See & Do

Gnomeville

Hundreds of garden gnomes at Gnomeville.
Gnomes galore. Image: oatsy40, CC BY 2.0.

I like gnomes. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I’m sure that in some parallel universe or past life, I was kitschy housewife with plastic pink flamingos on the lawn and garden gnomes in the backyard garden. While I don’t like these ornaments enough to actually own them in this life, I think garden gnomes are cute. Imagine my delight when I heard about a place in Australia called Gnomeville. I’m certain my partner Theo has been holding out on me when it comes to this tourist attraction.

Gnomeville is outside a small town called Dardanup in the South West region of Western Australia. I don’t know why gnomes have taken over, but I do know that I want to see this for myself and add to the collection. I regret now not having purchased a Mickey Mouse Gnome the last time I was in Disney World. He would have made a fine addition. Wordtrip 2011 has some nice photos of this kooky little place. Fun!

Gnomes have a long magical history. In ancient Rome, people placed small stone statues of the fertility god Priapus, also a protector of plants and gardens, in their gardens. During the Renaissance period, Swiss alchemist Paracelsus described gnomes as “diminutive figures two spans in height who did not like to mix with humans”. Countries such as Switzerland and Germany had beliefs about house dwarfs and “little folk”. All this gets mixed up and comes down to us in the form of the garden gnome. Gnomes, as we know them, were first created in 19th-century Germany. They have waxed and waned in popularity ever since.

How do you feel about garden gnomes? Have you ever been to Gnomeville? Any plans to go?

Comments

comments

  • Did you ever see the David the Gnome cartoon as a kid? I think it was on Nickelodeon, but I’m not entirely sure on that. It was one of my favourite shows, but the sad things is that I only vaguely remember it.

    • Never, but now I’m going to have to look it up on YouTube 🙂

  • Lee

    Yes, I’ve been to Gnomeville! It is about a 2 hour drive south from where I live. I think it started from a primary school on a roundabout, and then the gnomes became out of control and had to be moved to a large tract on the side of the road. It is in a very remote spot on the edge of a country town. When I went there last, there were gnomes hanging out of trees, whole dollhouses filled with gnomes, and entire shrines and villages set up for the gnomes. It makes me wonder how long it will last! But long live Gnomeville. I hope you get to visit this odd, tiny, little-known about spot some day.

    • Cosette

      I’m dying to go, but I won’t go until I buy a special gnome to leave there. Thanks for your comments!