The real garden gnomes of the 1800s

Originally published at: The real garden gnomes of the 1800s | Boing Boing



I guess it was better than being a Sin-Eater?


Mm, a foot mat. How can I get my bushmeat into that sitch without really hearing about how they do clay collection, though>?

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All the houses in the city of Portland have them. They spill out into the sidewalks, and fend for themselves.


I wonder if gnomes (non human plaster ones) traditionally have more to do with scaring away undesired animals? I use plastic snakes to keep birds off of my fireplace vent, air conditioner and patio furniture. They are pretty effective unless the birds have already established residence there before.


Well, what if I told you that the precursor to the garden gnome tradition used to involve real people paid to live in gardens?

Per wiki, sculpted, garden gnomes preceded “real garden gnomes”, and back to ancient Rome.


This bizarre historical human ‘employment’ was always referred to as “Garden Hermit”, and although that wikipedia page includes a link to “Garden Gnome”, is there any solid reason to assume that Garden (sometimes ‘Grotto’) Hermits are any more connected to that little humanoid garden sculpture than say… a Garden Buddha, St Francis, angel, or little boy fishing sculpture?


maybe this is just what happens when you’ve been on the internet and absorbing memes for like 25 years… but i feel like I’ve seen people bring up this topic and be surprised by it like a dozen times. I guess there’s always going to be a new generation that you can’t be too hard on for not yet being exposed to the horrors of historical events like world war 2 and real life garden gnomes. ha

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looked it up and indeed this was brought up on boingboing in 2015: LISTEN: The Strange Custom of Garden Hermits | Boing Boing


“Hermit” used to be a real job (it’s not enitrely extinct), and it suited some people. Mainly hermits, I would imagine.

Garden hermitage sounds like the shit end of the market, but if hermiting is your thing it might not be a bad gig.

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That sounds a lot like my life now, except I have to cook my own food …


I have often wondered if anyone has seriously investigated this canon of things the internet has decided we should know and assumes we don’t.

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