large flower garden at their home northwest of town. But it goes back even further. “I found pictures of my great-great-grandparents and they were standing in a big garden.”

In between the flower blossoms, fairies, angels, bird feeders, a pond with fish and other decorative items can be found to give it even more character.

Her love of decorating the garden has spilled over onto the porch. Several of the wooden items in the garden and on the porch are from her parents’ old barn. Barn boards were made into a bench and other items. An old window frame was draped in a flag for another decorative piece.

Although most of their garden is flower-related, Heidi also has a small vegetable garden with two tomato plants and cucumbers and green beans in earth boxes.

Many a night the couple can be seen sitting on their porch enjoying their handiwork . . . or thinking up new ways to decorate their garden!

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