ARE YOU A GNOME OWNER? Register for the competition HERE
We have prizes lined up from Factory Theater, Smack Dab Chicago Bakery, Orange Theory, a private dinner in The Garden, and more!
Don’t own a gnome yet, or still need to decorate? RAM Art Studio, 6054 N. Broadway, has you covered! They have a few gnomes left, and if you’d like them to fire yours for you, $10 covers paint and kiln. Get there quickly for that, they need to pop gnomes in the kiln by end of day Monday, June 26th.
Not as competitive as your counterparts, but still want to join the fun? Come on out, bring your dog (in a veggie or garden inspired costume) or your kid ( who also like costumes, just sayin’ ) and we’ll have plenty to do for all.
5pm-8pm — DJ music, 50/50 raffle sales, food vendor, kid’s activities, face painting, photo booth
5:00pm-6:00pm — Gnome contestant set up
6:00pm-7:00pm — Gnome Public Voting/Buy the Vote
6:30pm-7:00pmKids Costume/Dog parade
7:00pm — 1st/2nd/3rd prizes for dog costumes
7:15pm — 1st/2nd/3rd prizes for kid costumes
7:30pm — Gnome Competition winners announced
7:45 — 50/50 raffle winner announced
8pm — Event ends, thank you for coming!


Join our 2017 board July 2 and put the the FUN in Fundraising!

Since our eponymous garden was on the site of an original WW2 Victory Garden, we’d celebrated July 4 with fun stuff: costume parades, “plotlucks,” music, etc. Any excuse to get together as a community and enjoy what we’d built together.

Then came 2012… The year we decided to grow from our first garden at Peterson and Campbell to five Pop-up Victory Gardens across the north side. Also the hottest summer on record (some of us are still feeling the effects of heatstroke!)

We decided to do a fun event at our (then) new Global Garden – sort of an outdoor festival with a gnome decorating contest. “What the heck,” we thought, “Could be fun!” Little did we know how much people LOVE GNOMES. And, despite the 100+ degree weather over 200 people joined for the fun, food, music and more.

As usual we were blown away by the creativity of our gardeners… there were some brilliant gnomes that day!

Did I mention the heatstroke that summer? Despite the amazing turnout (or maybe because of it), the 100+ day did our tiny staff in and we vowed NEVER AGAIN!

Well, in the words of James Bond, NEVER SAY NEVER.

Back by popular demand for 2017 (this means people have nagged us so much about it we’re giving in) our volunteer board has decided that we’re getting the band back together in 2017!

Hooray for  #GnomeDependence !!!

So what exactly does that mean?

The easy part is we’re having a big party July 2 at the Hello Howard Garden in Rogers Park (Howard and Ashland) and everyone is welcome! There will be music, food trucks, kid’s activities and, most importantly, the Gnome Judging Contest.

That competitive part of you is is intrigued, right? You want to know how to play? It’s easy…

GET GNOME: Easiest way is to get one at our 2017 plant sale for $25. Second easiest is to get one from our partners for this event Ram Art Studio in Edgewater

DECORATE GNOME: Those smarties at RAM Art Studio are going to offer classes or you can do whatever you need to make your gnome the masterpiece of the century.

BRING GNOME: We’ll have a series of categories by which you can win fame and acclaim for your decorated gnome.

SO many ways to get recognized for your masterpiece!

Board Pick – top three gnomes selected by our 2017 volunteer (awesome) board

Celebrity Judges – Lead by PGP Gardener JP Anderson (who also happens to be the editor from Michigan Avenue Magazine), his team of “people with good taste” will pick their top three gnomes

People’s Choice – July 2 attendees pick their top three gnomes

Facebook Likes – Post an image of your decorated gnome to the event page and the top three gnomes with the most likes get a prize

“Chicago Style” – we’ll provide a mechanism for those wanting to “buy the vote” via raising dollars for Peterson Garden Project (we did mention this was a FUNdraiser, right?) Contact [email protected] for instructions.


We’re working on prizes – you know they will be fabulous! But we do know all the first place winners (and a guest) from each category will be invited to a private dinner at the (fabulous) home garden of our founder, LaManda Joy. You can see the garden that started it all – The Yarden – and enjoy an amazing garden-fresh meal by our board chef Alvin Yu of Fyusion Dining.

So what are you waiting for! Get those gnomes! Get your creative juices flowing! And help Peterson Garden Project raise funds for our FREE programming for kids, seniors and refugees! And, most importantly, BE THERE on July 2.