Monday, May 21, 2012

Better Gnomes and Gardens

Whee!  The springtime weather has me itching to get into the garden again and clear away all the winter debris.  Don't mistake my enthusiasm: I'm not overly fond of working in the yard (bad allergies, plus I loathe bugs -- I am truly an indoor kind of gal), but it's the end result that motivates me every time.  There's just nothing more satisfying than a well-tended yard bursting with annuals and perennials in full bloom.

Before I bought my current house, I was a hardcore city dweller, and that lone planter I tended on the fire escape, featuring a rotating crop of pretty flowers, didn't prepare me in any way for taking care of a whole yard.  In fact, I kind of hate the term "yard work," because if you have a house, you have yardS, front and back -- so really it's "yards work," plural, and frankly that's sometimes a bit much.

But like I said, I'm all about the results.  The process itself may suck, but I gamely drag my pasty, sun-phobic, insect-attracting self into the garden every week during spring and summer to make things pretty.  I'm awfully proud of it when it's all spiffed up.

And what garden wouldn't be complete without a garden gnome?  Or twenty.  Right?
Note: Not my yard.  Yet.

I must admit that since I've become obsessed with garden gnomes, the whole mucking-around-in-the-dirt thing has become a lot less unpleasant.  I'm not just weeding and leveling and planting for its own sake; I'm making a display area for yet another collection of kitschy stuff!  Much more palatable.

Naturally I went way overboard in the gnome acquisition arena.  One gnome quickly became two, then four, and it just spiraled out of control from there.  I have about 15 of the little fellows now, scattered about through the front garden.  (They're not visible from the street, as they're behind a waist-high retaining wall, so I'm not subjecting the neighbors to something they would no doubt consider dreadfully tacky.  Their loss!)

I tend to favor smaller gnomes, in the 4" to 6" height range, and of course vintage are always preferred.  I scored these little fellows recently, and since I already have a couple others from this particular set, I'm pretty stoked:
Such a merry little band, don't you think?

So after I found myself in possession of my first gnomes last year, I discovered another, previously unknown, aspect of gnome gardens that I'd never even considered: Gnome accessories.  Yes, apparently the little bastards needed their own stuff.

They had to have a gnome door, you see.  And a little bridge.  And a pathway made of cedar rounds, and a wee little pond.  And it all got so downright precious that even I was shaking my head and wondering if I'd finally lost it.
Image from my favorite Etsy gnome shop.

But hey, I'd finally found a way to make the yard work entertaining for myself.  And for others.  The gnome garden is right outside the living room window, where Gidget has her kitty condo, and she's very fond of lying in the top condo "cup" and surveying the tiny humans that she no doubt dreams of chasing like moths, or enslaving to form a little army that will scratch her chin and feed her salmon flakes all day long.

As soon as I've finished sprucing up the gnome garden for this year, I'll post some pics here so all can share in its gnomely goodness.

Question of the day: Were Snow White's dwarfs actually renegade garden gnomes who broke free of yard work and went into the precious gem business?  Discuss.

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