Moosey Guide to Garden Gnomes
Garden gnomes - so many different species are now available for the discerning gardener, from chubby ceramic Disney Dwarves to curly-bearded chaps copied from European arboreal forest originals. Your average common-garden gnome? There's no such thing anymore.
Moosey Garden Gnomes
Over fifty garden gnomes now live at Mooseys. My favourite chaps are solid (concrete, or plaster) and a little bit retro, relics of the style-setting urban gardens of the 70s and 80s. I have strong views as to their requirements, and strive to do my very best for them in my own garden. Perhaps I can help other gardeners similarly afflicted...
A Touch of the Forest
Gnomes like a touch of the forest, with trees and green shrubs. But they are shy chaps by nature, most comfortable when they feel small in their garden world. They dislike being surrounded by little coloured things like pansies and begonias. Often a gnome is forced to be a part of some artificial structure, like a tiddly rockery. This is a definite no-no - the gnome feels far too noticeable, and looks silly. Some gardeners might suggest that a garden gnome always looks silly...
Families of Moosey Gnomes
They respond well to being placed near water, since one of the brothers is bound to enjoy a spot of fishing on the side. But again the scale is important - a tiny paddling pool will not really do. Gnomes, like humans, like to watch ripples and reflections, and love staring dreamily over the water at the opposite bank. So they need a decent pond with interesting waterside vegetation.
Red Hats, Please!
Responsible gnome care-givers will naturally provide decent clothing. Bright colours are best, and no gnome minds a freshening up when his coat or trousers are peeling. But there's one absolute rule - red hats. A gnome's hat must be red. Paint his hat powder blue and he'll look like a smurf - and he'll suffer! Pastels like mauve or pink? Eek! Gnomes need gender clarity, something a red hat will guarantee.
The Last Moosey Gnome
Be careful giving your gnome green and brown clothes. He can become a little too camouflaged and therefore confused, making him even shyer than usual. Remember - Robin Hood was not a garden gnome.
Too Many Gnomes?
Can a garden have too many gnomes? One gnome is one too many, according to some... Yet in the right garden setting (preferably large, green, and countrified) groups of garden gnomes can enhance the garden's beauty, as well as enjoying the good life. Gnomes thrive in the company of other gnomes - an only gnome is a lonely gnome.
Concrete frogs, for example, are not appropriate companions. Think about it - would you enjoy philosophising about life and the garden universe with a concrete frog?
Unfortunately the issue of 'too many gnomes' won't go away in my garden. I'm at the stage when the new chaps don't even get names any more. Oh dear - it's surely time to put a cap on it (or a red hat, hee hee). So I've asked my straightest-laced friend to bear witness. I have enough gnomes and will not be actively acquiring any more. Unless, of course, the gnome is spectacularly delightful, in a retro concrete sort of way...