For fantasy fans living in the U.S., traveling to New Zealand to see the hobbit houses of the Shire created for the Lord of the Rings movies is no easy feat. Fortunately, there is a lovely little hobbit house visitable stateside, at the Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard, Washington.
Visitors (some of whom arrive in costume) enter the half-size house through a round door, just the same as at any hobbit house. They are greeted by a working (and closely monitored) fireplace opposite the door, from which they can go left or right. At one end is a stone wall, and at the other, a carved wooden chair with a lamp on a shelf are situated in front of a large, round window, perfect for reading or snapping pictures.
Marilyn Davis and Cheryl Pelkey built the Port Orchard Hobbit House in 2015 on the land behind their plant nursery, a 50-year-old establishment they bought in 1996. It took six months to build, with a strong frame made of a 14-gage culvert steel pipe. They lined the walls with wood and covered the outside with stones and various plants.
The outside coverings are so that the hobbit house looks like it was built into the side of the hill, as hobbit houses are in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels. Depending on the time of year, different flowers may be in bloom atop the stubby little house. A large magnolia tree dominates the display and blooms in the summer. Every variety of plant on the hobbit house is available to purchase from the nursery.
Such creativity is valued at the Brothers Greenhouses, named after one of the highest peaks in the nearby Olympic Mountains. Alongside the plants for sale are fairy gardens, including one that pays tribute to the same hobbit neighborhood that the life-sized hobbit house does. The greenhouse even offers classes on how to create one’s own fairy gardens.