Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Did you know there is actually significance of having gnomes in your garden today on Southern Gardening
We’ve all seen them in other people’s yards, Gnomes are those creatures of woodland legend and represent a most elemental spirit of the earth. Gnome is a derivation of the Greek word for “earth dweller”.
Garden gnomes were first used in German gardens of the mid-1800s. Made out of earthy terra cotta, they were painted and clothed like miners of the day, including the cute little pointed hats. From there they spread to France and England. In parts of Europe the presence of a garden gnome is a status symbol. Today, mass produced and made of plastic, they are found in the four corners of the globe.
Garden gnomes are said to bring good luck and goodwill to the garden and gardener who invites them in. It is believed that at night the gnomes will help out with some of the smaller garden chores. Just hoping this is true is enough to have at least one in the yard.
Garden gnomes are completely self-sufficient. No additional care or feeding is required. A little shade and light rain are all they need. It doesn’t hurt to give some gentle encouragement every once in a while.
Try referring to your gnome in a foreign language. In Norway they are called Nisse, who protects the farm animals. In Albanian they are called dude, or is that California?
Yard art is always a fun way to express to the world your garden personality. And what better way than to have a gnome or two in the garden. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.