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Article Archive >> Featured Topics

The Garden Gnome; A Culture All It's Own

The Garden Gnome; A Culture All It's Own
by Gordon Petten

The Garden Gnome is not just another yard figurine. It has it's own distinguished history, culture and controversy attached to it. Before you buy a Garden Gnome for your home be sure to know all of the factors that go along with it.
For starters the history of the Garden Gnome dates back to Germany in the 1800's. The original statues were made out of clay and were hand crafted. They then made their way to England in the mid 1800s. Around the late 1800's to the 1900's they made their way into America. During WWII production of these figurines came to an abrupt halt. The German factories were commandeered and converted to support the war efforts. In 1960's the gnomes picked up popularity again however, they were mass-produced using plastic. Because so many of them were produced they gained the stigma for being a tacky lawn ornament. The clay handcarved Garden Gnomes has been a family heirloom for many families. The Clay figurines are making a come back of sorts; more companies are reviving the old tradition.
Any Garden Gnome enthusiast will tell you that Garden Gnomes are wonderful creatures that are very good luck to have in your garden. They are primarily vegetarians, joyful little people who enjoy having fun and helping out with things. It is believed that having one in your garden will be helpful in the day-to-day activities that are necessary to proper garden management. It is believed that they have an excellent ability to be able to reflect on history and an even better perspective on the future.
Not all people have such a jovial perception of the Garden Gnome. There are some that disagree with the use of the Garden Gnome. They believe that to have a Garden Gnome in the home is slavery and that the Garden Gnome should be freed. There are groups that will take a Garden Gnome from a yard if they see it. Relocating it to the forest where they believe they find their freedom. A few of the groups choose to operate under the radar, sneaking into people's yards and stealing these figurines. There is a political group that actively lobbies for the ban of Garden Gnome slavery.
Whether you are a follower of the Garden Gnome culture or just someone who thinks they are cut enough to go in your yard these figurines have a lot of history behind them and can be a wonderful addition to your yard. Just be sure to keep them away from the gnome liberators if you would like to keep them for a long period of time.

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