Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pin It

The Great Gnome Hunt

Garden gnome at Morton Arboretum
A gnome at the Morton Arboretum's Children's Garden

Garden gnomes are amazing creatures.
About 17 of them are braving sub-zero temperatures at the Morton Arboretum near Chicago this winter, waiting patiently for children to find them as part of a Gnome Hunt there.

Now my gnomes, they insist on spending the winter in the garage at the very least. (They tried to set up a trip to warmer climes with the Roaming Gnome but he was already booked.) These little guys (plus one girl) are only too happy to be playing a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden.
The hunt involves the story of Joy, a male gnome who is lost and searching for a home. Each of the 15 different locations has a poem about where Joy has tried to live  – on a fence, in a dog house, under a net and in a log, just to name a few.

Gnome and squirrel on a swing
This gnome and his squirrel friend enjoyed the warmer weather Sunday.

(Spoiler: All ends well when Joy finds a nice tree.)
Several of the children there when I visited were having a blast. But parents, don’t think this is a slam dunk. I found only 11 of the 15 locations. Some parts of the garden were blocked off due to snow so the other four probably were there.  (At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Besides, there were chocolate tastings inside.)

Nobby, the informal leader of the Morton Arboretum gnomes, told the Hortiholic in an exclusive interview that the group loves entertaining children despite the cold and snow.
Gnome couple on a swing reading a book
Two gnomes shared their book with a bluebird
“It's so much fun! Besides, we’d otherwise be sitting around, getting fat, talking about fiscal cliffs, higher oil prices and immigration policies,” he said. “I feel very strongly that our immigration laws need to be changed. All oppressed garden gnomes should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. without any restrictions.” *
The arboretum's Gnome Hunt continues through the end of February from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

*Note: Opinions expressed by Nobby are his own and not necessarily those of the Morton Arboretum.
By Karen Geisler
Gnome in a tree knot
This gnome got a push from a chipmunk
Gnome on swing next to a pod
Gnome in the swing of things next to the pond
Gnome sleeping
The gnome took a snooze on a tree branch
Arch over the entrance to the Children's Garden
The entrance to the Children's Garden at the Morton Arboretum


  1. Love the snoozing gnome! How fun! I think I need to invest in at least one garden gnome. They are so cute.

    1. There are so many kinds of gnomes out there that I'm sure there's one just right for you. Maybe one that's fishing??

  2. I love a little whimsey, thank you for sharing.