Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Antique Photo of Child With Garden Gnome

I've been wanting to do a little theme on garden gnomes for awhile (I adore gnomes), and I thought I'd start with this: a 1920s German photograph of a little boy with his gnome.

Kind of a creepy-looking gnome, no?

Garden gnomes got their start way back in the mid-1800s in Germany. The earliest were made of terracotta and were finely sculpted. Travelers to Germany took the gnomes back to France and England, where they became very popular with hobby gardeners. In America, these ornamental figures are often referred to as lawn, not garden, gnomes, perhaps reflecting the suburbanite obsession with their little plots of grass.

To learn more about gnomes, check out Garden Gnomes: a History, by the oddly yet aptly named garden historian Twigs Way.


  1. Gnomes, trolls - all the same, really.

  2. That's a common misconception, but no: gnomes live in mushroom houses, trolls live under bridges. And eat billy goats. Your standard gnome tends to be vegetarian.

  3. I find both gnomes and trolls to be very creepy but that fellow above is the worst!!!!
    I love how you give such interesting lessons Tracy!!!!
    Great photo!