Friday, 17 October 2008

"I beg your pardon...

... I never promised you a gnome garden...".
Ok, so that's not the proper word in the song, but it fits well!
Hubby is distressed. Hubby hates gnomes. I, on the other hand, adore gnomes and have conspired to pass this love on to the beautiful boy.
My favourite books as a child were about fairytale lands where people were little and wore red hats, and the plantlife was always oversized - daisy trees, mushroom picnic canopies, conker shell houses.
This book was my absolute favourite.What child could resist those tiny hidden doorways and all the jolly folk in pointy red caps, smoking pipes and sloshing tankards of beer .... yes really!
I so very desperately wanted to find hidden doors and tunnels in our gardens. I spent long hours looking. And when I couldn't find them I would build them myself. At my granny's garden I was allowed to arrange all her gnomes into my very own little fairyland, always around the sunken sink 'pond'. I would cut flowers and poke them into the lawn for a forest, gather all her wonderfully kitsch garden ornaments and spend hours just imagining myself small enough to become a part of the landscape I had created.
I have often told the beautiful boy about these miniature worlds. We even visited our nearest model village, a tiny example of Bekonskot, the model village I remember visiting when I was a child.
And now he has created this...
We have a gnome garden!
To encourage his artistry I took him on a detour after school one afternoon to Gnome Crossing. It is a long way down a dead-end track, not far from Strumpshaw Fen and where the mainline railway crosses the road.
One of those wonderfully English Eccentric places, full of individuality and devil-take-fashionable-opinion- this-is-my-home attitude which I so admire!
Many of the gnomes and ornaments have been repainted in garish colours to keep them cheerful. My gran also used to do this - once a year lining up her little folk along the back path for a quick refurb.
The beautiful boy was completely awestruck, both by the world of wonderment before him, and the fact that it was possible to walk across a mainline railway without any obvious way of knowing if a train were coming - there were lights and bells but really the only clear sign was when the express train whoosed you just a metre the other side of a flimsy gate!
This wise old owl was a great favourite of course.
And I love the use of old car wheels and tyres to create a display - makes you smile that people pretend recycling is a new idea!
So, newly inspired, our gnome garden has developed into something more! A veritable living community of woodlanders in their timber yard...
and in the undergrowth of weeds, small communities can be spied!
It has become so much an agony to long-suffering hubby that the beautiful boy and I are planning a relocation to a newly developed quiet corner of our garden, where they will have their own secret little space in a horseshoe of box hedging. Who knows, we might even build a little wooden door when the hedge is sufficiently grown!
I have not yet offered these little folk to the growing gnome village. They are the remaining few of my granny's tiny pot gnomes.
These are the little folk who populated the gardens of my childhood dreams and after seeing divine cakes at the Vintage Magpie, I think these tiny chaps can stay in the kitschen for a little while!
These two are bigger and I am keen to preserve what is left of the original colouring.
Did you ever see two more kindly and benign faces?
What's not to love?
t.x

10 comments:

Josie-Mary said...

Ohhh how lovely...I love gnomes. I live in Devon & we have a gnome world, everyone has to wear a gnome hate while walking around. It's lovely but very funny seeing all the men in hats looking very unhappy!!! I like the photo's with all the garden figures, this could be my garden. I have lots of figures, I do like them...lions are my fav.
You now have me singing that song!!! :) xx

Cocoa and blankets said...

I used to do exactly the same in my garden at home, I had a little plastic pixie which I was convinced came alive when I turned away - I loved little hollows in tres where pixies lived. My favourite books were the Enid Blyton's 'folk of the far away tree'. I also used to love the woods near my home which had hollows and hiding places under roots. Do you remember poggles wood on television?? ( you may be too young) My dad and I would walk our dog through the woods evey night ( we called them poggles wood) and talk about the enchanted people who lived there... you have just brought back many happy childhood memorys thank you - I smile as I type......

BusyLizzie said...

I was also mad about miniature gardens & villages as a child. Loved the link to Bekonscot.. I will try to visit next time I am passing that way!
There was a model village in Polperro that I visited as a child.. does anyone know if it is still there?

missvandroo said...

What a wonderful Gnome Village he made! I still look for doors at the bases of trees...maybe I'll find one someday...
:o)

Sal said...

It is all fabulous! I'm so tempted to go outside and do a gnome garden!! I love the old books too...Excellent!;-)

Kitschen Pink said...

J-M - a whole world!! how wonderful is that! t.x

C&B - do I remember?!?!? Other than my ugly big brother you are the only person on the planet who has ever seen this programe!! We began to think we'd imagined it! I was so litte and it must have been my earliest TV memory but it was definately a strong influence! Have you ever found it on DVD?! t.x

BL - you need to do a map of all the miniature villages and we can do a virtual tour!! t.x

MV - keep looking! t.x

Sal - go do it!! t.x

Hen said...

Hi T,
I just loved this post as soon as I clapped eyes on it as I just adore gnomes and the other half thinks it's a bit nutty (as it seems do most other people). I have amassed a little bit of gnomiana(?!) recently and just last week, spotted a toadstool money box which I hitherto thought I couldn't justify... Great that you have shared this passion with the beautiful boy, miniature worlds are always so intriguing, I just know the Munchkin would love a gnomeland too...
Hen x

tim said...

Hello. I'm from Bekonscot. We're still here! And so is the village at Polperro, if you're interested. Hurrah!

So pleased that you enjoyed Merrivale Model Village in Gt Yarmouth too. Did you know that Enid Blyton wrote a book called the Enchanted Village, about two children exploring the magical world of Bekonscot? It's only very short but is on ebay sometimes - and we have a reprint for sale in our little shop.

Looking forward to seeing your gnome village develop... why not build a little railway for the gnomes to travel on...?

Bestest

Tim

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Oh, memories of Bekonscot...how lovely. We used to go there regularly when we lived in Hertfordshire.
Have you been to the Isle of Wight too? Black Gang Chine was a magical place, but I suspect much of it has fallen into the sea now....

I really think that you should try and find a copy of the Enid Blyton book as suggested by Tim - I'm sure BB would love it....

Good luck on the gnome hunt to add to your collection,
Niki x

Atonda said...

I just ran across your blog. I am planning to build a Gnome garden this spring/summer 2012 I have been collecting now for a year.Still looking for girl Gnomes. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

Atonda