No, we haven’t become, but if you remember a few weeks ago we reported that this years show has an entire section devoted to LOTR and The Hobbit. Well Ringer Spy (can you really be a spy at a flower show?) Odo IV sends us the pics and a report!

I happened to be in Chicago for the weekend with my wife, and rushed over to check-out the “Hobbit’s Garden” at the 2001 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.(I got to see something LOTR – *and* score points with the Missus! Cha-ching!)

The display was VERY well-done, incorporating signage with appropriate quotes from the Hobbit, but more impressively – they used many of the plants and flowers to which Tolkien was so fond of making reference.

As you can see in the photos, the hole itself came complete with a round, green door (brass knob in the exact middle, of course!) and a nicely done stone chimney. (Apologies for the lo-res photos, but my digital cam only does 640×480, and the lighting inside the pavillion was terrible.)

I was impressed with the size of the display – it goes a full 360 degrees around the “hill” … bounded by a nice little hand-made fence. There was a stone path, a miniature hay-wagon, a few walking-sticks leaning about, and even a small stone statue of a dragon!

They really put a lot of work and care into this, and the display won two of the show awards. It seemed to be drawing a fair amount of attention, and there were many obvious Tolkien fans about the place.

Although the tickets were a bit pricey (at $11 USD for adults), it is worth checking out if you are in the area. Just the thing to get you in a “hobbity” sort of mood.

Took me right back to fourteen-twenty, it did – and that’s saying something!

sign me …

Odo IV