Retired Guelph man becomes a doctor for garden gnomes

A man from Guelph is bringing garden gnomes back to life.

Ken McGowan has become “The Gnome Doctor” ever since he retired six years ago.

It started after he inherited several gnomes from his parents and took on the task of touching them up. He enjoyed it so much he started asking people if he could fix up their gnomes and other lawn decor for free.

The first gnome he ever repaired, however, didn’t leave his home.

“I brought him home, fixed him all up, and now he sits at my front door,” said McGowan. “I call him Ralph after my late father.”

The doctor has been busy during the pandemic, like other medical professionals, and even had one customer with seven different gnomes.

McGowan only has one rule when it comes to patching up his patients.

“Don’t rush me,” he said. “When it’s done I’ll call you.”

David Jennison had his gnomes fixed after his mother moved out of her home and says, thanks to the doctor, they’re still very much part of the family.

“They were faded to pretty much white at that point,” he said. “Last weekend, my one-year-old grandson was in the backyard trying to give him a hug.”

McGowan says it’s those special moments that keep his practice open.

“As long as I can do it I’ll just keep going,” he said.