Garden gnomes have become enormously popular in recent years. In yards, gardens, and on decks, gnomes of bewildering array are everywhere. In one fun blog - Along Life's Highway-The Yard Art Game - Gnomes hold a place of importance and receive bonus points in the game.
But what of the gnome-ically challenged, those who have neither the outdoor space nor the means to get to yards where these colourful creatures reside?
Not to worry! There are gnomes for the indoor afficionado - they may never win points in a game, but will ease the pain of deprivation for urban dwellers and shut-ins alike.
There are those who shudder at the very thought of going outdoors, at least in any environment where concrete is not somehow involved. For these folks, there is the urban gnome, figures resembling the familiar gnome in general outlines but without any garish reference to the outdoors of suburbia.
Embellished with edgy, upscale zippers, these figures allow the urbanite to participate ironically in the gnome craze without the kitsch.
But not everyone wants to avoid kitsch, even without the outdoor space to indulge it. For these folks, there are various gnome lights, both plug-in-lamp gnomes and glo-gnomes.
For apartment dwellers with children, or for the young at heart, there are other playful and educational solutions to being gnome-ically challenged.
Children, especially, would enjoy having a small indoor patch of lawn and a miniature gnome to adorn it. Parents, even educators in urban classrooms, can buy kits that will teach children about tending a lawn and about gnomes - a steal at twenty dollars.
Children of all ages might enjoy indoor gnome bowling (there is an outdoor version as well). Lightweight gnome figures and balls that won't harm pets and expensive furnishings are available for a reasonable price.
There are many other products for those destined to a life without real outdoor gnomes - gnomes dressed in the uniform of one's favourite sports team, indoor water fountains with gnome ornaments and themes, gnome tables and footstools.
There are even gnomes for the fetishists among us - the adult, gnome dress-up costume and gnome soap-on-a rope!
So if you are gnome-ically challenged, with no outdoor space and no desire for colourful gnome kitsch in your life, there is always a way for you to indulge in gnome mania.