Garden gnomes have inspired an enthusiastic and devoted cult following, both in the real world and in cyberspace. Perhaps nowhere is the garden gnome’s cult status more apparent than in North Devon, England at The Gnome Reserve and Wildflower Garden.
This unique attraction is fun for everyone, with a reserve where garden gnomes can run free, a wildflower meadow, a stream and pond and woodlands. The natural beauty of the English countryside can only be enhanced in one way, gnomes! This unique park does it best, with over 1,000 gentle gnomes in residence. Non-conformists are discouraged, so tall, pointy hats and fishing poles are handed out to visitors so they’ll feel more at home with the gnomes.
Special exhibits walk the visitor through the manufacture and painting of gnomes, and a gnome museum documents the history of this fascinating race. It is rumored that at night, the small army of gnomes on site plants and tends the wildflower reserve and fishes in the pond.
While the Gnome Reserve is perhaps the largest gnome home in the world, garden gnomes are celebrated elsewhere as well, especially on the web. A very cute site called nigelthegnome.com chronicles a Florida gnome’s travels across the United States in pictures. Websites selling garden gnomes abound, most selling traditional gnomes and others selling specialty gnomes.
One of the most interesting gnome websites is a storefront that sells garden gnomes who look suspiciously like George W. Bush! We aren’t sure if they’re illegitimate offspring or relatives, but the resemblance is uncanny. See for yourself at www.bushgnome.com.
Another gnome place in cyberspace is thenaughtygnome.com, a specialty site that features gnomes with a special appreciation for the moon.
As with any minority population, garden gnomes are not accepted and loved by everyone. There are a lot of gnome hate sites out there with a lot of really negative, hateful postings. We can only hope that someday, garden gnomes can also make their dream of a better world where they can live free from prejudice a reality. Certainly garden gnome cult following is a sign that the times, they are a’changing.
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