The Mindful Merchant

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Mindful Gnome June 4, 2010

Filed under: climate change,community,environment,gardening,stupidity — MindfulMerchant @ 8:34 am


blog_stuff_010 Lawn ornaments are not green or good for the environment but they sure make a select group of garden lovers happy. I happen to like lawn ornaments. Go ahead and laugh…that’s o.k.  I know that lawn ornaments are tacky and I rein in the urge to have our yard covered in whirligigs, and bright chatchkas.


Some garden art is green, like repurposed bicycle parts, machinery and other recycled objects that artists turn into beautiful pieces. Garage sale finds are another good way to reinterpret and reuse treasures outdoors. A plastic solar leprechaun with a pot of gold that glows (sadly) is not eco-friendly, no matter what the tag says.


My philosophy for garden decor comes from unfinished magazine Feng Shui 101 articles at the doctor’s office, brutally honest comments from friends and family, and my husband’s patience limit. This philosophy also takes into consideration maintaining a positive relationship with your neighbours. Community is so important, after all.


Here is my approach to lawn ornament placement. blog_stuff_022


1. Less is more. Overcrowding is a tacky. Even small clusters are risky – depending on arrangement.

2.  Size matters. If your ornament is the biggest item in your garden…you might want to scale back a wee bit.

3. Save the religious icons and statues for indoors, or at the very least…keep them in the backyard. While I completely respect that amount of devotion, you run the risk of looking like a cemetery or place of worship. (Unless that is a look you are trying to achieve – by all means)

images 4.  Be one with the ornament. Ask yourself “If I were a gnome…would I live under this hosta or stand out in the middle of the lawn in the blazing sun?” Guaranteed you will find the perfect location every time.

5. Please rethink cut-outs of robust women with bloomers showing, fountains of cherubs peeing, a homage to Tweety Bird and other potentially offensive displays.

6. Practice realism. Sleeping bunny on a table = fake. Sleeping bunny placed under a low pine bow = real-ish. Sort of.


The other good thing about garden ornaments is that as climate change and disappearing habitat endanger certain species…we can replace them with fake replicas and with proper placement…hardly notice their absence.  That is comforting.





6 Responses to “Mindful Gnome”

  1. “If I were a gnome…” lol.

    And yes, yes, yes I agree with #5 – huge pet peeve.

  2. XUP Says:

    It’s interesting the stuff people will put in their yards that they wouldn’t be caught dead having in their house. If it’s too tacky for indoors, it’s too tacky for outdoors. Personally, I don’t think you need ornaments at all. Nature is ornamental enough. Nice bit of sarcasm at the end of the post!

    • I like your theory…but I suspect some of the folks that have cherubs in their yards also use them indoors in their decorating too. lol (I might have a tiny gnome hiding under some leaves in planters around my home- maybe!) 🙂

  3. Pauline Says:

    I love lawn ornaments but yes some people go far too overboard. And man I hate garden gnomes! I know some people like them, but to me they just look like creepy old men!

  4. Yeah – another lawn ornament fan! 🙂 Really…you find gnomes creepy? That’s cool. I find gargoyles scary.

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