The rusticity of the environment [Merridale Lane in Surrey] is enhanced by the wooden owls that keep guard over the names of houses, and by crumbling dwarfs indefatigably poised over goldfish ponds. The inhabitants of Merridale Lane do not paint their dwarfs, suspecting this to be a suburban vice, nor, for the same reason, do they varnish the owls; but wait patiently for the years to endow these treasures with an appearance of weathered antiquity, until one day even the beams on the garage may boast of beetle and woodworm.
Source: Call for the Dead (John Le Carre)
I am having difficulty understanding the description of the owls and the dwarfs. What kind of house decor is the wooden owl that guard over the name of the house? And is the dwarfs another ornament decorating the house? Am I correct to understand that the inhabitants there deliberately refrain from painting the owls and the dwarfs such that they will look old?