Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to Pick the Right Garden Gnome for You - Week 3

Ask yourself the following questions...

1. Am I old school or new school?

Meaning do you prefer an "old world" style or more recent adaptations of garden gnomes.

2. How much am I willing to invest?

You can buy a cheap $10 plastic gnome or a nice stoneware pottery gnome that will be more expensive.

3. Am It trying to make a statement?

If you want a gnome for just decorative purposes there are collegiate, NFL and MLB gnomes to support your favorite team. Or you can purchase more traditional gnomes who are standing around in the garden or some that are working quite hard in the garden.

4. Which style fits my personality?

There are humorous gnomes, cute gnomes, naughty gnomes, mischevious gnomes, working gnomes and serious gnomes. Find one that fits you.

5. Do I intend to buy more than one?

If you want to buy more than one, you could have a village of gnomes. In this village some could be working, some could be relaxing. If you want just one gnome, you could find one that is taking a nap or just hanging around waiting for something exciting to do.

6. Where do I intend to put my new gnome?

You can have garden gnomes indoors, what we call "home gnomes", or you can have an outdoor gnome welcoming guests with a welcome sign.

7. Did you know there were so many questions to ask yourself when selecting a gnome?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Garden Gnome Carnage - Week 2

I just found out there is a video game out there called Garden Gnome Carnage, and I must say it does sound interesting. A good way for a Gnome to get away from it all and pretend to be in another world, a world of death and destruction!

This game combines a few of life's most interesting pleasures: explosions, bungee and, well, more explosions! Garden Gnome Carnage is a pretty unique arcade game where you move a building left and right to swing a gnome who is attached to the top of it around in order to protect that building from invading elves. The gnome can also pick up bricks from the building and throw them at the invaders. Your goal is to stop elves from reaching the chimney by knocking them off, shaking them off, calling in airstrikes or your gnome grabs explosive bricks from your building and drops them on your foes.

Apparently, we garden gnomes are vehemently against the crass commerciality of Christmas and harbour an enduring hatred against elves because of their well-known saying:
Beware of elves bearing gifts.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Holiday to Maggie Valley NC - Day 6

Hello All,

I'm back from my weekend adventure and oh, what I time I had! I went to the beautiful Maggie Valley in North Carolina where it was approximately 15 degrees cooler than in South Carolina. It was marvelous weather, I quite enjoyed the nip in the air.

I've posted pictures from my weekend for you all to see, though they don't do my weekend justice. I spent time in the garden and went for a long hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway, I also had the opportunity to go to the local forest to visit old friends. I went fishing on a beautiful lake, but didn't catch a single fish. It was quite disappointing, but I still had a wonderful time. It was warmer at the lake and I must say my cheeks are a little rosier from the sun.

Well, it's back to work in the flower garden and heat tomorrow. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it after such a great weekend. Hope you all enjoyed yours as much as I did.

Until next time, cheerio!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Giving Gnomes a Bad Rap - Day 5

In 2008 the Australian Herald Sun reported the following:

A "CREEPY gnome" said to wander around a village at night is terrifying locals so much that many fear leaving their homes after dark, according to reports. Locals in the Argentinean town of General Guemes claim the "gnome" – which wears a pointy hat and walks sideways like a crab – has been seen walking their streets by many people, UK newspaper The Sun reported.

Local teenager Jose Alvarez claimed to have filmed the gnome on his mobile phone while chatting to friends in the middle of the night. "Suddenly we heard something - a weird noise as if someone was throwing stones,” Mr Alvarez said. “We looked to one side and saw that the grass was moving. To begin with we thought it was a dog but when we saw this gnome-like figure begin to emerge we were really afraid.”

The grainy footage shows a dark figure slowly moving across a street. Mr Alvarez said other locals had also seen the strange figure. “This is no joke. We are still afraid to go out - just like everyone else in the neighbourhood now.”

Later in 2008, Fox News reported the following story:

A town in South America is living in fear after several sightings of a 'creepy gnome' that locals claim stalks the streets at night, The Sun reports. The little person — who wears a pointy hat and has a distinctive sideways walk — was caught on video last week by a terrified group of youngsters.

Teenager Jose Alvarez — who filmed the gnome — yesterday told national newspaper El Tribuno that they caught the creature while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gnome Liberation - Day 4

There exist various gnome liberation groups across the globe who fight for gnome rights and to ‘stop oppressive gardening,’ ( The Front de Liberation des Nains de Jardin (FLNJ) of France, is the oldest and most prominent gnome liberating organization. Established in 1996 it achieved immediate success, liberating, more than 200 gnomes in a forest outside the town of Alencon in Normany, France ( Upon the gnome’s discovery, the statues had been repainted, were wearing spectacles in order to see in the dark and were found with large stores of pasta, supposedly so the gnomes would not go hungry in the wild (Mennes 2004: 46). Throughout 1997, the FLNJ stole over 150 garden gnomes, stating that the gnomes deserved the same freedoms as people. That year, the police arrested and convicted three men of the possession of 184 stolen gnomes. The men were given a prison sentence of two months each (Mennes 2004).

In September 1998, local residents of Briey France awoke to a grisly sight: 11 garden gnomes hanged by the neck from a bridge. A letter found nearby indicated the true horror of this tragedy, that these gnomes took their own lives ( The letter read, “When you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration.” Driven to the brink by their slave owners, these gnomes saw no alternative but to end it all, or so the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (Front de LibĂ©ration des Nains de Jardin) would have the public believe.

Following the mass suicide in 1998, the FLNJ remained quiet until the 2000 Paris garden show, which displayed over 2,000 gnomes. In a nighttime raid, the FLNJ ‘liberated’ twenty gnomes from the show. Following this reemergence, police in France issued a general security alert to gnome owners (Sampson 2000). Many gnome owners resorted to taking their sculptures indoors at night. The people of Gignac, near Montpellier even formed a vigilante patrol using a truck with an elevated platform and a powerful searchlight to thwart any potential liberators (Sampson 2000).

According to Harpers Index from 1996 to 2001 the FLNJ relocated over 6,000 gnomes to the forests of France (Mennes 2004: 47). Not all have been found. In 2001, 100 gnomes were discovered in a forest in the Vosges region of France, and the following day, 74 gnomes were arranged on the steps of a cathedral in Saint-Die (Mennes 2004: 47). That same year in Chavelot, dozens of gnomes were arranged in a traffic roundabout to spell out the words, ‘free the gnomes,’ (Mennes 2004: 47). As recent as 2006, the FLNJ stole 80 gnomes in the central Limousin region of France (

Many sister organizations to FLNJ now exist all over the world such as the Gnome Liberation Front and Gnome Liberation Army in the United Kingdom and Los Gnomos de Jardin Quieren Viajar in Spain. Others include Free The Gnomes in the United States and the Movimento Autonomo per la Liberazione delle Anime Giardino (MALAG) from Italy.

FreeTheGnomes, an American based gnome liberation group, is one of the youngest, founded only in 2006, but most widespread via the internet on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace ( Unlike other groups, they do not advocate gnome theft or criminal acts, but instead call upon their supporters to peacefully protest and petition gnome owners and governments to end oppressive gardening and emancipate captured gnomes. They also encourage the formation of local chapters of freethegnomes to work within the community. They have ongoing petitions to governments to legislate for gnome freedoms and long standing boycotts against businesses like Home Depot, which they refer to as Home Despot, who supply gnomes to potential slave owners (

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Little Gnome Facts - Day 3

  • Males indulge in pipe-smoking
  • Males think of marriage about age 200 years
  • Gnome women deck themselves out with blossoms or berry-bearing twigs for the celebrations
  • Greetings, farewells and goodnights are expressed by rubbing noses.
  • Gnomes are 7 times as strong as a man.
  • Brain capacity larger than man’s.
  • Hair grays very early, baldness unknown.
  • Life-span is around 400 years.
  • Gnomes are not tone deaf.
  • Fingertips as sensitive as those of a blind person.
  • Fingerprints are mainly of a circular pattern.
  • Heart attacks unknown.
  • Capable of smelling 19 times better than man.
  • Sense of direction (as good as a homing pigeon)
  • ESP...(nonverbal communication over great distances)
  • Weather forecasting
  • Visit their birthday tree yearly...often live under it
  • Birth of gnomes is always twins
  • Pregnancy lasts 12 months
  • Girl children are raised by their mothers and neighbor women in homely arts.
  • Boys at age 13 are taught the manly ways and taught his fathers trade
  • Boys at age 75 years are introduced to the members of the Regional Council, a few he may already know.
  • Gnomes love to dance and fine occasion to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Little Gnome History - Day 2

Hello two of my exciting thoughts from the garden. Since my friends found out I'm doing a blog, they're all asking if I'll mention them and of course I said I would. Today, I had tea with my friend Buddah. What a merry fellow, always smiling and happy as you can see by the picture I've added. He talks a good talk, but frankly, I think he's full of hot air and likes to hear himself talk. He has a spot on a chair where he sits all day smiling at the cars that drive by. While we were visiting, I took notice that the plant he sits next to, a day lilly, was infested with ants. Of all the plants in the garden, his is infested with a colony of ants...I find that kind of ironic since he's supposed to be such a holy fellow.

Today I thought I'd share some of the folklore of gnomes for those of you who may not be familiar with where we come from. Gnomes are elusive wee folk thought to bring luck and to be helpers to humans in the garden and house. Gnomes are small humanoid woodland creatures that stand approximately six inches tall and live for exactly 400 years.

Garden Gnomes, such as myself, traditionally wear red pointy hats and old fashioned tunics, often holding or using garden implements such as wheelbarrows or shovels...again, take note of my picture and you'll see I fit that description to a T. Gnomes generally live underground in elaborate tunnels, and remain unseen (Huygen: 1976). Gnomes act as guardian of woodland life, aiding wildlife in times of need and generally acting as protectors of forests and gardens (Huygen: 1976). Additionally, gnomes have the ability to travel large distances on the backs of other animals (Mennes 2004: 9).

In the 1800's, potters in Germany began to produce the first clay garden gnomes...I assume because we real ones are so elusive to humans. The use of garden statues soon spread to other European countries that expressed a love of gardening and a sense of humor (what exactly does that mean? are humans laughing at us?). These beautifully handcrafted garden statuary soon became treasured family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation, creating a family garden gnome history. But then in the 1960's mass production of plastic garden gnomes tarnished the reputation of the classic clay gnomes. There are only a few artists today who still make clay gnomes and there is only one in the USA, his name is Mr. Kimmel.

There has been a resurgence of interest in the garden gnome tradition. Gnomes have become a pop culture icon...the Travelocity Roaming gnome (he has a pretty sweet job)...and the movies The Full Monty and Amelie (my favorite movie of all time) featured garden gnomes...this has all brought an awareness of garden gnomes to a wider audience than ever.

Well, friends, on that note I say Cheerio and we'll chat more tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Greetings to All - Day 1

Hello name is Bart the Gnome. I wanted to share with the world my thoughts and experiences from the garden and my travels, so I decided to start my own blog. Don't know how exciting it will be for all of you tall, house-bound humans to read about my "little" life. I'm only about 2 feet tall you know, so I see the world from a different angle than most of you. I toil all day in the garden and see the goings on of the neighborhood. I'm currently hiding out next to a morning glory vine and have been watching the dratted beetles eating holes into the leaves. I must do something about them soon!

But I digress...unfortunately, I must share my garden home with four pesky hounds who are always trampling through my garden and lifting a leg to piss on my plants, or heaven forbid, me! There's also a crafty feline I must tend with. She's always trying to knock me over or jump over me, but I have more patience with her because she's still a kitten. Still, she's a pain in the arse. Besides these creatures and the havoc they wreak in my life, I lead a very simple life and I love it. I love to garden and I love to travel.

I'll be going on a short holiday this weekend, blessedly without the hounds, to North Carolina. I'll be sharing my adventures with you when I return. Ah, this is the life!