GREEN-FINGERED types in Wigan are flocking to get their hands on the latest gardening trend - the humble garden gnome.
The surge in interest follows the lifting of a 100-year ban on the little fellas at the Chelsea Flower Show.
And as sales of gnomes have risen by 150 per cent nationally, garden centres across the borough are also experiencing a boom as the cheeky chaps get back in favour.
This is despite bad publicity such as Ikea’s recent ‘Say no to gnomes, make more of your garden’ advert campaign, which has received more than 50 official complaints from gnome lovers across the country.
Steve Wright, covering manager at The Range in Wigan said: “We sell a large range of gnomes and they are one of our biggest sellers.
“Gnomes are a large part of British tradition and people seem to love them. Its important that they should be part of another great British tradition such as the Chelsea flower show.”
The Royal Horticultural Society has previously blamed gnomes for distracting people from looking at flowers and plants. But others believe high society green thumbs may think colourful gnomes are below them.
With the popular outdoor pieces being one of the biggest sellers at The Range, it seems Wigan is behind the gnome revolution all the way.
Steve added: “I think in the past some people thought of gnomes as distasteful, but they are much more acceptable now. I think they’ll become even more popular now they have been seen at Chelsea Flower Show.”
The Queen inspected 150 garden gnomes at the opening of Chelsea Flower Show last week.