Garden Gnome, anyone?

A few years ago, the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK declared that the banned garden gnome was now allowed to be part of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Tackiness be damned! Garden gnomes for all! 

 Garden gnomes, those funny little white-bearded creatures, 

are associated in England with the landscapes of the not-so-rich and the unfamous.  

According to English gardening maven, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen,
 “Gnomes are very symbolic in English gardens as an anti-class statement."

Born to be Wild Gnome

Anti-class? anti- posh? 

These happy little garden sprites (or small and creepy men, depending on your point of view) are reminders that we are all free to fashion our gardens, our little bits of heaven, in our own way.  

I remember, growing up in Brooklyn, walking by many a 'bathtub Mary' in the chainlink bordered front yards of those lucky enough to have a front yard.  

They would take a cast iron bathtub  (tossed out in favor of newer, lighter ones) and set it vertically in the ground to act as a niche for a statue of Mother Mary. The genesis of re-purposing, I am sure.

But back to gnomes, the Chelsea Flower show allowing gnomes is akin to baseball allowing wiffleballs in their games. 

People were aghast. 

Gnomes have been lumped for years with balloons, flags, and “feather flags,” and other banned items as detractors from the plant and garden display.


So why the switch? Because people have become 'gnome fanatics'!  

People put them in their front yard, their backyard, lying on a leaf, under some trees, in the lawn. Some people hide gnomes in their friends' gardens as a game: 'find the gnome'

Even Elton John got into the act...
As part of its new gnome-friendly policy, the horticultural society asked a group of celebrities to decorate some gnomes. 

Guess what the Elton John gnome looks like?    'Gnomism' lives on.


  1. TFS, never knew there was a meaning behind them. I think they are cute, and wouldn't mind getting a few. Really wanting to make a few small fairy gardens

    1. aren't they fun? I say - go ahead and make that fairy garden!

  2. I don't have gnomes in my garden but their cousins the Wood Spirits. I don't mind a bit of whimsy in the garden no matter what it is. Pink Flamingos used to be popular. Now that was sort of scary. ha...

    1. I had a pink flamingo in my woodland garden years ago. everyone made fun of it. I liked it....wood spirits? fantastic!

  3. I've seen them in stores, but can't ever remember seeing one in a gsrden here..

    1. be the first! tell people he just showed up...


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