Garden Slugs/Snails vs. Gnomes

Garden Slugs/Snails vs. Gnomes

Slugs and beer Growing up in New York suburb of Yonkers, my parents always planted a large vegetable garden each year. The slugs were plentiful and caused a lot of frustration and damage. Rather than use harmful poisons, my mother would fill a little tin or saucer with fresh beer. My grandfather was the founder and partner in the Yonkers Brewery on Chicken Island, famous for the Yonkers dark stout. The brewery was called Jackson Brewing. Anyway, we always had fresh beer to fill the tins to drown the slugs.

Well, I’ve since come to realize that the slugs were not in fact drowning, but the garden gnomes were drinking the beer on a nightly basis and whacking a few slugs to leave in the new empty tins. Humans thought the snails drowned, so out went more beer and back came more dead slugs and snails! the gnomes drank all the beer and gathered up the slugs. The end results were the same – less slugs/snails and a lot of happy gnomes!

So, when you go out in the morning and see a tin of slugs, but the beer is gone, the mystery of over. Where did the beer go? A few happy, sleeping gnomes with maybe a little headache, but looking forward to another night’s adventure in your garden. The garden gnomes whacked the slugs and drank the beer!
They are very small, but very clever. Happy garden gnomes are the key to a successful garden. All in fun and all is well in the Whimsical Woods.


1767_BH_1_lgOur natural birdhouses are made from recycled old logs and barn wood and result in a very natural looking and functional birdhouse. The log is our canvas and the forest finds are our paints. All of our birdhouses are fully functional with approximately a 1.25 inch hole and a 3 inch removable clean out on the bottom.

Whimsical Woods log birdhouses make the perfect gift and addition to your garden or back yard. They also survive well in the winter! :-)

Natural Birdhouses made by Val Jackson


IMG_7539One of a kind, very whimsical gnome homes for your indoor or patio setting.  Gnomes love a little whimsy in their lives and the Collectors Choice style will add that very unique gnome home for all to enjoy. Build a little scene on a table top and place house plants around it to set the scene and trigger one’s imagination. What you’ll end up with is a table top work of art!

These special Collectors Choice Gnome Homes are available for viewing in our studio and at the various arts and craft shows we will be attending in Washington State. Since these are one of a kind, they are not available on our website. But if you see one here you would like, please contact us to see if it is still available. We would also be happy to send you photos of what is on hand and we can then ship it out to you.

Have some fun – smiles will follow!



Woodland_Fairy_Home_1aJoining our Whimsical Woods selection of natural log bird houses, gnome homes, suet feeders, etc., is our new  Woodland Fairy Home.

Also built out of  forest finds and recycled barn wood, the fairy home is the perfect size for an indoor table/dresser-top fairy village. It would be the perfect gift for that special someone who likes fairies. It can also be in an outdoor setting and made into a little outoodr fairy village.

Typical size is 13″ x 13″ x 13″ and the cost is $70 plus $25 shipping and handling. No two are exactly alike but similar. All have inside decorations made from dried flowers, moss, etc.

These are very special and different. A sure hit for a daughter or granddaughter! (or son or grandson)

We look forward to hearing from you. All is well.


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When spring returns, and it will, the nesting birds will be out looking for and gathering nesting materials that meet their needs. Why not put up an attractive natural Bird Nester’s Hut and watch the birds pick through your recycled natural materials with a beak full. Made to be hung on a tree, barn fence, etc.

Just fill the “pouch” with natural materials from around the house. Preferred is dog hair, horse or goat hair, alpaca fur, strings of wool or cotton. Just be sure to use natural materials, not synthetics. When used in a nest, synthetics will become brittle and the nest will fall apart.

Bring some color and help the birds with the addition of a Bird Nester’s Hut, now available on our website, The Bird Nester’s Hut is available with either a red roof or natural wood roof.


Gnomes support Seattle Seahawks!Turns out, the local gnomes have come to be a very motivated group in support of our local Seattle Seahawks! They enjoy sports and games and the post-game celebrations, of course. They play a form of soccer they call Berry Ball.

Football is new to them, but they’re catching on. All in fun here at Whimsical Woods. Let the game begin. You just don’t “gnome” who will win Sunday, but GO HAWKS!!


In the cold winter season, birds flock to the ever popular and nutritious suet feeders. Birds need protein and fat all winter long

Suet feeders with Val's homemade suetas their main food source, live bugs, are gone. Homemade mixtures are easy to make and are much healthier and cost less than the commercial suet cakes. Side-by-side tests prove that birds prefer the fresh suet/lard mix over the store-bought cakes.

Lard is easy to obtain and comes already rendered, like Crisco. You should be able to find it at your local market or specialty food store in tubs or 1 lb packages. We buy a 5 gal. bucket at a restaurant supply outlet.

To the lard, I add a generous amount of sugar and oatmeal (the quick-cooking kind which I pulverize in a food processor), which seems to stiffen up the mixture. It doesn’t need refrigeration, but should be kept cool. Add birdseed if you wish. The birds want the energy to to keep warm.

If you have a special recipe and/or photo, please share it with us. Have fun. Need a feeder? Drop us a line.

Suet feeder with homemade suet

Gnome Eye Glasses

Gnomes are very talented crafters. We read of their excellent woodworking skills, but also in textiles, ceramics, metal, etc. Like

Gnome with eye glasseshumans, gnomes (who live to be about 350 years old) sometimes need glasses. Occasionally, you might find a gnome figure wearing glasses. Well, they surely do not go down to Costco at night and whip up a pair. Being the crafters they are, they likely have a gnome elder who specializes in making glasses for the local clan. This gnome might have a large selection of various broken glass, bottles, jelly jar lids, etc. from which to chose from and select a glass to be ground into a small pair of eye glasses. Using other, recycled small pieces of wire, they can construct the frames to complete the eye glasses. Gnomes usually sleep during the day, so little need for sun glasses, but possible.

It might be a very funny sight to see a small gnome with magnified glasses on causing his eyes to look like the size of golf balls. You see it with humans, so why not gnomes? If you happen to find a little pair around somewhere, now you “gnome!”

All in fun and all is well at Whimsical Woods.

A “Choking” Gnome

Gnome in the artichoke patchFamiliar to garden gnomes are the very popular garden grown artichokes here in the Pacific Northwest.

Not only are they good to eat, but once the leaves are dried, they are used in many different ways around the gnome households. They can be used as a canvas on which they paint using forest stains and homemade paints. They can also be used as window shutters, light deflectors and even shingles on small wood sheds.

Gnomes have also found uses for artichokes as illness remedies. They are an excellent source for various vitamins and great tea. The gnomes mix artichoke tea with fennel seeds. I’ve read it helps flatulence. Oh yes, nothing worse than a little gnome running around the forest tooting its way along. :-)

The artichoke stalks are taken apart and the very stringy core is used to weave ropes for use around  gnome households. What is not used by the gnomes is saved for their deer friends. They seem to enjoy chewing the stringy stalks. Maybe it helps them also. Let a deer get into your garden and you’ll see. Best have a gnome-proof gate latch, if there is such a thing? Very smart, these little people and we love their company here at Whimsical Woods.

All in fun and all is well.

Large, Lighted Fairy Homes

Large lighted fairy homeThe popularity of fairy  houses is growing. I am very happy to build whimsical fairy houses for those who want a custom, natural fairy house for that special person.

I start with an old log, hollow it out and furnish it with various fairy furniture. I’ve added a glowing fireplace along with overhead lights. Both are safety lights using small (long lasting LED) batteries with an on/off switch. I add lots of details and charm to tweak the imagination. You can look right in the large opening or the window above. This large fairy home is approx. 16″ high, 23″ wide and 20″ deep.

Ideally, these should be used indoors on a dresser, table, etc. with a few select houseplants around to set the scene. In a dark room, the fireplace glows out the door and window opening illuminating a very whimsical effect.

Truly a very special gift for you or a very deserving person. Made to order. I prefer it be picked up here at our studio or other arrangements made. Please contact us directly for options, cost and availability. We will be making more if we see the interest.

We also have available our standard 12″ high fairy homes that resemble the small gnome home on our website,, but without a door. A seven year old told me fairies fly in (an open doorway) whereas gnomes open the door and walk in! Very cute.

We always like hearing from those interested in something special.

All in fun, all is well.