Gnomes and their Social Needs...
Gnomes at Book Club
Garden gnomes have a strong culture of sociability. They cannot just be plonked here and there in a garden, willy-nilly, thoughtlessly. There's more going on beneath those red hats than you could ever imagine. Gnomes have quite specific social needs.
Take, for example, reading gnomes. A group of my gnomes are avid readers - some lie down propped on their elbows, others sit on toadstools. They'd been agitating for ages about forming a Book Club, to meet together and share literary ideas, (or even swap books, provided nobody was watching).
The Reading Stump!
So when a large tree with multiple branches by the pond was felled, Non-Gardening Partner levelled all the stumps off at knee height to form little gnome-sized platforms. The reading chaps jumped at the chance to have their Book Club meetings here. And so the Reading Stump came to be.
Gnomes on the Reading Stump
Gnomes are an inclusive lot, so a small group of pipe-smoking gnomes were graciously allowed to join Book Club as associate members, with listening rights only. Something to think about while they puffed away...
Book Club Gnomes on the Reading Stump
Shortly after seeing the success of Book Club, the industrious gnomes (busy pushing wheelbarrows and lawn mowers, wielding shovels, or carrying watering cans) formed their own special Working Gnomes Club.
A special guest speaker!
Gathered around the white wire garden bench each afternoon, they'd wait for the guest speaker (the gardener) to arrive with her cup of tea. She'd then give them an interesting lecture on the Roman empire, or Antarctic exploration, or whatever the topic of her latest book was. Certainly something to combat the drudgery of wheel-barrowing, lawn-mowing, watering, or shoveling...
Gnomes Around the White Chair
The fishing gnomes were the last group to get together. In my limited experience, each fishing person claims their own special fishing spot and are not keen to share it with others. I thought it would be the same with gnomes, so I spread my fishing chaps out around the pond, each in his own space. I didn't realise how lonely they were.
One happy day a visiting four-year-old helped the fishing gnomes to organise their own Fishing Club, on the muddy pond edge by the water lilies. A gnome playing the accordian was placed nearby to provide light entertainment, for when the fishy conversation dried up. A couple of others - just watching - lurked underneath the nearby Phormium - possible new recruits.
Misfits and Loners...
There are always, in any society, some misfits and loners. Just a few lone gnomes have chosen to enjoy the pond in solitude - a couple of snail-riders, a couple of daisy-sniffers, a lazybones snoozing gnome, and a gnome with a hunting rifle (who has been banished deep into the Gunnera, for reasons of political correctness).