'Willie’s Fantasy' is this week’s winner of the Homestyle Garden Photo Contest

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

With a little help from her husband, Linda Fletcher of Richmond called upon her plant and craft skills to make one of her favorite creations.

 It took three years to construct the character inspired by the giant Willie in an old Disney cartoon “Mickey and the Beanstalk.” Her submission, “Willie’s Fantasy,” is this week’s winner of the Homestyle Garden Photo Contest. Made from hypertufa, the base consists of soil and boulders, the frame is chicken wire and his eyes are made from halved bowling balls and glass.

Fletcher chose plants that would flourish in the soil and lighting conditions. Willie's hair combines hostas with a Japanese forest grass and perennials are from her mother and friend’s gardens. Coral bells, ferns, bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff, Astilbe, lily turf, lingularia and Brunnera also work well in the environment.

'Willie's Fantasy'

“Willie the Giant has literally popped his head up in the middle of a very bustling fantasy woodland. I love sitting in my sun porch and looking over my magical wonderland,” said Fletcher via email.

She’ll win a home or garden book and be a finalist to win the grand prize, a $200 gift card from contest sponsor English Gardens, at the end of the summer. To see the contest rules and enter your photos, go to