The battle for the back garden was especially brutal on Tuesday. The gnomes, who usually won these things, were taken by surprise by the plastic fairies that hung from strings along the porch ceiling and the little cement girl from over near the bird bath. She usually knelt in the mulch, holding a reflective glass orb and generally looking cherubic. Today, her cement brow was furrowed in concentration as she used the ball to bowl for lawn gnomes, releasing it in the gnomes' direction with a grunt. The monochrome transparent plastic fairies swooped in to violently finish the job.