May 18, 2009

‘Gnomes’ invade Chelsea flower show

Garden gnomes -- figurines traditionally banned from Britain's fabled Chelsea Flower show -- have infiltrated the foliage this year, show organizers said.

People are being very naughty this year but we will find them out and get rid of (the figurines) by morning, an unidentified member of the show's ruling council told The Times of London in a story published Monday.

One gnome appeared in the display of Jekka McVicar, a member of the ruling council and a gold medal winner 13 times at the show. McVicar said she regretted the stir caused by her figurine -- a tiny fisherman with a rod -- but wouldn't remove him. Rather, she said, she would spirit him away beneath greenery where he couldn't be seen in the show's Grand Pavilion.

He's not brightly colored, McVicar said. He's a subtle gnome, though definitely not an upper-class gnome.

The popular show was to be visited by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family, the Times reported.