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The garden gnomes’ revenge. May 29, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. As savvy gardeners know, gazing balls emerged from trailer-trash status to garden designers’ darlings a couple of decades ago. It suddenly occurred to the gardening cognoscenti that silver balls of various sizes could be tucked into garden beds and floated in water to create beautiful, affordable points of interest. And for those with a taste for bold colors, purple, red and gold gazing balls could be featured in beds with matching foliage or flowers or used as contrast (for example, red gazing balls nested in chartreuse foliage and orange or blue flowers).

Gnomes, on the other hand, have remained on the fringes, in the gardens of folks with 5,000 other tacky statues or adorning the properties of eccentric Brits. Small wonder in the U.S., where gonmes bring to mind Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” or the Travelocity gnome.

My own feeling about garden gnomes is sentimental, thanks to the film “The Full Monty.” I wouldn’t want a gnome in my own garden (or any statue, for that matter), but I loved the movie, and my favorite scenes involved gnomes. In one priceless scene, a central character is having a critical job interview. He looks up and sees his two beloved garden gnomes behind the interviewer, apparently jousting. Unable to focus on the interviewer’s questions, he’s horrified as one gnome smashes in the other’s head. (Fortunately, there’s a happy ending; he gets the job and his repaired gnomes back.)

Little did I know that garden gnomes were taking revenge for being slighted in gardening circles. Today I got an e-mail from Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery (www.plantdelights.com) that brought me up to date on gnome activities. According to Tony, Britain’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show had banned garden gnomes from its inception as a slap in the face to the hoi polloi. But it has relented this year in honor of its 100th anniversary. Gnome lovers, including Elton John, have responded appropriately, stepping up to support their favorites.

But finally being allowed into the sacred halls of Chelsea has not been enough to stem the gnomes’ wrath. Be afraid. Be very afraid! Author Chuck Sambuchino is ready with a book to help you fend off a gnome onslaught, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack. And the Utah State University has released a video, “Gnome Management in the Garden.” Zombies, step back. The gnomes are coming!

‘Til next time,

Silence

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