A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of my unruly, not-so-British garden. Since then, I have spent at least 3 full days in the garden, weeding, trimming bushes, spreading weed prevention pellets, and more. Although the garden looks much better than it did before, it is still no where near my image of a true English Garden. So to compensate, I did what any English Garden-loving person would do – I bought a Garden Gnome.
Please welcome the newest member of the Bistro Chic family, Merlin the Garden Gnome (yes, that is his real name). Merlin comes from a long line of gnomes who have inhabited gardens all around the world.
Gnomes became popular a few years ago with the French movie Amelie, about a young woman who sent her father’s garden gnome all around the world, hoping it would, in turn, inspire her father to do his own traveling. Travelocity also popularized the gnome in its marketing campaigns, showing the gnome in many different travel situations.
But, before garden gnomes were seen as globe trotters, they were known for guarding gardens in Germany (that’s where they get their Bavarian look), and eventually migrated to Great Britain in the mid 19th century where they became overnight celebrities. As the legend goes, true garden gnomes protect and bring good luck to the gardens they inhabit. They are said to like mingling with the animals into the wee hours of the morning and are known for playing tricks on garden owners.
Although many British now consider them kitsch, the rosey-cheeked dwarves remain quite promiment in the gardens of England – although the Chelsea Garden Show did ban garden gnomes this year.
Now, I don’t plan to send my garden gnome on his own adventures all around the world, I do have a special assignment for him – one that I have fondly named, the G-Gnome Project. Merlin has been charged with restoring order back into my chaotic garden. This will be a challenging task, but one that any green-blooded garden gnome would welcome.
And if by the end of the summer, my efforts to better manage my garden become futile, I will still, at the very least, have a cute garden gnome.