Montelago Village, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
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 While originally made in terracotta, garden gnomes are now available in other materials including resin that tolerates the weather well.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.