In the Ferguson Valley of country Western Australia there lives a thriving community of gnomes, in a gnome village called Gnomesville.
And no. I’m not joking.
Garden gnomes are a classic symbol of kitschy yard decorations around the world, but most people are content to have just a couple of the little creatures living in their yards. But Gnomesville, a collection of thousands of the weird little statuettes set up on a roundabout, is definitely something different.
The community of silent gnomes actually began as a whimsical protest some 20 years ago.
As the Gnomesville website explains, a small bit of land in Ferguson Valley was annexed by the local government to create a roundabout.
However, despite an outcry from the nearby residents, the roundabout was installed, and tensions simmered.
Then at some point, a gnome appeared (just one individual can make a difference!).
At first there as just one in a tree hollow, but after a few months, there were around 20.
And the curious collection continued to grow as visitors and locals alike came and dropped off their own little statues.
In the decades since their first appearance the army of gnomes had exploded into the thousands but, for a time, theft and vandalism stunted the growth of the little population.
Luckily today the site is fairly well respected and continues to grow as people bring their own gnomes to add to the community.
But not only: there are so many gnomes now in Gnomesville, that in some spots they are even grouped up into little neighborhoods, where gnomes of the same color or attitude are placed together, groups, communities, and even suburbs.
Some have been contributed by families, with gnomes labelled with the names of family members, and others have been left there by businesses, sports clubs, school classes, and other social interest groups.
Other gnomes have been arranged as tributes or memorials to loved ones.
And then there are donations from tourists in recognition of happy holidays while, the naughty ones are in a fenced off area at the back: the Gnomesville Detention Centre.
But this is more than just a scattered collection of garden gnomes – it’s a community in the true sense of the word with gnome parties, sporting activities, and even a local rock band called The Rolling Gnomes.
Puns are also a feature of Gnomesville with many of the local residents sporting hilarious names and titles including Metro-gnome, Gastro-gnome, Gnome Alone, the Professor of Ergognomics, a Gnomely child, The Stately Old Gnome, a Gnoman Empire soldier and Sir Ignominious.
Proving that Gnomesville is a liberal community, there is even a gnomosexual.
Author’s notes: Gnomesville is easy to find just drive along either Wellington Mill road or Ferguson Road and you’ll run straight into the roundabout. It worth a detour if you like things out of the ordinary and, if you visit the site, be sure to bring a new resident!
Images from web – Google Research