"Coventry man's huge garden gnome collection that's got the street talking"

"Coventry man's huge garden gnome collection that's got the street talking"

Postby dutchman » Sat Jul 03, 2021 5:53 pm

Kevin and Viola Keenan's garden is the place where "every gnome has a home"

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A Coventry man's impressive garden gnome and statue collection has become the talk of the town.

Bell Green resident Kevin Keenan has spent years building a vast collection of garden statues and gnomes, all of which he decorates himself.

He painstakingly spends hours every day painting the statues, which regularly catches the attention of passers-by.

Mr Keenan's vast collection, which has now expanded to his back garden, involves a giant Faberge style egg, the 'King of the Gnomes', and a particularly rare panda.

His collection has acquired such a reputation that friends and neighbours will just drop off statues to his house that they think will fit in with the theme.

You may recognise Mr Keenan, as for many years, he and his wife Viola would dress their Bell Green house with a whopping 25,000 Christmas lights.

Mr Keenan first started his 175 -strong collection after inheriting some of the gnomes from his mother's garden.

But as he and his wife Viola explained to CoventryLive from their garden, things escalated from there. Mr Keenan said: "Then it becomes looking for something different. Teddy bears or gorillas, windmills, and it just went on from there. Now neighbours give us some, relatives ask us to paint some for them, and it just goes on and on."

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You cannot miss the Keenans' front garden, and all year round, whatever the weather, it is a rainbow spectacle.

As you approach their house, you are met with a sea of multi coloured figures stationed outside the front door.

As you get closer, rainbow gnomes in different positions line the walkway up to the door, and everywhere you turn there is a pair of eyes staring back at you.

A closer look reveals just how intricate Mr Keenan's work is, with polka dots painted in a certain way, expressions and outlines making the faces of each statue pop, you will notice something new every time you look.

And the garden has been turning heads on the street for some time.

"Well the people love it especially the children. You'll very often see adults picking their kids up show them across the fence, show them where the animals are, the little gnomes, and the different bits and pieces, they just seem to enjoy it" Mr Keenan said.

Mr Keenan explained his favourite statue is the King of the Gnomes, an imposing and green and orange figure that sits at a vantage point in his garden.

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Mr and Mrs Keenan have slowly been adding to their collection over time, and Mr Keenan's method of painting ensures the gnomes are weather proof for four years.

And just why the theme of garden gnomes? "There's no specific reason apart from the fact in winter gardens looks very drab, but this garden doesn't, this one always looks colourful, it really looks colourful, that's the main reason."

His wife Viola added: "Every gnome has a home when he comes here."

Mr Keenan is currently recovering from an illness so plans to spend the coming months catching up on painting and adding to the collection.

He will be in his shed or in the front garden painting, whatever the weather.

And is there a limit, will he ever stop? Mr Keenan replied: "Well there's a limit to the garden space, definitely! If something's nice, you just carry on, there's always something that's unusual."

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Re: "Coventry man's huge garden gnome collection that's got the street talking"

Postby rebbonk » Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:06 pm

Like to bet he gets a visit from the local thieves now? - I know, I'm cynical
Of course it'll fit; you just need a bigger hammer.
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