Little did I know, when out on a family adventure, deep in the Ferguson Valley of Western Australia, the amazing experience I was about to have. Way, way out, in the middle of what appears to be nowhere, spread throughout a secluded woodland area, there lies a secret and very unique community called Gnomeville. You will not find it on any map, you could hurry by it a thousand times and never know of its existence, and you’ll most certainly need a trusting Aussie local to show you exactly where to find this jewel. Once there and upon entering the woods, you’ll quickly see that this is a place where whimsy is the rule of law, and it is easy to be immediately drawn into this fantasy wonderland.
What began, years ago, as a place where someone placed their much-loved and very worn gnome to rest, has now grown into an exploding population, all devoted to the celebration of these little creatures. As you walk around, you will discover thousands, ( a virtual ocean), of ‘gnome scenarios,’ with signs and puns and plays on words, and languages, all in support of this community. After spending some time reading and wandering through this magical place, it is apparent that the secret has expanded to include visitors from every continent. The messages range from the sentimental, “Far away from gnome…”, to the kitschy, “There’s no place like gnome,” and even the macabre, “Silence of the gnomes,,,,”.
When asking the locals who is in charge of this or who owns it, the reply is always something along the cheerful and surprised line of, “Why no one mate! It is just always somehow taken care of, by someone who stops by for a bit, and it is not owned by anyone, it is open to anyone to visit, simply a part of our local landscape, to be discovered and enjoyed. Why do the Americans always think something has to be ‘owned’ and charged for?” A very good question my Aussie friends, I certainly have gnome answer for that.