Pink Floyd and David Bowie released songs about them, Elton John produced films about them, and South Park and Scooby-Doo had episodes about them. This is the age of the gnome! The garden gnomes have had a controversial history, but now they seem to be making a comeback. Gnomes were banned from participating in the Chelsea flower show from 2009 to 2013, but that did not stop several participants such as Jackie McVicar, writer, TV personality and winner (at the time) of 61 Royal Horticultural Society gold medals, trying to sneak in her beloved gnome Borage into her organic herb nursery. The judges found the gnome and asked him to leave. A gnome in James May’s Plasticine garden escaped detection that same year.
In 1954, the father of former Prime Minister John Major went bankrupt producing and selling gnomes. In 2005, a slightly more glamorous Paris Hilton posed for a selfie with a gnome in a photo that got into people magazine. Currently, the trend of garden gnomes seems to be towards zombies, and the luminous varieties with solar-powered gnomes are quite popular as well.
Lampy, the oldest surviving garden gnome in England (and possibly the world), appears to have an insured value of a million pounds.
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