Gnome leads Langley yard makeover

Langley City’s Anna Towle was in shock when she returning home from a trip to the B.C. Interior to find her front yard literally transformed into what she calls a sanctuary.

Towle had been “Gnominated.”

Garden designer Ryan Donohoe, a team of volunteers, as well as several of Towle’s family and friends (oh yeah, and Dug the Gnome) recently spent four days renovating her garden, and the metamorphosis was astonishing, the homeowner told the Langley Advance.

“Every time I drive home, even now, I say, ‘who lives here?’ It looks like it should be on a magazine cover… It’s like a little paradise. It’s beautiful,” she said of her new front yard.

“I was in shock really, for at least a week. Actually, I think I still am,” Towle said.

“I’m so deeply touched. I feel so unworthy, but so grateful,” she added. “It boggles my mind that all of these lovely people would put in all their time and effort for me.”

This transformation, if billed out, would be worth about $15,000, but was all made possible thanks to volunteers and donations, Donohoe explained.

Towle, who recently lost her father and was in the Interior to visit her mother on his birthday, returned home to one of the most moving moments of her life.

“She seemed like a good fit for the project,” Donohoe said, noting it’s been a challenging year for the mother with two adult children.

She was the third person to be Gnominated, and now the program founder is seeking future worthy candidates.

The Get Gnominated program all started a year ago, when Donohoe – a Vancouver landscaper –  turned to a marketing friend to help develop his company’s Facebook account.

“As a thank you, I decided to renovate their front garden beds one day, when they weren’t home,” he said.

“Needless to say, they were pleasantly surprised and appreciative of the service. I left her home thinking of ways I could further develop this surprise service, and turn it into a community program that is playful, creative, and interactive,” Donohoe explained.

That was the start.

The transformations happen while the candidate is away, usually on a get-away with the nominator.

“Imagine the sense of love and connection your candidate will feel when they walk into their newly renovated space and all of their friends and family members are there to welcome him or her home,” Donohoe said.

“Although Dug will be long gone by that time, he will leave his loving touch with a handwritten letter explaining why he or she was selected, by whom, and how the candidate inspired and impacted everyone.”

“Get Gnominated is my company’s way to give back to the community,” he said, hoping the program can gain momentum and he can do at least two a year.

“If you know someone who loves gardening, is an outstanding member of society who gives back in one form or another, and perhaps could use a pick-me-up because of a recent string of events, they are the perfect candidate to be Gnominated.”

To nominate someone, people can visit www.get-gnominated.com and tell Dug the Gnome about the special person and why they deserve a surprise garden renovation.

“Tell Dug. He’s a magic man… He creates a renovation and design, and then he’s gone,” Donohoe said. But what Dug and the team leave behind is more than just a garden but a real connection between people.

Just Posted

Kazakstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of four the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

Langley Advance What’s On: Dec. 13, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

Cloverdale’s annual winter ice palace to open Dec. 21

Cloverdale Arena’s 21st-annual ice palace will open on Dec. 21

WHAT’S IN STORE: Producers getting into the holiday spirit

In business happenings, learn about Christmas efforts by two local wineries and a sausage producer.

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Vancouver says court decision allows it to close illegal pot shops

The city says it filed 53 injunctions against businesses that were operating outside its regulations,

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Dress like Santa to ski for free in Whistler

Nearly 90 centimetres of snow has fallen since Wednesday, with more expected into the weekend.

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Most Read