Whether you love them or you are creeped out by them, you have likely heard of garden gnomes. Typically, these figurine lawn ornaments boast full, white beards and pointed red hats, but they come in all shapes and sizes. Garden enthusiasts have popularized humorous and unique types of gnomes as they add a splash of folklore and good fortune to your garden. This article will explain the history of garden gnomes and all the information you will need to get started with your very own garden gnome collection.
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Garden Gnome History
Garden gnomes became popular in Europe by the 1800s. In Switzerland and Germany, folklore started to be associated with these wooden gnome figurines. Believed to watch over a garden and livestock, garden gnomes became synonymous with good luck. Following the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1930, the garden gnome craze grew even more. Throughout the 1900s, garden gnomes became popular in homes and as garden ornaments across the globe.
Collecting garden gnomes might be too much of an effort for some people. Luckily, there is a tourist attraction in Devon, England with all the gnomes you could want. Known by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest gnome collection, the Gnome Reserve hosts over 2,000 garden gnome figurines. Stretching 4 acres, this reserve is home to a picturesque landscape and enough gnomes to keep you company. If you are ever in England and are a garden gnome enthusiast, the Gnome Reserve is a must-see tourist attraction.
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Garden gnomes are not just known for staying to watch over your garden. Beginning in 1970, many people stole garden gnomes temporarily. Luckily, the gnomes do not leave for long. A garden gnome is stolen from someone’s garden, only to return with a picture of the gnome in some foreign or funny location. Sometimes, the garden gnome will be returned with a cryptic message that were supposedly written by the travelling gnome. The traveling gnome is the cultural phenomenon and lead to another surge in garden gnome popularity. This practical joke increased garden gnome popularity throughout the 2000s, especially with the travelling gnome feature in the 2001 film Amelie.
Garden Gnome Types
Although the most common garden gnome is a bearded male with a red pointed cap, there is a great variety of garden gnome types. There are humorous garden gnomes or even some darker themed gnomes such as zombie garden gnomes. This section will outline some of the more popular types of garden gnomes to this day.
Are you a fan of dark humor or do you want to create the perfect Halloween themed garden? If so, then zombie garden gnomes are perfect for you. Typically set up in eerie ways, zombie garden gnomes will spook unsuspecting visitors.
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Not all garden gnomes are old, white, and bearded men. Female garden gnomes have recently taken off but have existed since the beginning of garden gnome history. Even the old wooden gnomes from Germany had some examples of female garden gnomes. If you do not like the look of traditional garden gnomes, then collecting a female gnome will add good luck to your garden without the rustic aesthetics of male gnomes.
Manufacturers stopped making garden gnomes from wood when gnomes became popular and mainstream. Instead, plastic gnomes are the cheapest alternative. However, not every collector wants the cheap feel of a plastic ornament. Instead, metal garden gnomes are a great and durable addition to a garden. While not as colorful as typical gnomes, metal garden gnomes are extremely long lasting and will bless your garden will good luck for the long term.
The fans of dark humor do not stop at just zombie garden gnomes. Evil garden gnomes explore the dark humor of garden gnomes without the supernatural theme. Evil garden gnomes might sound creepy and off putting, but some enthusiasts love them. While evil garden gnomes are a broad category, they all share one characteristic – they are pure evil! Perhaps this means a gnome shown to stab another in the back, or maybe it is just a gnome with creepy features. Whatever your desire, evil garden gnomes are a funny collector’s ornament to spook and delight your friends.
Vintage garden gnomes
For the fans of the traditional and original gnomes, vintage garden gnomes are the most collectable gnome. Typically, vintage garden gnomes are wooden and date back over a hundred years to Germany or Switzerland. Vintage gnomes are eagerly sought after by hardcore collectors, and a truly vintage garden gnome is worth good deal of money. As vintage garden gnomes are usually too old and valuable to be kept in your outdoor garden, collectors keep these gnomes in good conditions to prevent ware and tare.
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Not all garden gnomes stay in the home front. A popular type of gnome, the combat garden gnomes, are ready for war! These gnomes range from sporting camo to being equipped with rocket launchers. Combat garden gnomes do not only bring good luck, but they are also prepared to defend your garden from any and all invaders! This hilarious type of garden gnome is a popular collector’s item that any audience can enjoy.