Death of the garden gnome
Sales of outdoor ornaments are down by 36 per cent in a year.
I have to admit, some gnomes are creepy, while others are just cute and make me laugh.
I hope they don't disappear completely.
We seem to be more interested in planting vegetables and fruit than simply decorating our green spaces.
The figures from the Horticultural Trades Association show that sales of fruit-bearing trees and plants were up 43 per cent in the same period.
A spokesman for the association, Alan Maxted, said gnomes had received some bad press and were seen as "a bit twee" nowadays.
"Maybe gardening is becoming a bit too serious and utilitarian," he said.
"We think gardens should be fun and enjoyable."
Mr Maxted said some gardeners are using alternatives, such as pottery frogs, statues of Daleks or miniature Stonehenges.
But overall we are using far fewer ornaments.
Garden gnomes, with their distinctive pointed caps, became popular in Germany centuries ago.
Modern versions have been created in the hope of winning over the younger generation. Some are holding iPods, others have movie star faces.
The sales figures suggest this isn't working - but gnome enthusiasts report otherwise.
Margaret Egleton, founder of the Gnomeland website which sells ceramics imported from Germany, insisted they are still loved.
"Our sales have been rising month on month for the three years we have been operating," she said.
"People enjoy gnomes. They make them smile and they will be here for many generations to come."