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Last updated at 10:48 BST, Friday, 24 May 2013

Welcome home, gnomes


20 May 2013

This year will be the first time in its 100-year history that the Chelsea Flower Show is allowing gnomes to be shown. But why this year? And why was there a ban in the first place?


Steve Evans

Garden Gnome


Click to hear the report


People either love them or hate them – garden gnomes, those little figurines of men with their pointy, red hats and white beards, with a pipe or a fishing rod, that are used to decorate gardens in some countries. Some people have called the ban on them at the prestigious Chelsea flower show 'snobbery' – or worse still, gnomo-phobia. The organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society, defend themselves by saying the ban on what they describe as "brightly-coloured, mythical creatures" is in force so as not to distract from the flowers on show. But this year the ban is being lifted. So do people support the move?

(People giving their opinions:)

I don't mind garden gnomes. I think they bring a bit of colour. They bring a bit of amusement. And, you know, there's a place for them in the right type of garden.
I think they're very nice and I'm from Denmark and I think there's a tradition in Denmark. We always have them in our gardens.
I'm all for equality and equal opportunity for everybody including gnomes.

The moratorium is to allow in a group of more than 100 celebrity gnomes, or rather, gnomes decorated by celebrities such as Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton. They will be auctioned to raise money for a charity that helps children get involved in gardening.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



small models of people

fishing rod

a long pole with a line of string and a hook attached to it, used for catching fish


highly respected and admired


behaviour and attitudes held by snobs (people who think they are better than others)


extreme fear of something, often fear of things that people are not usually afraid of (examples: arachnophobia - fear of spiders, claustrophobia - fear of closed spaces)


not real, existing only in stories (in myths)

in force

(of a law or rule) being applied; happening


(of a law or rule) stopped, ended
all for in favour of; agreeing with

all for

in favour of; agreeing with


stopping an activity for an agreed amount of time


sold publicly to the person who offers the most money