Our Gnome Guard from the World War Zoo gardens project has disappeared from Newquay Zoo www.newquayzoo.org.uk last weekend …
and mysteriously appeared at Paignton Zoo ‘s VertiCrop house http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/botanical/verticrop.php
from where he sent this postcard! All very mysterious …
It’s not a bad spot to visit, the 21st century update of our 1940s grow your own ‘dig for victory’ zoo keepers’ allotment producing fresh food for our zoo animals .
I saw VertiCrop in November, when visting looking at Paignton Zoo’s wartime past. Suitably for a wartime re-enactor (gnome), Paignton Zoo was operational during World War Two, and you can read more about its past in our archive of blog posts in 2010.
Who knows where he will turn up next?
Who knows when he will return?
(Who ever helped him travel, please return him at some point – there’s digging to be done).
Without our gnome gardener / guard-ener’s help, we put our wartime variety of spuds in yesterday (Sharpe’s Express) and some of our saved broad bean seeds from last year’s crop. The rest of the broad beans proved great fresh ‘podding’ enrichment for our critically endangered ‘Yaki’ Sulawesi macaque monkeys last summer. We’ve sown some more broad beans and other things for them this year, a special year for the macaques with the launch of the Selamatkan Yaki campaign (‘save the macaques’ in the local Sulawesi /Bahasan Indonesian language) by Paignton & Newquay Zoo (part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust) see our website www.newquayzoo.org.uk/conservation pages.
If you look back through our blog posts in summer 2010 you’ll find more about our Gnome Guard, named after the LDV or Home Guard in World War 2. You’ll also find links to Twigs Way the garden writer and her superb little Shire Library series book on Garden Gnomes (There’s a great little Shire book by her on Allotments and a new book on wartime gardening by Twigs Way and Mike Brown (Sabrestorm) http://twigsway.com/
Hopefully our Gnome Guard will be back by the May half term for our wartime displays as prt of our Wartime Zoo gardens week running alongside the BIAZA ‘Love Your Zoo’ campaign http://www.biaza.org.uk ( May 28 to June 5th 2011).
For more information about World War Zoo, visit http://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/news/world-war-zoo.htm
Hopefully, our missing Gnome Guard will be back from his travels soon. If he turns up next at our other sister zoo, Living Coasts www.livingcoasts.org.uk I will suspect an ‘inside job’ in his disappearance …
After all, wherever you wander, there’s g-no place like gnome …
Tags: 1940s, botanic gardens, dig for victory garden, enrichment, food waste, garden gnomes, gardens, gnomes, history teaching, Newquay, Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo, salad, Twigs Way, wartime gardening, world war 2, WW2, zoo