Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Warning: Another Invasive Garden Pest?

Cute, but don't be fooled!

A friend linked me to a Utah State University Extension video with shocking news. Another vicious pest is invading gardens. Like the common deer pest, the new pest has lots of friends who think it’s cute. “Don’t be fooled,” warns the video.

The new pest is what is commonly called the garden gnome. The Extension video identifies it as Gnomis englantis, an introduction from England, but I suspect Latin purists prefer Gnomis anglais. The Extension says the invasive gnomes often appear first in herb gardens before moving on to veggies and flowers.

They're everywhere!
After I watched the video, I rushed into my garden to see if the invaders had arrived here in Maryland. I was amazed at what I found—five specimens, all in flower gardens. Apparently ours is an advanced infestation.

I tried to interview several of the gnomes, but they declined, saying they expected their spokesperson back soon from the University of Maryland Extension and that if I saw him I would recognize him because he always rides on a terrapin. Go, Terps!

Gnome d'Plume, Gnome Spokesperson.  Go Terps!
As I rounded the corner of the garage into the front yard, I caught a glimpse of the spokesperson and rushed to interview him.

“What’s your name?” I queried, trying to break the ice.

“Gnome d’Plume,” he replied.

“Is that really your name?” I asked.

'Oh, Give Me a Gnome...'
“No comment,” he replied. I sensed this was going to be a difficult interview, so I tried to break some more ice.

“Looks like you’ve just arrived here,” I said. “Have you been on a trip?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Alaska.”


“Yes, Gnome.”

I knew this interview was going nowhere. As I turned to leave, Gnome d’Plume broke into song—the gnome national anthem, of course—“Oh, give me a gnome, where the deer and the groundhogs roam….”

Gnome Home?
On my way back into the house, I spied a sixth gnome. A plaque—a gift of a friend, jM—contains a gnome and these words: “Gnome Sweet Gnome.”

We seem to have a lot of gnomes here at Meadow Glenn. Maybe I should look for some repellent spray. I suppose it would be labeled, “Gnome & Garden Spray.” The label might say, “Warning: If you haven’t smiled yet, consult your physician.”

If you have a suppressed smile or two and have four minutes and 51 seconds for a chuckle or two, link to Utah State University Extension video, “Gnome Management in the Garden.” CLICK HERE.


  1. Okay, I began reading with a smile, moving real quick to a toothy grin, and right away into a chuckle erupting deep in my throat. Thanks, and what a great way to start my day! You have such a wonderful imaginative and comedic spirit, a real joy to read your words.

  2. This is a classic! I've been cackling ever since I read it! Sure wish I had a gnome infestation!

  3. Gladys & Laurentine: I'm glad you enjoyed the news story about those gnome pests.

    But, Laurentine, be careful what you wish for. Those gnome critters multiply slowly but consistently. First there's one, then, two, then nine or ten. Rabbits and deer are worse, but gnomes are more deceptive. Even the most suspicious gardener lets his/her guard down, and the next thing you know it....

  4. I also have a garden gnome. Interesting post you have. I had a great time going through your post.

  5. Ground Mole Extermination, if you ever figure out how to get your garden gnome to help you weed, please share the secret!