Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gnomes & my Grandmother

 Over the weekend I visited my 85 year old Grandmother, Dot (or chook), in Albury NSW. My Grandmother is a notorious gardener and home maker. She has an immaculate rose garden as well a collection of ferns, lavender plants & assorted flowering wonders that I can never get to thrive in my garden. I assure myself this is due to the climate difference (of course), what else could it be? Lack of love & attention? Of course it’s not!

Amongst the teaspoons, dinner sets, birthday cards & antique porcelain birds that fill her house, my Grandmother likes to collect (of all things) - garden gnomes. It’s creepy, I know!
Since I was small I’ve always found these little ceramic creatures a little off-putting – now I find them rather cute – though I could never bring myself to own such a vast assortment (or be outside at night with the little buggers). Her sole reason for keeping all these beasties are that they're gifts, "Sianne, what would I say if Cathy came around & it wasn't on display any longer?".
Goodness me, if I had to keep & display every gift I'd have a collection of el cheapo candle holders to rival any other, as a "Gen Y'er" I tend to get away with a lot of re-gifting & garbage tossing.

Just a bit of history, garden gnomes originate in Gr√§fenroda, in Germany, the little-men-in-hats design is based on local myths as a way for people to enjoy the stories of the gnomes' willingness to help in the garden at night. The garden gnome quickly spread across Germany & into France and England, & wherever gardening was a serious hobby. Some people took to their collecting with a little too much vigor & modern lore’s tell of gnome attacks. God forbid!

Nowadays, you can not only buy your gnomes in home & garden stores, but also online (or see eBay or Google). There are sites for advise on selecting, collecting, repairing, catching (creepy!), accessorizing & of course the proper care involved in looking after a garden gnome. One of the more interesting articles I’ve read recently was about gnoming – which involves the theft of garden gnomes for the alleged purpose of returning the inanimate garden gnomes "to the wild”... you should most definitely look it up if you're in for a laugh!

I wanted to give you a glimpse of the little critters my Grandmother has lurking in her garden & which one day I will inevitably inherit at least a few of. Here’s hoping you aren’t as disturbed as I was when I started to count them up! (I stopped counting at 60, Germany stopped counting at 25 million country-wide).

So here are a few of my favourites from the garden, may I be quite clear that there were plenty that missed out on the relentless flash of the camera...

1st set of Snow White and the seven dwarves
Gnomes around the ferns

Gnomes in a shoe!

2nd set of Snow White and the seven dwarves

Solar powered light gnome

Gnomes on the garden edge

There are a few more stories to tell from my trip to the country and plenty more pictures to share, but they can wait for another day!

Until next time,



  1. I love your Grandmother! She is a first rate yard artist. Would love to have permission to feature her yard on my blog. Yeah we pick on yard art at bit but we also ooh and ah when we see shear genius. If you don't want to play that's cool but I would still like to post it just for every one's enjoyment.

  2. Hi there,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my entry.
    You’re welcome to feature the pictures in your blog – it’s quite a collection!
    However, please ensure you link them back to my site;
    Thanks! Sianne

  3. Ahh; Kreepy Little Fellows! I think every Grandmother has a collection hidden somewhere, or bravely displayed, such as these! What a SuperStar Collector! Maybe you'll inherit them!