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Garden Photo of the Day

Beyond the Container: Laura Heldreth

Winning #ContainerCraze container 

Laura Heldreth’s container won Fine Gardening’s #ContainerCraze Challenge sponsored by Tropicanna. See what else her garden has to offer.

“Not everyone gardens with a 185 pound Great Dane and shares their front vegetable garden with elementary students that walk past, but we make it happen. Gardening is a lifelong adventure. So whether I’m gardening with my Great Dane, Barnaby, or handing out hand salads to families, I’m enjoying my garden in Vancouver, Washington.”

Have a garden you'd like to share? Please email 5-10 photos and a brief story about your garden to GPOD@taunton.com. Please include where you are located!

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Just another Dane in my garden

Back patio in the evening

Another shot of my back patio

Victory garden at dawn

View Comments


  1. PerenniallyCrazy 06/20/2016

    What a positively lovely foliage shade garden Laura! Congratulations on winning the Container Craze. I love the string of lights that you've added - just the right amount of twinkle in my eyes. Hope to see many more photos of your garden.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you!

  2. frankgreenhalgh 06/20/2016

    Congratulations Laura on your award and gardening journey. Lovely greenery, and Barnaby is simply a star. Do you have any legislative restrictions on the use of the nature strip (Aussie term)/road side verge in your neck of the woods? Great initiative using it for a veggie plot. Bet the students love the produce and your generosity!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/20/2016

      Thanks, Frank. The county owns the nature strip, but it is my job to maintain it. So, they can dig into it if they need to. That said, when there was street work in front of my garden several years ago, the workers did everything they could to protect the plants. I was very happy with them. Happy gardening to you!

  3. wGardens 06/20/2016

    Oh, yes, I am lovin' it. And that is a GREAT back patio! These photos just make me want to see more....Congratulations on your award!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you! I'm about to post more garden project photos on my blog Gravy Lessons at www.gravylessons.com .

  4. user-4691082 06/20/2016

    Laura, you make us all want to see more of your garden. Is that a little potting shed in the background! Everything is so lush! Give Barnaby a pet for us! Send more!!!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you! That is an ornamental green door that you see in the background. I had to paint parallel universe on it to keep from wanting to open it.

  5. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 06/20/2016

    I think I must anoint you Queen of the Foliage Garden...I know you will wear your crown with grace and generosity. And that makes Barnaby an esteemed member of your court! Your winning container is gorgeous...so elegant and serene...and easy on the eyes. Your back patio looks delightful and I would love to see more photos of everything.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you so much! You can see more of everything at www.gravylessons.com.

  6. user-7007498 06/20/2016

    Laura: Congratulations on your beautiful container. Love your patio garden. So peaceful and relaxing. You have some awesome unplanted containers in the garden. That is my latest interest (finding pots to place in the garden unplanted as art). Love the photo with Barnaby. Looks like you have him in a garden pot from the photo. Would love to see more of your garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you, Kevin! I post about my garden on my blog at www.gravylessons.com.

  7. NCYarden 06/20/2016

    Congratulations, Laura, on your award and recognition. And recognizing a successful gardener we can certainly all do with these few photos. Looks amazing. I really admire that street-side veggie garden...most impressive. A few more photos please.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you! You can see more photos on my blog at www.gravylessons.com .

  8. VikkiVA 06/20/2016

    Congratulations Laura! Your garden is most intriguing and I'd love to see more. I also want to know the name of all your plants, especially the ones in your veggie garden. Vikki in VA

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thanks, Vikki! You can see more on my blog at www.gravylessons.com

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/20/2016

    Laura, I fell in love with your winning container the first time I saw it (Instagram, maybe?). Anyway it is stellar, and an up-cycled light fixture or something....my memory! What's the dark leafy base in the winning container? Ginger? Beesia?
    Your Schefflera is super cool and those huge Arisaema leaves are drop-dead gorgeous. Which species?
    Love the simple hardscaping and like everyone else, I would love to see more. Do you blog? Garden featured elsewhere?

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thanks, Tim! The dark leafy base is wild ginger, asarum caudatum. Beesia would be a lovely choice. It is an Arisaema ringens. I blog at www.gravylessons.com . I'm just about to post an update on our garden projects. I ripped out all the remaining lawn so I could add more plants. :)

  10. anitaberlanga 06/20/2016

    your garden is gorgeous! and I love that you can garden with your Dane. My garden is gated off (every inch of it) because our rescue/foster Presa has NO idea of border boundaries!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016


  11. thevioletfern 06/20/2016

    In love ... would spend so much time on that patio. What a beautiful retreat you have created and I bet you are quite a great cook with that garden!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016


  12. Sheila_Schultz 06/20/2016

    Your container is certainly worthy of winning the ContainerCraze challenge, Laura. The clean lines of the gorgeous pot are perfectly complimented by the simplicity of the plantings. Love it! I'm also in love with your dreamy patio... the wood and stones surrounded by the 100 shades of green is so soothing. If that is a hammock I see in the 4th photo, I want to be relaxing while rocking gently back and forth!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      thanks! I try to use my hammock as often as possible in high summer.

  13. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 06/20/2016

    Laura, you won me with your gentle giant peaking out from under the 'dog'wood. In that same photo, what is the stunning plant with the purple leaves? It's always fun to see what others are doing with shade gardens and yours is so lush. It's pretty impressive that you managed to grow so much along the curbside to take advantage of sun and your neighbors must love it. Congrats on your winning container. It would be nice to see more photos.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thank you! The plant with the purple leaves is a ligularia. I grow Ligularia othello and Ligularia Britt-Marie Crawford in that space. I love them almost as much as the slugs do. You can see more photos on my blog at www.gravylessons.com

  14. user-3565112 06/20/2016

    Your containers & entire garden area shown are terrific. The patio is awesome & compliments your containers. I agree with Kevin about your skillful use of decorative pots.
    Good luck, Joe

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thanks, Joe!

  15. Schatzi 06/20/2016

    I can only say, Me too! to everyone else's comments. Barnaby looks like a very dignified pup. 185 pound lap dog???

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Oh yes...

  16. maryannborcherding 06/20/2016

    Lovely garden. Great container. From another gardener from Vancouver WA

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      Thanks, MaryAnn!

  17. GrannyCC 06/20/2016

    Lovely garden and container. I also love your front vegetable garden. Nice to be able to share the bounty.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016


  18. Cenepk10 06/20/2016

    Absolutely stunning- the hardscape, the lush gardens, the containers -... & that dawg !!!! My brother had a female Great Dane - she would get to running so fast - come by me - I thought her tail would break my femur ... They are so very strong!!! Thank you so much for sharing such a glorious garden.

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

      thank you! And yes, danes are very strong.

  19. Cenepk10 06/20/2016

    And the veg !!!!! Looks like a artfully arranged painting

  20. greengenes 06/21/2016

    What a wonderful place! Love your style and yes, your dog!

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016


  21. Foxglove12 06/21/2016

    Loving that Victory Garden...

    1. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016


  22. lauraheldreth 06/21/2016

    Thank you! I blog about my garden at www.gravylessons.com.

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