Go big or go gnome? Enthusiast denies the garden ornaments are declining in popularity

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Go big or go gnome! Report claims trend-conscious over 65s are ditching the garden ornaments because they look ‘old-fashioned’

  • A recent study said gnomes are falling out of favour with people aged over 65
  • According to data, pensioners are increasingly looking for modern furnishings 
  • But a self-confessed gnome enthusiast denies gnomes are becoming unpopular
  • Devon garden centre worker Paul Howard said more people are buying them 

A self-confessed gnome enthusiast has denied that the garden figurines are on the decline, despite a recent poll showing that their popularity has plummeted among pensioners.    

The study, by retirement property developer McCarthy Stone, looked at interior design trends among older people.

It found that more than half of over-65-year-olds consider gnomes old-fashioned.    

But Paul Howard of Devon garden centre Merry Harriers, which sells the figures and has 2,000 in stock, disagrees with the findings.

Speaking to This Morning today, Paul denied the study, saying ‘he wasn’t sure where [the idea that gnomes are being less popular] has come from’.

Gnome enthusiast from Devon, Paul Howard (pictured) denies the figures are becoming less popular - and in fact says more people are buying them than ever

Gnome enthusiast from Devon, Paul Howard (pictured) denies the figures are becoming less popular – and in fact says more people are buying them than ever

Garden centre Merry Harriers, where Paul works, has a huge stock of gnomes, with around 2,000 in stock, 1,500 of which are on display outside

Garden centre Merry Harriers, where Paul works, has a huge stock of gnomes, with around 2,000 in stock, 1,500 of which are on display outside

According to gnome enthusiast Paul Howard, there are gnomes to suit all tastes, like this fishing variety

According to gnome enthusiast Paul Howard, there are gnomes to suit all tastes, like this fishing variety

He added: ‘We still sell a lot of gnomes. A lot of them are hand painted, a lot of them are made of resin these days.

‘There are all different types of gnomes. You can have a fishing gnome…there are wheelbarrow gnomes, there are mushroom gnomes, thousands of different varieties of gnomes. 

‘There are gnomes for everybody. My grandchildren buy my wife gnomes for certain times of the year, and she loves them as well. So it also generates the keenness for the children to go into the garden and get into gardening as well.’

Paul added that with 2,000 gnomes on show in the garden centre, he inspects them every morning, making sure they are upright.

‘We all do that from a health and safety point of view,’ he said. ‘They’re all looking good and ready to go.’ 

Merry Harriers garden centre display features a huge selection of gnomes, which Paul said are extremely popular

Merry Harriers garden centre display features a huge selection of gnomes, which Paul said are extremely popular

During the segment, host Vernon Kay asked Paul which types of gnomes are his favourite, saying: ‘Gnomes resemble everything that we do in life, don’t they?

‘They do all our past times – fishing, gardening, I’ve seen one pulling his pants down. They’re a reflection of us, aren’t they?’

Paul replied: ‘My favourite one is one I call the ‘chain gang’ – those are all the toilet guys.’  

Discussing which gnomes they would choose at the end of the segment, hosts Josie Gibbons said she would choose a mooning figure and Vernon Kay said he would opt for one ‘holding a pint’. 

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