Gnomes are little creatures that humans can never consciously observe. Their instinctive reaction (pretending to be a bird) whenever they feel somebody is looking at them, happens much faster than the human eye is able to register. The image of a gnome is able to reach our brain, but the gnome-into-bird transformation process happens so fast that the human observer is unable to realize that he or she has in fact just seen a gnome. Humans unconsciously absorb the image of a gnome but consciously see a bird hopping around or flying off. That is why so many people just "know" that gnomes exist - even though they've "never actually seen one". Others are convinced there is no such thing as a gnome. These are the ones whose retinas are slower than average to register images. It turns out children's retinas are able to process many more images per second that adult retinas.
Then we have the ornithologists, the bird watchers who like to study our feathered friends and who are obviously much more likely to see gnomes (though it has to be understood that not all birds are gnomes).
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We hope this explanation contributes to a better understanding of the phenomenon of gnomes, meanwhile also having established the reasons why some doubts about the existence of gnomes could have occurred.
Provided you remember always to bring him in before the frost can get to him. Most real-life gnomes fly off to warmer climes or live underground during the winter months, anyways. And besides, just before winter, a gnome is 'ripe for the picking'. He has been gathering gnomic energy all year long, and it is important for him to pass this energy on to 'its' human beings, so they learn to look at the winter season in a different light and from a sunnier perspective.
Gnomes are narcissistic. They love representations of themselves. If you put a so-called garden gnome in your garden, they will know they are welcome and they will come and visit you. Since gnomes are known to dislike synthetic materials, we advise you to cherish garden gnomes made of stone, stoneware of terracotta only.
The prettier the gnome you put in your garden, the more contented and healthy will appear the population of real life gnomes be that gets attracted to you garden. Gnomes largely prefer sculptures made by craftsmen or - women to industrial mass-produced versions. For ecological reasons, and also in order to avoid any aggravation from the "Society of the Protection of Gnomes", it is preferable to put your gnomes in a natural environment. Not that there is one specific biotope that is more suitable than any other, but the wilder and the more unkempt your garden is, the more likely it becomes that you will attract real-life gnomes.
Never mind the size of the style of the garden. A roof garden of a small garden on your balcony, or even an indoor jungle will do, as long as the ecosystem within is well balanced and devoid of any disturbing factors. If you intend to enhance your chances of meeting gnomes, a terracotta gnome is the ideal attractant.