Garden Gnome

A garden gnome’s friendly smile may not be as it seems…

  • Garden gnomes are human-like figurines based on dwarves, typically used in gardens for decorative purposes.
  • ‘Garden gnomes’ are also known as ‘lawn gnomes’ or are simply called ‘gnomes’.
  • The stereotypical garden gnome is a bearded-white male with a red hat, though variations exist.
  • Garden gnomes have their history in statues that were placed in gardens during the Renaissance period in Europe, and in some of the 17th century statues, dwarves were depicted.
  • Some of the earliest manufacturers of garden gnomes were Johann Maresch and Adolph Baehr, who became partners in about 1841 and established a factory in Germany.
Garden Gnome, Dwarf, Invention, Stereotype, Old, Man, Red Hat, Assortment, CollectionGarden Gnome
Image courtesy of Pixabay
  • Early garden gnomes were made of clay, porcelain or wood, while modern ones are typically made of resin, plastic or ceramic; though cement, plaster and cast iron materials have also been used.
  • Gnomes, and garden gnomes by extension, traditionally are symbolic of good fortune; and they were likely to be first used in gardens because they were seen as protectors and night-time helpers.
  • Garden gnomes are generally painted in bright colours, and they are often depicted holding a garden tool or other object.
  • As a common practical joke, or as an act of vandalism in extreme cases, garden gnomes have been stolen – ‘kidnapped’ – from gardens, and been taken on a journey and photographed at places of interest.
  • Garden gnomes were popularised in Germany during the 1800s, and from there, the ornaments were distributed to England and other parts of Europe.
Garden Gnome, 2016, Wikipedia,
Lehman S, How the Tradition of Putting a Gnome in Your Garden Started, 2013, Today I Found Out,
White S, History of Gnomes, 2016, LoveToKnow,


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