Six Places Your Garden Gnome May Go

Posted by on October 16, 2009

garden gnomes 001

Some friends we know keep chickens, others keep dogs, cats, or hamsters. We keep garden gnomes.

Our garden gnomes, ‘Chrys’ (Chrysanthemum), Poppy, and ‘Larky ‘(Larkspur), are great to have in the garden – not only for their entertainment value, but they can also be a big help. They won’t tell you, but weeding is one of their many talents and loves.

Going on 4 years old now, our gnomes have entertained us in many ways; they have also shown a pattern of traits. We found, on occasion, they can get into mischief; but honestly, that is part of their charm.

By their very nature, garden gnomes like to travel. Most days, they travel about the garden. Occasionally, one will leave for an extended period of time. When they leave Helen’s Haven, they always travel alone, never in pairs. It may be days before we discover one has gone off. However, they usually let us know their whereabouts by sending a post card. Once, while we were traveling in London, we actually saw Larky on the BBC with other gnomes on holiday he hooked up with. This is just like something Larky would do.

Invariable, when one takes off, the other two miss their companion and will even pine in his absence. On such occasions, one or both will act out to gain attention. A couple of times, we found them inside the house. We didn’t let them stay though, even when they said, “pleeeeeeeeaaase.” Their place is in the garden.

We only have male gnomes. This is probably not good feng shui, but garden gnomes need space to fully thrive. Too many in a small area may restrict their good nature. We have only read this as fact. We don’t want to test the theory in the event the literature is right. Some things in nature just shouldn’t be done. If we had females, we are likely to have babies and then we may not have enough space to support them. Besides, three is a good number. At least it works for us.

My kids have found Chrys, Poppy, and Larky in the most interesting places. Here are six of their favorite places in the garden:

  1. Under the bird bath in the Mixed Border. They like feeling the splash the birds make.
  2. Sitting on the table on the back porch. Here, they like to look inside the house. This was kinda creepy at first, but we got use to it.
  3. Near the butterfly mudding dish. Note – they will not hurt or eat the butterflies. They just enjoy them up close and personal.
  4. Under the fig tree. They do like their figs.
  5. Under the bird feeder. One of their favorite past times is to sneak up behind the squirrels and say “boo.”
  6. Near the speakers so they can hear the music. They can do a mean electric slide.

Our gnomes have been to London, Cairo (they said they wont go back, because a camel spit on them), St. Thomas (they said they didn’t want to come home; thankfully, they did) and they have been to NYC a few times. They like the City. In the end, they always came home…but then again, they haven’t been to Paris…if they do go, I fear they will never return; once you see Paris….

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum.

22 responses to “Six Places Your Garden Gnome May Go”

  1. Liz says:

    Great post! I love gnomes, they make me smile.Despite my name, I don’t actually have any gnomes of my own – unless you count my daughters, the Gnomelets! One day my gnome will come….! 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Ooops, just realised that my blog name doesn’t show up on your comments thingy……… I’m Nutty Gnome!

  3. Yep Liz, they make me smile too. Those crazy guys! Here’s hoping your gnomes come soon! H

  4. Janet says:

    Too cute! We used to do the ‘moving Nutcracker’ thing with ours when they were little. Of course, the Nutcrackers were only out at Christmas.

  5. I’m sure you are aware that even with their travel benefits garden Gnomes are among the worlds most abused and enslaved species. Take action here Otherwise, send me to Paris–pleeeeeze!

  6. Carole says:

    I love that they send postcards when they go away! That’s so nice of them.

  7. Jane says:

    Oh cute things with gnomes! I have always hesitated acquiring any but now after reading your post…I’m hooked. Thanks for the smiles today.

  8. I love the idea of your roaming gnomes. Too bad about the camel spitting. \
    I have a soft spot for a good, old fashioned concrete garden gnome. My grandmother had many in her garden and I loved them as a kid. They were cute. (Not like some I see today in the garden centres.) Yours remind me of hers.

  9. TC says:

    I can’t be sure, but I thought I saw a gnome up on Spider Rydge, just across from Tucker Holler in south-central Kentucky. It was high up in a paw-paw tree eatin the fruit. Weird, those gnomes.

  10. LOL! I love gnomes, in other people’s gardens.

  11. Janit says:

    Very fun post, Helen! I’m putting it up on my fan page now… Thanks for the chuckle!!

  12. HelenYoest says:

    MMD, I understand complete. H.

  13. HelenYoest says:

    Thanks, Janit! H.

  14. Hi Helen,

    We were surfing the web for pictures of gnomes and found this wonderful little guy in your blog here is the link . . .

    We are wondering if you are the owner of the picture and would allow Hospice Caring, Inc. to use it in a flyer for our Spring Fair to be held on May 21, 2011. We would be more than happy to adveritise “picture provided by

  15. HelenYoest says:

    Jamie, I would be honored! Both my mom and dad received Hospice care. Our experiences could not have been better!

  16. Porshiana says:

    Helen. Please please help me. My belated father always told us he was a giant gnome. It’s a big thing in our family. He looked EXACTLY like the gnome picture at the top of this page. Eyes, nose, everything. Well, his body proportions were quite a bit more human of course. Anyway, I NEED that gnome to sit on his urn (it’s flat). Can you give me any information as to who made it, where it came from, etc so I can get one? If your not sure, any writing or engraving or numbers found on it. Anything. Thank you so this would mean do much to me.

  17. HelenYoest says:

    Porshiana, I purchased the gnome more than 8 years ago from Target. I’m not sure where to suggest you look for it now. I often find great ones at the flea market and import or antique stores. Good luck finding the perfect gnome to remember your dad. H.

  18. My garden gnome loves the birdbath also. It’seems in a shady spot in my yard so he stays cool even in the hottest weather.

  19. HelenYoest says:

    Yes, I find that happening here too. 😉

  20. Katherine says:

    Hello Helen, I’d love to be able to use your gnome image as an illustration to a short story. He’s of just the right age and thoughtfulness. Let me know if this interests you and I’ll send you a copy of the story. Thanks!

  21. HelenYoest says:

    Sure that will be fine.

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