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About Mardi Bits

My next creative project is to handcraft gnomes for indoor art and display.

My gnomes will have the same general look as garden gnomes, produced throughout the world, and described in stories - long white beard, a red hat and simple clothes. But that’s where the comparison will end.

My gnomes will be be found in all sorts of different costumes and configurations. But only in two genders! 😜

There will be beach gnomes, sports gnomes, gnomes with kegs of beer, pot plant gnomes, built in solar lighting gnomes, gnomes taking baths, and gnomes mooning onlookers.

My female gnomes will have longer hair, similar hat and a simple dress, and look somewhat like witches.

While these are much different from the traditional intent of gnomes in the garden, if they give you a laugh 🥰 they are serving their purpose. And it’s a bit of fun, colour and display for indoors.

A Short History of Gnomes
The history of gnomes being used in gardens is longer than you might think. The tradition originated in the 1800s, and those original garden gnomes are far different than the plastic or plaster gnomes we know today.

The first known garden gnomes were produced in Germany in the early 1800s. They were made out of clay. Gnomes first appeared in gardens in England in the 1840s, and then their popularity began to take off.

Why Gnomes
The history of gnomes also passes along the folklore and why you would want one in your garden. Gnomes are known as symbols of good luck.

Originally, gnomes were thought to provide protection, especially of buried treasure and minerals in the ground. They are still used today to watch over crops and livestock, often tucked into the rafters of a barn or placed in the garden.

A garden gnome adds a bit of whimsy and a connection to the old world, where farmers believed the good luck charm could help their fields yield more produce and protect them from thieves, pests and other problems. They were also thought to help gardeners in the night, which we all could use!

Gnomes in Folklore
The mythical gnomes in history were thought to live underground, and their name is thought to derive from a Latin word for earth dweller. They were popular in German fairy tales and were often described as old men who guarded treasure.