Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Garden Gnomes

Montelago Village, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

The number one question I get online is "Why the nickname Garden Gnome?". The nickname originated from a smart alec comment from my youngest referring me to a Gnome because of my short stature. The Garden part came because ove my ever expanding garden and desire to spend more time there. Gnomes have always been interesting to me likely because of their mystical qualities so I didn't mind the nickname. I just had to take a picture of the gnomes in a little shop in Motelago Village on Lake Las Vegas.

Statues of gnomes have been popular garden decorations for since the 1800's. The traditional depiction of the male gnome is short, elf-like beings with wrinkled and gnarled human-like features and a head slightly too big for its body. It is dressed in bright, solid colour clothing. They wear a conical hat usually red and have a long, white beard. Quite often they are hunchbacked or misshapen. According to Wikipedia the first garden gnomes were made in Gräfenroda in Thuringia, Germany based on local legend that gnomes helped in the garden at night. They are usually depicted doing some type of activity like holding a lamp as in the picture or holding a rake like mine. While originally made in terracotta, garden gnomes are now available in other materials including resin that tolerates the weather well.

Gnomes are legendary creatures associated with the classical element of earth because of their subterranian habitat. In lengends they protected secret treasures concealed in vast caverns underground. While the origin of the garden gnome indicated that gnomes helped humans in their gardens at night, older legends indicate that gnomes were not naturally inclined to help humans. But they could be valuable allies if a human were to gain their trust. In gardens, gnomes are seen as good luck charms for aiding in the growth and protecting that which is planted. Not everyone views garden gnomes as beneficial garden inhabitants. J.K. Rowling referred to garden gnomes as "potatoes with legs" in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. In the wizarding community, garden gnomes were pests much like moles so wizzards had to routinely de-gnome their gardens. The de-gnoming method was rather simple. Grab the gnome by the legs and swinging it around to make it dizzy then toss it from the garden.

Garden gnomes are often depicted globe trotting since they became popular items to snitch. One garden gnome gained his moment of fame when he was uprooted from his garden and sent on a trip around the world. Pictures came from each destination assuring his owners that he was having a wonderful time. He finally made it back to his home garden safe and sound. While this sounds rather humorous, no one should remove a garden gnome from his own garden! It disorients the gnome and brings bad luck to the garden and it will bring bad luck to those who remove a gnome. Remember a gnome is not naturally inclined to help humans and have magical powers that can cause humans to feel sad. So to those so inclined, please don't remove a garden gnome from his garden.

Garden Gnome
© 2007


  1. I found the garden gnome information interesting. We have been considering statuary for the garden but were unsure of what to buy. Now we now! I see a gnome in our near future! LOL Pokey

  2. Everyone needs a garden gnome! I only have one. The picture in my profile is his face. However, I found a site devoted to garden gnomes so will be adding more this spring.


Thanks so much for commenting. Your message will appear once approved.