There’s Gnome Place Like Home

Reader Contribution by Blythe Pelham
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Adding spiritual places to my garden for rest and re-energizing is essential for me. I also love creating opportunities for giggles and smiles. This past winter I decided to replace yet more lawn with additional garden beds.

I have a fairy garden hiding in one of my forsythia forests. Most people wouldn’t know it was there, especially during the growing season. Rather than moving this settlement (since fairies tend to like their privacy), I chose to design a space for gnomes that’s more out in the open.

I decided on a spot nestled near the hedge at the front of our property. First, I used my cardboard and mulching method to create the bed for this vignette. Next I added a few large rocks from my stockpile. Concurrently, during my indoor hours, I was creating seven wee abodes from my stash of gourds.


I wood-burned the face of the gourds with a variety of inviting styles in hopes that some of my garden gnomes would be attracted by the curb appeal. I embedded nails in the base to make the homes stronger against Mother Nature’s winds which seem to be picking up more and more. The nails will hopefully offer enough foundation against kittycats rubbing against those chimneys.

I opened up holes in the back of each gourd and fashioned sheltered entrances with my trusty Apoxie-Sculpt —the chimneys are made of the same stuff. This way if any of the wildlife living in my garden should want to move in they will find an inside that is drier. I’m hoping a mouse, snake, salamander, or any variety of insects or arachnids will be enticed to make a home, though the openings might prove to be too large for some of them.

It was important for me to back the homes up to the rocks so that larger predators (our cats, for instance) would have a tougher time chasing whoever might move in. Though our cats are fairly well-behaved when it comes to our outdoor friends, I wanted added layers of safety. My artistic eye also appreciated the backdrop framing, and rocks always call to my spiritual nature.

As you can see in the final photo, a patch of grassy lawn is being transformed into a friendly little smile-maker. I expect that a few plants will eventually find their way into this vignette. When I get around to it, I’m likely to create some ceramic gnomes to help with the landscaping.

Are there areas of your garden where you can create some fanciful fun? Is there a way you can design with a thought to the wildlife and how they might utilize the space? If paying homage to our more ethereal neighbors doesn’t strike your fancy, perhaps you can create a place to honor a parent or someone special. I’ve found doing the latter to be very cathartic indeed.

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe , and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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