The Fortuna Garden Club has named their yard of the month for July and will again be naming an August yard of the month which will wrap up the program for the remainder of the year until spring 2014.
Ed and Jackie Whitten have lived in their 1771 Rohnerville Road in Fortuna home for over 40 years. Over the years the design and upkeep of the yard was completed by Jackie mostly. Then Ed retired from the California Division of Forestry and he gained yard chores.
As you drive by, you will see plush green lawn surrounded by statues, bird houses, and plants. One statue in particular draws attention to family and friends as Jackie Whitten says it looks like Ed Whitten.
"I just saw it and thought it looked like him and mentioned it to Ed," Jackie Whitten said. "So one year he showed up with it for Christmas for me."
Jackie Whitten has been at home for years now taking care of the house and yard with her husband.
"Now that Ed is retired he does the heavy lifting and grunt work," she said. "I used to mow the lawn but now he does it and the pruning. I putter around and do the easier things like deadheading and making it look pretty."
Years ago the Whittens received this same honor for their yard and have twice been asked to be part of the Fortuna Garden Club annual home tour.
"We are pretty private, but we are very honored to be asked," Jackie Whitten said.
You cannot see it from the road, but the back yard is just as inviting with its colorful blooms and peaceful patio.
"We enjoy our yard," Jackie Whitten said. "It's what keeps us going."
Ed Whitten also gets his exercise from hunting and fishing, but Jackie Whitten prefers the beauty of her yard work.
Yards are in the family as the couple's daughter is married to Don Jewett, whom many know from Rotary and his yardwork in the area. Their daughter Sherry Jewett is well known by the community as most have called or come into the Eureka Physical Therapy office in Fortuna and have been greeted by her happy smile and kind words.
"We are real tickled at receiving this recognition. We feel like we are doing a good job and we are honored," Jackie Whitten said.
Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon
Ed and Jackie Whitten received the honor of yard of the month from the Fortuna Garden Club.