London – Garden gnomes are in danger of dying out after a huge fall in sales over the past decade.
There are about five million gnomes in the UK, but sales have halved since 2006, figures show.
And the ornaments have also come last in a “garden trends” poll, with just six percent saying they owned one. An overwhelming 94 percent said they would “never have a gnome in their garden”.
Emily Cross, 38, of Hackney, East London, said: “I’ve had gnomes in my garden for the last 15 years – I love them.
“They cheer me up when I’m leaving the house and I’m sure they bring a smile to everyone who walks past.”
But Chris Herbert, 41, of Tonbridge, Kent, said: “I find gnomes creepy – they look like they are in league with the devil somehow. They are not cute little things at all – they send shivers up my spine.”
Gnomes were introduced to Britain in 1847 by renowned gardener Sir Charles Edmund Isham, and the British love affair with them peaked in the 1970s after manufacturers came up with “naughty” versions and ones dressed as Smurfs and footballers.
In joint bottom place in the Asda-commissioned poll on garden trends was plastic seating, with 94 percent saying it was a “complete no-no”.
The top “garden trend” was a vegetable patch, with 40 percent of those polled saying they had one. Hanging baskets (35 percent) and solar lights (34 percent) were other popular trends.