Meet Our Team

We are a creative group of planetary stewards and landscape storytellers. As a company committed to ecologically-sound practices and the healing benefits of nature, we strive to provide each of our clients with honest, quality work and flexible solutions. The Heidi’s GrowHaus & Lifestyle Gardens’ team thrives on six guiding values:

A primal fascination with plants and ecology is key to achieving our mission.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well, a belief that upholds our commitment to exceed expectations.

We promote synergy among our team in a concerted effort to achieve a collective goal.

We operate with mindfulness and intention, being conscious of our impact so that we can make effectual decisions.

We believe the most constructive way to create change is to approach every situation with an optimistic outlook.

Our ability to adapt as individuals and as a business is deeply rooted in our biological connection with nature. 

Work with Our Landscape Specialists

Heidi Heiland, CEO

Our founder and Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Heidi Heiland debuted her landscape gardening company, Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens (HLG), in 1979. Heidi’s great-grandmother was an award-winning gardener and a member of Garden Club of America, a rich heritage that’s stayed with Heidi throughout her life. With a deeply-rooted passion for nature’s healing power, Heidi helps her clients connect with nature through horticultural therapy, inspiring ecoscapes, and holistic gardening. After graduating from the Constance Spry Flower School in England, Heidi continued her education and became a Certified Professional through the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA), for which she formerly served as the third female president in MNLA’s over 90-year history. A Professional Master Gardener, Heidi holds a certificate in Horticultural Therapy through Colorado State University and the Horticultural Therapy Institute (HTI) and has a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). Her prowess as a gardening professional led her to serve as President of the Wayzata Garden Club and become actively involved with the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, a Garden Club of America. She frequently presents seminars to students, colleagues, and other growers. For 10 years, she created monthly segments on the local NBC affiliate, KARE 11.  

Accreditation & Education:

  • President, Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA)
  • Constance Spry Flower School, London, England
  • Professional Master Gardener
  • Certified Professional, Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA)
  • Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Horticultural Therapy Certificate
  • Pesticide Applicator
Heidi Heiland

Kari Schutte, VP

Meet Kari Schutte, our Vice President, in charge of Operations, HR, and IT. If there is an opportunity to improve process, you can be assured Kari will be at the helm. Her background in operations at major retailers has helped to shape her daily goal in our company: to make sure all team members can do their best job every day.

Reach out to Kari by writing: or call: 763.420.2909.

Kari Schutte

Joe Riehle, Head Grower and Nursery Manager

Meet Joe Riehle, our experienced and talented Nursery Manager. Joe manages all nursery inventory and plant raising for both our retail operations and field divisions. Joe brings over 25 years of experience managing his own landscape design/build and garden center in northern Minnesota. He also farmed on 80 acres, raising nursery plants and veggies to serve his 130-member CSA. 

Joe can be reached by writing: or by calling: 763.420.2909.

Joe Riehle

Amy Swendsrud, Garden Centre Manager

Meet Amy Swendsrud, our Garden Centre Manager. Amy leads and inspires our retail Garden Centre team. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Management from The College of St. Scholastica. She is also a Certified Master Gardener through the University of Minnesota Extension. Amy has worked in the garden center industry for over seven years. Her passion for the outdoors, plants, and pollinators inspired her to leave a corporate career to join the green industry.

Amy can be reached by writing: or by calling: 763.420.2909.

Amy Swendsrud

Byron Emmons, Account Manager

Meet Byron Emmons, our Account Manager for Landscape and Fine Gardening Services. Previously serving as Crew Leader, his knowledge for meeting the needs of our clients, along with his expertise in horticulture, makes him the perfect fit for this leadership role. His background includes Sustainable Food Systems, Urban Agriculture, Water Resource Management, Soil Science, and Ecopsychology. 

Accreditation and Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Ecopsychology from Northland College 
  • Certified Professional, MNLA
  • MNDOT Medical Card
  • MDA Commercial Pesticide Applicator License

You can reach Byron by writing: or calling 612.366.7765.

Byron Emmons

MacKenzie Cochran, Landscape Designer

Meet MacKenzie Cochran, Landscape Designer and experienced horticulturist. MacKenzie holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture with an emphasis on Production Horticulture from the University of Minnesota Crookston. MacKenzie completed an internship for the Parks Department of the City of Crookston, where she designed and installed garden beds throughout the city and its parks.

MacKenzie’s love for gardening started at an early age, since she grew up on a hobby farm that produced food, as well as cultivating many annual and perennial flower beds. For 13 years, she participated in the local 4-H program in vegetable and flower gardening. MacKenzie’s favorite local plants include the Staghorn Sumac and the wild Tiger Lily.

When she is not tending to her own gardens or houseplants, MacKenzie enjoys spending time on her parents’ farm.

Accreditations and Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from University of Minnesota Crookston 
  • Certified Professional, MNLA
  • MNDOT Medical Card
MacKenzie Corcoran

Brittany Ponting, Garden Designer and Crew Lead

Meet Brittany Ponting, one of our expert Crew Leaders. Brittany has held a variety of positions in the horticulture profession, including roles in production, retail, and supervising garden crews. She has studied food systems, design, native plants, and horticulture-based healing.

Brittany enjoys exploring the expansive Minnesota wilderness, fishing, and spending time at the Sherburne County Wildlife Refuge, where she spent many hours as a child, experiencing the natural world.

Accreditation and Education:

  • MNDOT Medical Card 
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License
Brittany Ponting

Nicole Aeshliman, Crew Lead

Meet Nicole Aeshliman, one of our expert Crew Leaders. Nicole has been on our team since 2014, bringing in-depth experience from her previous garden management services career. Nicole’s background includes accounting and marketing.

Nicole enjoys spending time tending to her own gardens, hanging out with her teenage daughter, and fishing.

Accreditation and Education:

  • MNDOT Medical Card 
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License
Nicole Aeshliman

Barrie Anderson, Crew Lead

Meet Barrie Anderson, one of our expert Crew Leaders. Barrie hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Botany from Illinois College.

Barrie enjoys spending time with her mother tending to the many established gardens on her parents’ farm, as well as participating in karate, running, and fishing. Another favorite pastime: cheering on her beloved Chicago Bears and Bulls!

Accreditation and Education:

  • MNDOT Medical Card 
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License
  • Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Botany, Illinois College
  • Certified Professional with the MNLA
Barrie Anderson

Jody Toutges, Crew Lead

Meet Jody Gustafson-Toutges, one of our expert Crew Leaders. Jody’s lifelong love for gardening started at her favorite place: Beckstrand Farm in Clearbrook, MN, where she spent time with her father and grandparents. Jody continues to be inspired by all of the creations of nature.

Jody enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their cabin, boating, camping, and playing sports with them. Having coffee while sitting in her gardens is another favorite pastime.

Accreditation and Education:

  • MNDOT Medical Card 
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License
Jody Toutges

Emily Olson, Assistant Grower

Meet Emily Olson, our Assistant Grower. Emily supports our Head Grower and Nursery Manager in all aspects of our nursery operations. She brings over six years of experience in the green industry.

Outside of work, Emily enjoys assisting at a local farm, knitting, singing, and reading.

From Hennepin Technical College, Emily has earned: 

  • Associate of Science in Greenhouse Production and Professional Floral Design 
  • Associate of Science in Greenhouse Management 
  • Greenhouse Technician Diploma


  • Certified Professional, MNLA
  • Management and Leadership Skills Certificate
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License
  • Produce Safety Grower Training Certificate
Emily Olson