People left stunned after discovering why people have gnomes in their gardens
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Those garden gnomes on your neighbour’s front lawn could indicate something pretty juicy about their personal lives.
During the Renaissance period and 18th century, folklore claimed that garden gnomes would spring to life at night to help plants evolve.
However, traditional gnome production fell during World War I and II, and they were later re-introduced into popular culture as the charming, decorative characters we know today.
While we can bet you’ve seen these resin or plastic figures before, you may be less likely to know that they can often convey a hidden meaning.
According to a Californian realtor, some potential homeowners are likely to swerve neighbourhoods that opt to display gnomes.
Megan Schenck, owner and broker at Three Lagoons Realty, wrote: “There’s a very nice subdivision in North County San Diego that has a ton of community and family-friendly events throughout the year.
“My client told his friend he’s looking to buy in this community. His friend informed him it’s a huge swinger community.”
She continued to pose the question, ‘How can you tell if your neighbours are swingers’ before revealing that the answer was, surprisingly, the humble garden gnome.
Schenck said: “Turns out that homeowners keep gnomes on the front lawn as an indicator.
“My client looked online to see if this was a joke or real and sure enough, there’s a website out there with info all about it.”
She added: “Some agents specialise in working with seniors, or first-time home-buyers, etc.
“Now maybe there will be a designation in working with swingers!”
This claim has been backed up by various Reddit and X (formerly Twitter) threads, and many social media users have shared their thoughts on their significance.
One X user said: “If rumours are true that a garden gnome can indicate the homeowners are swingers, you're just a doorbell greeting away from an opportunity for an affair.”
A second claimed: “If I put pineapples or garden gnomes around my house that doesn't mean we're swingers.”
While a third added: "I just read an article that said upside down pineapples, white rocks around (sic) a mailbox, pink flamingos, black rings on right hand, and garden gnomes are all symbols of swingers.
“I know picking one thing and sticking with it isn't their fortè, but choose one symbol ffs.”
Another admitted: “Wait pause gnomes represent swingers????!!! We have a little lawn gnome by our front door named Gnomeo…
“Did everybody know this???? Now I’m wondering what the delivery drivers think.”
As well as gnomes, there are apparently other objects that can indicate your neighbour is into swapping sexual partners.
As per the Daily Telegraph in 2017, pampas grass is associated with swingers, while the website Swinger Code claims that using white landscaping rocks and pink and purple decorations is a sure sign, too.
Interestingly, it’s alleged that many swingers also wear black rings.
Cooper Beckett, host of the Life on the Swingset podcast, said back in 2015: "Wear your black ring on your right hand if you are out and open to meet other swingers.
“If someone wearing a black ring on their right-hand approaches you, start a conversation with them: 'I see you're wearing a black ring on your right hand. Maybe we are in the same club'.”
However, given that gnomes, pampas grass and colourful decorations are pretty standard stuff, it’s not safe to accuse your neighbour of being a swinger off of these items alone.