Although some garden ornaments do look good enough to eat, you’d be advised to refrain from actually taking a bite out of them – well that’s not the case at the White House.
The US President’s residence unveiled its Christmas decorations for this year today, with the theme being “Joy to All”, and First Lady Michelle Obama revealed that at their heart lies a 300lb gingerbread replica of the White House itself in the State Dining Room.
The model is incredibly detailed, including a marzipan rendering of the building’s kitchen garden – complete with garden statues. Another set of garden ornaments portray the much-loved “First Dog” Bo, a Portuguese water dog.
All in all, there are 40 “Bo-Flake” ornaments throughout the White House, with cut-out images of the pooch, as well as a full life-size replica – holding fairy lights in his mouth – in its East Garden Room, as well as a massive statue of Bo next to the gingerbread White House.
Ms Obama was asked about the decorations when unveiling them before an invited audience of military families, saying that the many Bo statues reflected his high standing.
“He’s almost as big as the house. He is such a huge personality,” she declared.
Rich Australians with massive backyards will soon have a chance to buy some unique garden ornaments when this year’s Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi Beach comes to a close.
Reports this week revealed that after 500,000 visitors came to the exhibition, up to 16 of the huge sculptures have already been sold to companies and private individuals, with one going for a princely $100,000. It’s not too late to get one for yourself, however. Some 88 of the 113 sculptures were for sale, with prices starting at $400.
As the works are dismantled, some of them are going to be reassembled in private homes, farms and beach houses, while others are shipped overseas to become garden ornaments in Canada and New Zealand. One was donated to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, while another will remain silhouetted on the Bondi headland after being donated to the local Waverley Council.
The unfortunate few that do not find a new home are set to be washed away by the sea.
The sculptures were on display for 18 days at the end of October, and dismantling began on 6 November, with two cranes and a fleet of vehicles engaged to move the items.
Their true place is surely as garden ornaments, but amateur divers in the Lake District recently revealed one of the quirkier aspects of their hobby – the concealing deep underwater of garden gnomes.
The BBC reported at the end of last month on the gnomes lurking beneath Wastwater – England’s depeest lake. With depths of some 260 feet, it is not a place for the inexperienced lake diver, but it turns out that some old hands have been placing the garden statues there for years.
Kendal and Lakes Sub Aqua Club diving officer Paul Fray told the Beeb that the gnomes popped up in pictures on diving websites and forums, and the practice was common in many lakes around the world.
“It’s the funny thing with divers, they do pop up in some odd places,” he said. “Mind, it’s the best place for them because I think they look silly in a garden.”
The authorities are not so amused. Police divers have on several occasions tried to remove the gnomes, fearing their attractions might literally lure novice divers out of their depth. The gnomes have always been replaced by other divers, however, so it appears the gnomes of Wastwater are here to stay.