By Anna Ellis •
Updated: 27 Sep 2022 • 14:17
Garden gnomes seem to be like Marmite, people tend to love them or not! Image: melih2810/Shutterstock.com
The tradition originated in the 1800s, and those original garden gnomes are far different from the plastic or plaster gnomes we know today.
The first known garden gnomes were produced in Germany and made out of clay.
Gnomes first appeared in gardens in England in the 1840s, and from there, their popularity began to take off.
Unfortunately, the world wars wiped out most garden gnome production in Germany and beginning in the 1960s, the plastic gnomes we know today came on the scene.
Gnomes have even earned themselves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The largest garden gnome measures 7.91 metres tall and was created by Ron Hale in Canada. It was built in 1998 but was measured for the record on August 19, 2009.
The gnome was part of an amusement park that no longer exists. It is currently standing on the grounds of a petrol station.
Since the turn of the 21st century, large collections have been one of the quickest-growing categories at Guinness World Records. Ann Atkin from the UK is now surrounded by her army of 2,010 gnomes and pixies and has created the biggest collection.
The gnome devotee went on to break her own record, and at the last count, her collection stands at 2,042. All of her garden ornaments live in a 1.6-hectare (four-acre) beechwood ‘Gnome Reserve’ that is visited by 25,000 people every year.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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