Gnome Living Grass Sculpture 2000

In 2000 Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Waltham Abbey, started to transform a former ROF site (ammunitions factory and testing ground) into a communal green space for recreation, learning and the arts. Gnome was commissioned to raise awareness about the new park Gunpowder Park and its eco-credentials. Francis Carr was Artist in Residence and advisor on the scheme.



A giant grassy garden Gnome (4.5 meters high) for Covent Garden Flower Festival, towered over the entrance to Covent Garden Market.

‘As guardians of the earth, Gnomes are the ultimate ecologists, reminding us of the part we all have in caring for our world.’ Francis Carr

With over a million visitors attending the flower festival it proved a popular tourist attraction.

The Gnome was made at Turf Management’s head quarters  (liquid seed turf specialists) in a shed with his daughter Andrea Carr and son-in-law Peter Williams. A topiary frame was covered with straw and chicken wire before being sprayed in paper pulp containing pre-seeded grass by Turf Management.

As a living sculpture it required regular watering and for this reason fake flowers had to be used for the beard, hat and boots.

After the show Gnome retired to Hayes Hill Children’s Farm, Lee Valley, where he became a much loved feature till 2003. As time passed its qualities changed and he became a home for birds and small mammals.


Gnome model by A.Carr

Sculpting with straw and growing grass at Turf Management


Gnome became a popular tourist attraction