Oh, gnomes!  Collectors love them and have hundreds of them, while gnome haters fear them more than clowns.  There's a worldwide shortage of those little garden creatures right now, but Boise has found a way around it. 

I have a friend with more than fifty gnomes scattered around her garden and landscaping areas and they make her happier than a banana nut muffin at the height of a pandemic.  And, I have another friend who fears gnomes, and wouldn't go near them even if one was holding the last roll of toilet paper on earth in his cupped little hands.

Gnomes got millions of people through a rough patch last year, and apparently, gnomes are a symbol of protection that many people want to stick around long after the pandemic is over.  Dictionary.com credits gnomes with guarding the earth's treasures, and they're generally considered harmless because they've ended up in so many kids' fairytales over the years.  BUT, since their hats are sometimes pulled over their eyes making them look creepy, and they can have a bit of a mischievous reputation, gnomes can have some haters too.

Gnome fans are winning though.  They're buying more gnomes than ever, and it's making the little garden statues hard to find.  The gnome shortage right now is caused by a combination of high demand and shipping problems, according to BBC.com, and it started in Europe in 2020.  International shipping delays mean gnomes aren't getting to stores at the usual pace this year, plus the Suez Canal is blocked and that's making gnome-making materials hard to come by.  If you find a gnome in Boise, you've struck gold and people in other parts of the world are jealous.

Boise crafters are saving the day for gnome fans by making them at home.  Facebook Marketplace had dozens of hand-made gnomes for sale at last check, and they're all $30 or less.  So, if you can't find a gnome statue, a stuffed one might do just fine.

The Idaho Vandals also have some holiday-themed gnomes HERE if you really get in a pinch.

The jury is still out on whether gnomes are cute and innocent protectors of your garden or creepy clowns in disguise that are just one sideways move away from ruining your life. Either way, they're hard to find right now. Good luck!

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