Gretta the Gnome
Blog,  Elves and Gnomes

A Gnomes Life

Why do we humans have such a love for gnomes?  They are always seen as mischievous little men with buxom ladies.  Is it the little pointy hats that are always red unless someone dares to paint them a wrong color.  Or their white hair that gives them wisdom.  Could it be their red and green clothes that remind us of Christmas and magic?  Whatever it is, gnomes are loved that’s for sure!  We have them in our gardens to add whimsey, we make them out of socks and hang them on our Christmas trees.  They are everywhere and seem to only get more popular each year.  When you look at their faces how can you not love them?

Gnome Couple
Gnome Couple from Gnomes book

I have always liked gnomes.   I didn’t realize how much I Really liked them until I was at a flea market and found this amazing little lady Gnome. She was exactly how a gnome should look!  Her face was wonderful and her eyes were happy and a little mischievous.  I named her Gretta!

Gretta the Gnome
Gretta the Gnome’s Ponytail
Gretta the Gnome
Gretta the Gnome still in the garden

She stands about 3 feet tall and she has lived with me now for about 5 years. She has traveled with me wherever I’ve moved and I have even shared her with two friends of mine. We took turns having her live at our homes for good luck. On the bottom of her base there is a copyright that says Rien Poortvliet, The Netherlands.  If you know gnomes you know this name!  Do you recognize this book?

Gnomes Book by Wil Huygen and illustrated by Rien Poortvliet 

I had seen this book of ‘Gnomes’ before and when I started looking through the illustrations, I knew at once, Gretta was a statue of a real gnome. I bought the book and have now learned so much more about Gnomes.

Gretta and her smiling face

The author has spent a great deal of time researching and getting the Real facts about Gnomes and Gnome life.

Here are a few things that I found interesting that Rien has shared in his ‘Gnomes’ book.

The size of a Gnome

First, the average Gnome is just under 6″ tall or 15 cm.  This is without their hat of course. “Their feet are slightly turned inward for fast running over grass, dry leaves, etc.”

That may be why they are so loved by many…that turned in foot makes them seem childlike and harmless.  Around 1200 AD, a well preserved statue of 15cm was found in a fisherman’s house in Norway. On the pedestal were the words,


Riktig Storrelse

which means ‘Gnome, actual height.’  This shows that gnomes have been here for a long time and have been seen by humans since 490AD.

Gnome domestic life
A Gnomes Domestic life

 Gnome men wear a red hat, green pants and a blue shirt. They always wear a tool belt because they carry a hammer, knife, drill, and files wherever they go.  When a gnome couple have children they always come in pairs. That makes a happy and full house quickly! Since no deaths are caused by illness the population changes generationally. Children stay with their parents until they are 100 years old! You can learn more about parenting and how gnomes are raised in the Gnomes book.

Gnome with children
Father Gnome with children

They have white beards and in their prime they may still have dark hair with their white beards. Their brightly colored clothing keeps them safe from birds of prey, who are their friends, when walking at night.

Their life span was 500-600 years old.  I don’t know about now. With pollution and overcrowding as it is it may well be cut in half to 250 years. Who can say.  They certainly have been with us for a very long time.  Their resilience must be a large part of our love for them.

I am a lover of all things fairy. I design and create items for the garden and home to attract fairy friends. I like sharing instructions and crafts on fairy related topics and gardening.