We always see garden gnomes, but have you ever wondered why we put gnomes in the garden? When did this tradition started? What’s behind the idea of putting gnomes in your garden?
The tradition of putting gnomes in gardens traces back to the 1800s in England. Unlike the mass-produced garden gnomes (made of plastic or plaster) that we know today, the earliest gnomes were made of clay. They first known gnomes were made in Germany but it was in England where they became popularly used as garden ornament. By 1870s, mass-produced garden gnomes for sale were sold on stalls. Popular German manufacturers included August Heissner and Philipp Griebel. Heissner’s gnomes were so popular that they even made it around the world.
The two world wars temporarily stopped the production of these garden ornaments in Germany. But soon after peace time, the garden gnomes again went on sale. The production of plastic gnomes during the 1960’s helped make the tradition of putting them on gardens become more popular. However, these plastic-made gnomes appear cartoonish and campy which many people disliked.
It was the cheaper imitations of the German products manufactured in Poland and the Czech Republic during the 1980’s that further spread the tradition. These gnomes – being very much like the German gnomes but sold at very affordable price – flooded the market. They were very popular.
In the US, Kimmel Gnomes was among the few manufacturers of handmade garden gnomes. Their products where made of resin and clay and came in different sizes, styles and designs.
Still the question, why do we put gnomes in gardens?
According to folklore, gnomes are a symbol of fortune and good luck. These tiny creatures provided protection, especially of minerals or treasures that are buried beneath the ground. In fact, these garden gnomes for sale are not only used for gardens but also to watch over livestock and crops. They can sometimes be found in the rafters of a barn. Many farmers today still believe that invoking the power of the gnome would give then better harvest. These otherworldly beings are believed to protect the farm from pests, thieves, drought and other problems. They also through gnomes looked over their crops at night.
In modern garden and landscaping design, gnomes add character and value to the garden. Aside from providing a connection the old world, the gnomes can be a central design piece to any garden. They can transform a simple garden into a better looking space and even invite you a world of fantasy and magic!
Fairytales and folklore didn’t generally describe how gnomes exactly looked like, but they are thought to wear simple gardening clothes, with white, long beard, and wearing a red hat. There are also female gnomes which are depicted to have long hair and looked more like witches. You can find various gnomes in all sorts of poses, costumes and designs. The simple gnome with a shovel is still the bestseller, but there are also interesting configurations like skiing gnomes, beer-drinking gnomes, sitting gnomes, and many more. With all the different gnome designs available, you just have to choose which one best suits your garden design and theme.