I don’t know the carrying capacity of gnomes in the average suburban house, but I think we’ve reached or exceeded it in ours. I’d always liked gnomes — at least since college, but never had one (that I remembered) until a few years ago when Clare and I went to the beach with a friend and her daughter. There we bought a plaster garden gnome. I think I’d recently seen Amélie and thought a garden gnome would be perfect in our garden. He’s since disappeared. I suspect foul play.
After that gnome, I wanted a “real” one. I wanted a ceramic one made in a foreign land. I requested one for Christmas and my wish was granted. Although this gnome was made in the USA, his design is Old World according to the website from which he was purchased. The bottom of his foot says his name is Sedgewick.
Sedgewick (the Flickr page has his name wrong) loves to watch over plants and looks very smug when he is doing his job. I’ve noticed he looks a little unhappy when he has no plant to guard, but I’ve been told that is just plain crazy. Here is a close-up of his face as he stands on the fireplace mantle in the dead of winter nowhere near a plant. I think he is sneering. What do you think?
A few years ago I found a box of items I’d had since my Jeremy days and one of the items was a gnome he’d made from resin. When he gave it to me, back in the 1970’s, I’m not sure I even knew what it was — and didn’t necessarily like it a lot. Now I do and have it sitting on a window frame in my office.
The next two gnomes were bought because I have little self-control when standing in long lines at Barnes and Noble. These guys were in tiny boxes on a swivel shelf near the check-out. They each came with background photos you could change at your whim to make it seem as if they were either in front of a cottage or in an exotic location. I sent one of these to my mom’s friend, Larry, when he was in the hospital. He liked it and was a good sport about being told he resembled one.
While shopping at Plow and Hearth last year, I found a sitting gnome and, of course, picked him up because I didn’t have a sitting gnome. He sat next to the antique clock on the fireplace mantle until the clock broke and was taken to the repair shop. Now he sits on a high shelf next to the Whistle Wizard and another sitting gnome that my neighbor and friend, Bob, gave me for Christmas this year. Bob didn’t know I liked gnomes, but did know I liked birds — and the gnome is holding a cardinal.
The last gnome is one that my daughter made me in art class when she was in middle school. It is my only female gnome and the only other one besides the Plow and Heart one that resembles the gnomes from the Gnomes book by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet. I have a copy of Gnomes, but never really liked that style of gnome for some reason. (But Clare, I love yours!)
Actually we do have one more gnome in the house. Clare bought it for Andrew for Christmas. I didn’t take a photo of it, because it doesn’t belong to me, but here’s a picture from another blog. Can you tell what team he follows?
I don’t know for sure what started me collecting gnomes in the first place — probably the Gnomes book, but there’s sure been a population explosion in recent years. I think I need to stop. I won’t throw any away, but I won’t acquire any more.
At least I say that now…