When I went to the garden center a few days ago to buy flowers, I saw these silly gnomes for sale as garden decorations. I was not in the market to buy one but it did make me curious about their history. What are they anyway? I learned that we think a gnome is a legendary dwarfish creature meant to guard the earth's treasures underground or really just an imaginary small creature that is supposed to look after your property, like your home or garden. Hmm...it seems like a pleasant idea! It was first introduced by the German-Swiss Renaissance scientist Paracelsus in the 1400's as a small spirit of magic and alchemy. I read that the present style of the gnome is a "Disneyfied" style, looking like a dwarf in the 1937 movie of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Well, now my curiosity has been sufficiently satisfied!