Garden Photo of the Day

Beyond the Container: Ken and Paulette

Winning #ContainerCraze container

Ken and Paulette Fortune's container won Fine Gardening’s #ContainerCraze Challenge sponsored by Festival Series. Scroll through to see more of their garden.

"We live in Bothell, WA, in the Pacific Northwest and have named our backyard Dragonfly Hollow.  We began re-landscaping about 10 years ago, and every year we add one new vista to the yard. We love small ponds and fountainsour latest is made from the front end of a 1949 Dodge pickup truck and all the plantings are succulentswe call it Carsland as a nod to our love of Disneyland.  We have 13 ponds and fountains around the yard.  Our special passion is Japanese Maples; we enjoy about 30 different varieties.  In the last few years, we have become very enthusiastic about container gardens and have added many throughout the garden. Our last area will be our summer projecta total shade garden that we have named Oma's Secret Garden.  We love to share this peaceful space with friends and family; it is our backyard sanctuary."

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Congratulations Ken and Paulette!

View Comments


  1. user-7007498 06/21/2016

    Ken and Paulette: The winning container is stunning. Not only is the form and texture spot on, but the whole structure "flows". You can almost see the plants dripping from one level to the next. Love it. The other photos show how special a garden you have created, and I especially love the second photo. What great contrast and layering. Well done. Thanks for sharing your work. Very inspiring.

  2. perenniallycrazy 06/21/2016

    I'm so glad you won and you've returned with more garden photos Ken and Paulette. I love all your garden rooms - looks like you've had so much fun evolving into different styles (and that you can't pick a favorite so you celebrate all styles). Congratulations!

  3. mjensen 06/21/2016


  4. frankgreenhalgh 06/21/2016

    Hi Ken and Paulette - Nice rusty panel behind your award winning container, and congrats. on your innovations with your beautiful ponds and fountains and seating area. Must be very peaceful, relaxing and rewarding in your garden. That 'column' is an absolute ripper!

  5. diane_lasauce 06/21/2016

    Oh so tidy and colorful!
    I will confess that yesterday when temps were headed to 95F, I decided to fill my empty containers with....mulch! High heat and humidity are the name of the game here in central VA, and with March's massive garden edits behind me, I no longer have the energy to haul potting soil and water annuals in containers. Your photos are inspiring and I shall live vicariously. Diane

  6. wGardens 06/21/2016

    Congratulations! Lovely and interesting gardens, too! Love that second photo, especially. And the column... GREAT accent! You folks make a wonderful team. Awesome job!

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/21/2016

    Oh, my gosh, Ken and Paulette, it took all my self control to be a grown up and read your well written copy all the way through because each new sentence described something that sounded so wonderful. I wanted to rush to the pictures with all the abandon that a 5 year old gets away with on Christmas morning. Your winning succulent filled fountain succulent is super gorgeous...perfect in every way and a real show stopper. Everything gardeny looks great does the final picture of your smiling faces. So glad you included that!
    Now, at some point, you must return and show us some views of Carsland...front, back, the side, and from above. Sorry if I sound rude but I insist :) .

    1. frankgreenhalgh 06/21/2016

      G'day Michaele - another GDOD narrative full of excitement, enthusiasm, positivity, images and analogies. Have you always used words in such a creative manner or has it been an acquired art? Let's exclude that incident of poetic plagiarism in the analysis.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 06/21/2016

        Hi, Frank, just have to pop back on to say thank you for your generous compliment. I think one of the things that is going on with me is that I'm such a pokey hunt and peck typist that it gives my brain time to wander. Way back when I was in high school, (not quite like the Star Wars "in a galaxy far, far away"), my mother warned me that I would regret it if I didn't take basic typing. Ha, I argued that I was too busy,,,but, oh, yes, I did have time for 3 years of Latin...hmm, which one has proven to have more value?!
        Email came into existence when my daughter lived a continent away (when she wasn't off traveling in another continent) and she is a hugely gifted writer. I think my cyber exchanges with her freed me up and showed me how to have fun with words. She's had quite an influence on me.
        We are lucky here in gpod-land that we have so many fellow gardening enthusiasts who express themselves in such interesting ways...yourself included...and you have the added bonus of throwing in a little Aussie lingo.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 06/21/2016

          Conclusion: Your genes + environment (writing to your daughter plus the internet) = a creative Meander 1 with 'Ginger Rogers' capability (neurons quick on their feet).

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 06/21/2016

            I remember there was a breakthrough movie about ballroom dancing that was of Australian origin...highly entertaining...Strictly Ballroom...right? Anyway, I deem you the male Australian counterpart to your entertaining description of my Ginger Rogers' verbal skills.

          2. frankgreenhalgh 06/21/2016

            Yes it was a good Aussie movie at the time, but a bit hammy now - like my humour!

  8. user-4691082 06/21/2016

    I am so impressed! Your garden style is the one I want to achieve. How big of a property to you landscape? I would love to see more of your Japanese maples...great achievement!!!

  9. greengenes 06/21/2016

    What a wonderful winner! This is very nice and full, textures and one which gives me hope for growing succulents here in western Washington. Your place looks lovely and that is fun to plan one new subject a year to grace your yards.Thanks for sharing!

  10. sheila_schultz 06/21/2016

    Congratulations on being winner's of Fine Gardening's #ContainerCraze Challenge, your succulent filled fountain is the perfect addition to your water fountain filled property! It must be wonderfully relaxing to work in your yard with the trickling of water as background music!

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 06/21/2016

    Beautiful, Ken and Paulette and congrats on winning the container contest. It was well deserved. I like your 'project a year approach' as that's also our way of thinking. We were just discussing yesterday about where and what our next phase should be. Whidbey Is. had its garden tour last Sat. so we have plenty of ideas and your photos are also full of inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  12. foxglove12 06/21/2016

    Love the pillar and the pots photo and congrats! Great job!

  13. n2hostas 06/21/2016


  14. OregonGardenGal 06/21/2016

    Wonderful way to use a tiered fountain!

  15. user-7007496 09/18/2016


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