Home sweet gnome - Cornish superfan's hobby is taking over his life

  • Report by Jacquie Bird

Garden gnomes are often seen to be the height of bad taste but their popularity has soared during the pandemic with a 20% rise in sales.

One gardener from Hayle in Cornwall is well ahead of the game - although his partner is not too pleased.

Dave Robinson has more than 240 of the little characters. He bought his first one - a pint-sized version of the Queen - in Hayle Harbour five years ago and he says it just escalated from there.

Dave Robinson said: "I've got everything. I've mother, father, royalty, a bride and groom, Father Christmas, the Easter bunny, granny and grandad..."

Dave had to order the Scottish gnome online but has travelled far afield in his hunt for figurines. Credit: ITV West Country

In fact, Dave's hobby has become something of an obsession. He's travelled the length of the country to acquire the tiny statues, as well as ordering them online. For his partner - it's 'gnome' joke.

Dave said: "He's not overly keen on them. I think it's because I'd trick us to go to the shops and say 'oh yes, let's just see what's in here' and I'd always come out with a gnome or I'd say 'oh can we go to London, I've found a really rare one on eBay. I think the furthest I've gone is Doncaster."

At last count, Dave had 119 big ones and 120 little ones and they have taken over his garden.

The gnomes have taken over Dave's garden - and, to some extent, his life. Credit: ITV West Country

It's not just tracking down the characters, the little statues also have to be maintained. Exposed to the Cornish elements, they often need repainting - which can take up quite a bit of time.

The collection has got so big that Dave is considering what to do next.

He said: "I had a bit of a tidy in the garden earlier and I realised that I could probably fit in another 10 or 20 and then I think we're going to have to find a bigger house with a bigger garden."

Dave has almost 240 gnomes and it doesn't look like he's giving up collecting them any time soon. Credit: ITV West Country

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