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New Trend: Gnomes On the Lawn Grass

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

According to a recent article in the Westchester Journal, garden gnomes are becoming a popular fixture on more and more lawns. And quite a few eccentric sideshows are coming from their newfound ubiquity.

The most surprising recent case was in Leavenworth Kansas. According to Fox News, Police found a grass section of the city's Haven's Park bizarrely adorned with 50 garden gnomes, three chimineas, two hammocks, three lawn chairs, yard lights and other items.
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Gnome On The Park Grass

All these items, police said, had been reported missing from neighborhood lawns. Even shrubs taken from a nearby nursery school were found planted at the site of what police are calling the lawn gnome thief's "safe haven."

"It's the strangest thing I've seen," Detective Sgt. Robert Mendoza told the local paper. "Nobody's seen anybody up in the area."

Gnome Is Star On TV

Much of the lawn gnome's newly found popularity is thanks to the online travel company Travelocity's new ad campaign. The site's Roaming Gnome first made an appearance in January with photos capturing him cliff-diving in Mexico, skiing the Alps, and dining in Quebec. Since then, he's been reporting back to former owner Bill, offering travel tips (in a vaguely British accent).

Thanks Travelocity, says retailer Lillian Vernon of Rye, New york. This year, 14,000 lawn gnomes have marched out of the company's headquarters. Or as spokesman David Hochberg puts it, sales of the hand-painted statuettes are up 25 percent. He also credits their popularity to the Travelocity campaign, but mentions the Lord of the Rings movies, and the gnome in the French art house hit, Amelie, which amusingly travels the world as well.

Gnome On the Lawn

According to the Westchester Journal, lawn gnomes today usually come in concrete, plastic, or stoneware, and in a variety of fanciful poses. On Krupps.com, they range from 8 inches to 3 feet, are priced from $24.95 to $369, and are accompanied by mushrooms, birds, mice, wind chimes, flutes, playing cards or lanterns, depending on what style or pose goes best with your lawn.

But be careful leaving your gnome alone on the grass. Martin Elliott, founder of freethegnomes.com, is livid about by the "recent spike in gnome activity."

"They're held against their will, forced to stand hours on end without any pay," he charges. Don't be surprised if your poor gnome is, you know, "liberated."


About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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