There's No Place Like GNOME... part of the FAIRY TALE MAGIC BLOG HOP

This is Dani Harper's stop on the
Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop!

See the LINK at the bottom
to over 80 participating sites.
Hi, my name is Dani, and I collect gnomes. There, I said it. (Gnomes aren't the only thing I collect, but that's another story...) The point is, I didn't intend to collect gnomes! I didn't plan to have any gnomes at all. Gnomes were not part of my overall landscape design or my home decor plans or even something to send to my mother (who is obsessed with garden figurines in general).


My mom gave me
my first gnome
And then my mother gave me one. You know the one, the little guy that promises you'll never have to roam alone... Mom had never heard of Travelocity, she just saw him and thought he was cute.

Admittedly, he WAS kind of cute. But he looked so lonely amidst the flowers all by himself. Being a bit of marshmallow heart, I decided to get him a friend. Just one, honest! And then I figured they probably needed some shelter from the sun and rain and so forth, so I got them a big ceramic mushroom. And before I knew it, there were more gnomes. And more mushrooms. And gnomes, gnomes, gnomes. The long and short is that I now have an entire gnomish civilization at the side of my house.  

At first, I was certain that the grandkids would be delighted by the whimsical community of pointy-hatted citizens. Instead, they walked right by them. No guests have ever acknowledged their presence, no visiting neighbors have ever commented. And then suddenly I understood what was going on. NOBODY CAN SEE THEM!!! My innocent-looking garden gnomes have cast a S-P-E-L-L. Why would I come to such a conclusion? Because historically gnomes have both magical powers AND the tendency to use them.
This couple makes me think of my
sweetheart and me


GNOMES IN MYTH AND LEGEND:

Gnomes form one of four groups of Elementals, according to the 16th century writings of Paracelsus. 
A gnome is an earth spirit and immortal, and there are many cultures around the world that have stories of similar mythical creatures such as the tomte of Sweden, the duende of Mexico, and the coblyn of Wales. The word gnome comes from the Greek genomos meaning "earth-dweller."

Said to be able to swim through soil and rock like a fish through water, gnomes come in several types such as Garden Gnomes, Farm Gnomes, Forest Gnomes, House Gnomes, and even Cave Gnomes. 


Most gnomes are benign*. Many are even benevolent and take an interest in the wellbeing of their surroundings --- for instance, ensuring that the soil is healthy, that plants and trees grow strong, that dwellings are clean and tools repaired, and that both wildlife and livestock are looked after.


*Disclaimer: Like humans, not all gnomes are friendly or well-intentioned. But that's a story for another day...

One of my favorite gnome figurines.
The magical powers of gnomes are similar to those of all faery tribes. They can protect or punish at will. A farmer who doesn’t take care of his animals could find himself the target of severe pranks! On the other hand, the aid of gnomes might be solicited by leaving food for them. 

In fact, some wineries in France have been rumored to take gnomes very seriously! Traditionally, the little guys looked after the vineyard soil. 


Cave gnomes are said to be particularly sympathetic to miners, and there are stories dating back to Roman times of gnomes knocking on the rocks of tin mines to warn the slaves of approaching dangers such as tunnel collapses. (Mind you, other stories tell of gnomes guarding the treasures of the earth and trying to lure miners away from them!)


Victorian England embraced
the garden gnome (but still didn't
smile while having photos taken)
HISTORY OF GARDEN GNOME FIGURINES:

Most of us are familiar with garden gnome figurines – after all, they date all the way back to Roman times! But the modern version became popular in Germany and other European countries in the early 1800s.

Replica of
"Lampy"
Victorian England embraced the gnome in the 1840s after Sir Charles Isham brought 21 terra cotta gnomes from Germany to Lamport Hall, his home in Northamptonshire. 

One of those original gnomes still survives today! “Lampy”, as he is called, is on display in the Hall and is considered the oldest garden gnome in the world. He is valued at about £2 million or $3,252,900 in US currency. 



The Griebel family still makes traditional gnomes
Although wooden gnomes had been made in Switzerland much earlier, it wasn't until the the 1800s that a handful of German companies began making them out of clay. One of those companies was started by Phillip Griebel in Thuringia. 

The other manufacturers have fallen to history but four generations later, the Griebel family tradition continues. A descendant, Reinhard Griebel (shown at left), creates gnomes at the very same location. The company boasts an impressive gnome museum too!


GNOME TRIVIA:


The Gnome Knows…
French wine label 
The Royal Gnome!
International Gnome Day is June 21st. The occasion began in 2002 and is now observed by a dozen countries.

The Gnome Knows... is a wine label from vineyards in the Languedoc region in the south of France. 

According to an official list published by Buckingham Palace, Princess Anne of the Royal Family received a garden gnome as a gift in 2013.

The German word for gnome is Gartenzwerg, which translates to garden dwarfCurrently there are about 25 MILLION gnomes in Germany alone, and at this time of year, many people will be starting to take them indoors for the winter. It's traditional (and often considered lucky) to display the gnome in the home if possible, or at least give them a dry shelf in the garden shed. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - 

Book 2 of the Grim Series
Book 1 of the Grim Series
The books in my new
Grim Series 
are bringing ancient 
Welsh faery legends 
to modern-day America. 

In my upcoming release,
STORM WARNED,
one character has an unexpected affinity for garden gnomes - lots and lots of them!

Watch for future announcements!

Dani Harper's Giveaway is open to International 
as well as USA entries!

LINK TO PARTICIPATING SITES:

Herding Cats And Burning Soup is the host of this blog hop.
Below is the list of over 80 participating sites, each one with a fun giveaway to enter. Happy hopping!