Gnome’s-Eye View of My Herb Garden

Oct 14, 2017 | Visual Perspectives

Wow, speaking of a fresh perspective! A few weeks ago, my husband recycled the base of an old, rusted basketball hoop into a container garden for me. It wasn’t that I asked him to – I think he realized, finally, that showing me the second copperhead snake he found outside our door had deterred me from enjoying the yard I’d once craved. He’s coaxing me back out into the wild, bit by bit, knowing that – despite my notorious black thumb and talent for killing even silk plants – I occasionally have an urge to grow edible things. He suggested starting with an herb garden, and did all but plant the herbs for me.

You’ve seen my plot bunnies and dragons – now let me introduce you to the magical garden gnome with his solar-powered crystal ball. Click and drag on the image below, and you should be able to explore the garden from the gnome’s perspective.

[wpvr id=”1010314″]

I recently upgraded my mobile phone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – a move cleverly timed to take advantage of the offer of a free Samsung Gear 360 Camera. It took several weeks, but the camera finally arrived. Without an SD card. Just a note for those who ordered the camera but haven’t received or tried it out, yet – you’ll need to order a micro SD card if you want to take pictures. Seems obvious – who would buy a camera if they didn’t want to take a photo? But there you go. I bought the Samsung 64GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter, and it arrived this afternoon. 

This is almost as much fun as I imagine flying a drone would be, without the need for FAA licensing, manual dexterity, and 3D spatial awareness needed to keep from ramming it into the ground. Repeatedly.

You can see my first real photo above – and I hope that you’re able to move around and view it in all its 360-degree glory. Naturally, the first thing I do when I get a shiny new tech toy in pristine white is shove it into spider-infested potting soil. But how often do you get to see dill and basil from this perspective? Assuming this works well, the plug-in I’m using is WP VR – 360 Panorama and virtual tour creator for WordPress by Rextheme. It was kindly recommended to me by Jahir C as a replacement for the outdated plug-in that I was using.

Playing outside, just now, I realized there’s only one thing worse for us arachnophobes than finding spiders in the garden.

Losing them.

I haven’t yet tried video, live streaming, or VR – we’ll get to that. Meanwhile, can you find my garden gnome?

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Patricia Stoltey

    Interesting camera stuff, Holly. I have a great new(ish) camera, have taken a basic course, and have a couple of handy-dandy reference books. Now I need to be locked in a room with the camera, the books, and a few subjects to focus on…and finally learn how to use the darned thing.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      The Samsung Gear 360 is a special camera designed to take 360° panoramic images and video for VR. But yeah, any camera deserves a little total immersion time to learn all the features.

  2. Rowan

    It took me a while to find your 360 video of garden from gnomes view link but I am intrigued and attracted as I am to all digital-image technologies. Thank you for sharing information on how to use it also. I’m wondering how big is the basket ball hoop that was made into your container garden. Somehow I think of a basket ball hoop as a metal ring a little larger than a basket ball but your garden looks much larger than that. Perhaps that’s because it’s relative to a gnome?

    • Holly Jahangiri

      It was the weighted BASE of the basketball hoop. You can see the black plastic outline, I think, in the featured photo. It was a full height, free-standing hoop, but the hoop and pole (metal) had rusted.



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