Celebrating Garden Gnomes
Look amongst the greenery of Germany’s lush gardens and you might spot a red-capped gartenzwerg, or garden gnome. Today’s Doodle - just in time for Garden Day in Germany - celebrates these tiny statues for their big role in German history.
Gnome figures first appeared in 13th-century Anatolia and re-emerged in 16th-century Italy. The common garden gnome originated in 19th-century Germany from the mining area of Thuringia. Here, local craftsmen are given credit for hand-crafting the gnomes as we know them—with shaggy beards and pointy hats.
Propelled by local myths and increased leisure time, the gnomes began to find homes in gardens throughout the country. Legend has it they protect these gardens and bring good luck.
In today’s interactive Doodle, you’ll learn a bit more about how the humble gnome is made. Then, you’ll enlist a group of gnomes to help you decorate a garden of your own!
Here’s how the game works: Use your trusty catapult (or trebuchet to be precise) to launch your clay gnomes into the farthest reaches of your garden. The farther your gnome travels, the more flowers you plant—and the more points you earn! Once you learn the basics, you can choose from six colorful gnomes with different shapes, weights, and bounciness. Try each one to see which gnome goes the greatest distance towards making your garden the most beautiful of all.Go behind-the-scenes of today’s Doodle below!The Doodle Team explored many different ideas, concepts, and creative directions for celebrating the history and culture of the garden gnome.To help set context, the team designed a brief history lesson on how German garden gnomes were originally made. You can see this introductory animation below:
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