Garden Gnomes in Scotland

Garden Gnomes in Scotland

Some questions burn a hole in your day, they just have to be answered. Do they have garden gnomes in Scotland? Inquiring minds need to know. I went looking for garden gnomes in Scotland, and I finally found them!

I toured the streets of Glasgow, and the word that came to mind was “austere”. The buildings were mostly two story homes, with patches of grass and a paved drive each. I found no flower gardens, no flower boxes, no flowers. Nor did I see any place to buy food, or shop. Obviously Glasgow is a city that would demand a broadening of my world view.

Then I headed over to Edinburgh. Not quite so austere, much more greenery; shrubs and short trees mostly. The neighbourhoods I found felt warm and seemed charming. Again, no flower gardens or boxes, and no obvious places to purchase food, or shop.

Then I headed over to Inverness, and I found flower gardens, and flower boxes aplenty. Again, mostly two storey homes, and no obvious places to buy food, or shop.

At last I reached Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay; and there I found my garden gnomes. They were nestled into a small, well kept yard, by a two storey house. I even found a small shop, a food co-operative, down by the waterfront. This is a village I can relate to!

Little Garden Gnomes, happy at last.

I know there are glaring omissions on Google Earth, things we are not meant to see. There is quite a lot included though. I like to sit of an evening and wander about, projecting my fantasies of balanced communities onto the places I visit. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere I have visited is an actual healthy, balanced community, a place that I would love to call home. If I can imagine it, it could happen.

And the weather! There is quite a bit of snow to the south of us in the USA, but here it is sunny, and relatively mild. Of course, the snow we received since December is still out there in a seemingly endless expanse of white. Still, when the sun shines one can believe in spring.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EST Friday 14 February 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -6.2°C
Dewpoint: -12.9°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -10


“We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment, if only for a moment.”
May Sarton


  1. Bex

    During our trips to England and Scotland, we noticed a big difference in the “gardens” between the two countries. England = lots of flowers (we always went in May/June) and even the tiniest little plot of land was expertly manicured and planted up with the most brilliant colours. Especially in the Cotswold area, oh my! But when we crossed over into Scotland, we did notice a distinct lack of the marvelous colour we saw and love down in England. Scotland, to us, seemed much more of a wild and wonderful countryside, not so colorful, although there are of course exceptions (there is a gardening blog in Aberdeenshire that is amazing!) but they are a different breed of people… they are known to be much more penny-wise and austere, as you put it. I would never have attributed “gnomes” to the Scottish!

    Our nephew lived in Glasgow and he loves it. We have been there twice I think and just spent a small amount of time getting thru it – we stayed up at Inverness and went over to Nairn (go visit Nairn with Google if you get a chance, what a great little town) but the plush gardens of the south are not what Scotland is all about. It’s a different sort of wild beauty, not worse but different.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  2. Thanks Bex, for fleshing out my impressions! Since I have not been there in the flesh, it wouldn’t be possible to get a comprehensive picture of what Scotland is like. Wild beauty sounds about right though. A few of my ancestors came from Scotland in 1820, they lived in Glasgow, Barony to be exact. I haven’t really found that area yet with google earth, but one of these days I’ll try to find it again. I have a copy of a letter written by my GGG Grandfather to his sister back in Glasgow, he talks of the deprivation of life in Scotland and the rewards of hard work in Canada. Of course, things are changing in Canada and deprivation is growing like cancer in our country. But that is a story for another day.

    I will definitely visit Aberdeenshire, Inverness and Nairn, on your recommendation, via google earth of course.

    If I were to win a lottery (can’t happen, I don’t buy tickets), I would stabilize my own finances, distribute some to family, invest in women’s shelters and housing for the elderly and the homeless, and travel. Fantasies are fun.

    Thank your for the Valentine’s Day wish, in keeping with the situation, Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

  3. Thanks Bex, Stan Rogers is an old favourite! After he passed away I saw his son Nathan sing one of his songs on stage at Summerfolk; Nathan was quite young at the time and he was incredible, it was an intensely emotional experience, and a cherished memory.

  4. Armin, I would LOVE to be on Islay!!! However, I am in Canada, in the bush, up to my nose in snow banks. I visited Islay via Google Earth, which I used to search the road to Bunnahabhain, and found no garden gnomes, 🙁

    Google Earth might have missed them, or I might have. What a beautiful country side!

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