You’ve seen them in gardens, you may even have one or two of your own, but do you know where the original garden gnomes came from?

Garden gnomes’ birthplace is Grafenroda in Thuringen, Germany.

Fourth-generation garden gnome manufacturer, Reinhard Griebel, says that the garden gnomes’ origins are in mining.

“He’s a replica of the miners, a symbol of hard work. The miners wore conical hats, which went down past their shoulders to prevent stones from falling in [on them],” says Griebel, whose great-grandfather founded a gnome manufacturing company in 1874.

“They are little folk, and little folk were needed in the mines.”

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Gnomes started appearing in gardens in the middle of the last century. They symbolised industriousness.

Whether you consider them to be kitch or cool, Griebel still has many orders for garden gnomes from all over the world

Learn more about the fascinating history – and how real garden gnomes are made – by watching the featured video.