Meet The Artist
C.J. & Lorrie Sanders Garden Gnome Homes
By Melissa Wynn
While visiting the 2015 Reno Outdoor Expo my eye was drawn to the fanciful artwork of C.J. Sanders. Displayed at his business booth, Creative Gardens, were the most adorable garden structures. Looking like a dwelling straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, CJ’s gnome homes drew kids of all ages into their world of wonderful whimsy.
C.J. reports that he built the first gnome home a few years ago to use as a small storage shed. The original purpose was to house supplies for the fruit trees offered by his full service nursery and garden center.
Having always enjoyed drawing and other artistic avenues, C.J. was inspired to give his shed the fairy tale twist that has made his creations so popular. He referred to this first prototype as a “crooked house.” With tilted windows and a swirling chimney C.J. built in the childhood charm that defines his talent. As luck would have it, a tree in the nursery had a damaged area that turned out to be roughly the same size as the newly created “crooked house.” When C.J. fit the two together, the tree was saved and the little house had found its home. It didn’t take long for customers to take notice of the storybook tree house and the orders started rolling in.
Today his articles of animated artistry range in size from mini dog houses to a small scale gold mine that could happily inhabit a miniature golf course. CJ’s golden canine companions, Mattie and Katie certainly enjoy their classy digs. Built to order means your imagination is the only limitation. If you can dream it C.J. will build it for you. This clever artist also keeps every Gnome Home eco-friendly. Each gnome home is one of a kind and made of only reclaimed materials. Old weathered lumber, willow branches from trimming and recycled copper pipe pieces are among the rescued tools of C.J’s unique trade.
C.J. is a 4th generation landscaping contractor in the Reno area following in the footsteps of his mother Lorrie Sanders, co-
owner and operator at Creative Gardens. For decades this family full of green thumbs has been bringing natures beauty to the homes and businesses of Northwestern Nevada.
Whether you want to plant a vegetable garden, flowers or fruit Creative Gardens has the supplies you need to grow it and the
outdoor décor to make it extra special.
You can view and purchase C.J’s one of a kind creations at Creative Gardens, 900 S. Rock Blvd in Reno, give them a call at (775)-972-0841 or scroll the photos on their Facebook page.
Without a doubt, C.J’s gnome homes put the “creative” in Creative Gardens. Whether you are looking for a play house, a tree house, a dog house, a shed or simply a home for your garden gnome, drop in and see C.J. and Lorrie. Your garden whimsy awaits.