Garden cartoons – noisy neighbours cartoon

Gardening cartoon - noisy neighbours cartoon

Noisy neighbours cartoon

Cartoon showing problem neighbours hanging a loudspeaker outdoors in a tree.
A gardener is hanging a bird nesting box in a tree. The loudspeaker looks very similar to the nesting box, which is part of the joke

A humorous observation about neihbors from hell, encouraging birds in the garden, inconsiderate neighbours
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Sundial cartoon. A sundial is a solar powered clock

sundial cartoon

Sundial cartoon. A sundial is a solar powered clock

In the cartoon a person is looking at a sundial and is saying “It’s incredible that all those years ago they’d developed solar-powered clocks.”
The cartoon illustrated how in the modern world we assume everything has to be powered by a relatively modern form of power, such as electricity in the form of batteries or mains electricity. In the past everything was powered by “sustainable” or “natural” resources, such as solar power, the wind or water.

A cartoon about the history of clocks, horology
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Butterfly friendly insecticide cartoon

butterfly friendly pesticide cartoon

A cartoon about selective pesticide – butterfly and ladybird friendly insecticide

A joke about insecticide that kills only ugly insects

The cartoon has deeper meanings about how we judge things by appearance, by prejudice or by attractiveness.
It’s also about gardening and the aesthetic values that are deployed in the garden (such as in the selection of plants and flowers, not just in the selection of pests). However it’s also about the wider phenomenon of judging everything, including people, by appearance

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Mushroom illustration – toadstool illustration – fungi

mushroom illustration - chris madden

A drawing of a mushroom
Fungus illustration
Toadstool sketch

A drawing of a toadstool, mushroom or similar fungus, inspired by a walk in the park in autumn

The fungus in this drawing is a purely impressionistic one, made up on my sketch pad in my studio. It is meant to give the feel for the fungus rather than being a scientific representation of one

A drawing about autumn, fungi, mushrooms, toadstools.
A digital painting of fungus.

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Gardening cartoon – insect repellant

gardening humour insect-repellant

Gardening humour – how to repel midges

How to repel midges when outdoors

Midges are a pest in the garden and outdoors. They may be small but they go around in swarms and their bites can drive a person to the point of distraction. However, a slight breeze is all it takes to get rid of them.
This cartoon shows a method of producing such a breeze.

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Organic gardening cartoon – worms dragging unwanted organic matter underground

Worms dragging unwanted matter underground - cartoon

Organic gardening cartoon – worms dragging unwanted organic matter underground

Cartoon showing a woman thinking about her husband being dragged under the soil by worms. Wishful thinking

A cartoon about organic gardening

The woman in the cartoon is a keen organic gardener – and her husband is a lazy waste of space.
She is thinking about the organic gardening principle that you should allow worms to drag decaying organic matter into the soil, and she is wishing that the worms would do that to her husband

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Garden plant protection cartoon

umbrellas as plant protectors cartoon

Gardening cartoon – a novel way to protect plants from bad weather conditions

Cartoon showing small umbrellas as a novelty form of plant protector in the garden

The advantage of these mini umbrellas is that because they are vivid colours they bring a welcome splash of colour to the garden during dull weather
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Topiary cartoon

topiary gardening cartoon

Garden cartoon
Topiary cartoon – gardener creating a topiary chair

Cartoon showing a gardener relaxing in a chair that he has clipped as a piece of topiary from a bush. He is reading a magazine called ‘Topiary Monthly’

A cartoon about topiary art, clipping hedges, topiary animals, garden furniture, garden chairs, relaxing in the garden
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Solar powered sundial cartoon – a sundial with solar panels

electronic sundial cartoon

Garden cartoon – a garden sundial that is powered by a solar panel and that has a digital display

Cartoon showing a digital sundial

The original version of this cartoon was drawn many years ago, before the start of the recent proliferation in solar panels.
Part of the joke is that sundials are very low-tech devices, whereas the device in the cartoon is very high-tech. Both use the sun as a way of telling the time.
The cartoon questions the need to make everything hi-tech, because the normal sundial works almost as well as the solar panel electronic clock in the cartoon (except when the sun’s not shining of course, but let’s not get pedantic).
There is a companion cartoon that goes with this one in which a traditional sundial is advertised as a ‘solar powered clock
A cartoon about alternative technology, garden ornaments

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Summer gardening cartoon – gardening in dull weather, compensating for lack of sunshine

sun lamp for summer sun - cartoon

Garden cartoon – how to provide sunshine in overcast weather

Cartoon showing a gardener setting up a sun lamp to provide artificial sunshine to his garden plants

This cartoon was drawn during a prolonged period of very overcast summer weather, when the sun didn’t shine for a long period of time.

A cartoon about gardening equipment, flower gardening, encouraging plants, gardening in shady gardens, sun-loving plants

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Spring gardening cartoon – the results of an early spring

spring early - neighbours out early - cartoon

Spring gardening cartoon – an early spring

Cartoon showing the results of an early spring.
When spring arrives early in the year plants come out earlier. And so do neighbours.

Cartoon showing people relaxing in the garden to take advantage of early spring sunshine and unseasonable warm weather

A cartoon about garden seasons, hot weather, relaxation in gardens, suburban gardening

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Gardening cartoon – a cartoon about data-obsession and looking forward to spring

measuring spring buds cartoon

Garden cartoon.
Cartoon about obsessive data collection

Cartoon showing a gardener measuring the length of a bud on a tree and determining the progress of the seasons as a result.

This is a cartoon about people who feel a need to measure things as a way of feeling that they are in control of their lives and environment.

This cartoon isn’t a criticism of the data collecting urge. After all, where would we be without the people who do it? It’s due to them that we can predict what will happen in the future (The man in the cartoon is precisely predicting the time till the arrival of spring).
A cartoon about control freaks, creating order, psychological personality types.

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Gardening cartoon – garden seating cartoon

spiral staircase up tree cartoon

Garden cartoon – garden seating up a tree cartoon

Cartoon showing a garden seat high in the branches of a tree

There is a spiral staircase going round the trunk of the tree, providing access to the top of the tree

A cartoon that refers to the recent trend to construct aerial walkways or arboreal walkways through the upper branches of trees, allowing people to explore the tree canopy. Examples include the Xstrata Treetop Walkway in Kew Gardens, London.
The cartoon also refers to the tree houses built in trees by children (or their parents).
Part of the joke in the cartoon is that the two people sitting on a bench in the tree are old people rather than the young and agile people you’d expect.
A cartoon about garden seating, garden chairs, relaxing in the garden, suburban gardening.

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Gardening cartoon about cutting a branch from a tree – and forward planning

saw branch off tree - cartoon

Garden tree cartoon – sawing a branch off a tree while sitting on the branch

Cartoon about the cliche of a man sawing a branch off a tree while sitting on the branch.
In the usual version of this cartoon cliche the man is sitting on the part of the branch which will fall to the ground when cut – a joke about human stupidity.

In this version of the cartoon the man has realised this danger and has sat on the part of the branch that will remain attached to the tree.
However, he’s overlooked the fact that his ladder was leaning on the branch and has fallen to the ground, stranding him on the stump of the branch high in the tree.

A cartoon about hubris, the law of unforeseen consequences, insufficient planning, foreword planning, flawed planning strategies, flaws in reasoning

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Garden pond cartoon – a mobile pond in a wheelbarrow

garden pond in wheelbarrow - cartoon

Garden pond cartoon – a garden pond in a wheelbarrow

Cartoon about unusual garden ponds

A moveable pond in a wheelbarrow – a pond that can by moved round the garden

A cartoon about creating a garden pond, novelty garden ponds, humorous garden ponds, uses for old garden tools and implements, unusual uses for wheelbarrows, novelty garden design

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Fruit growing cartoon – pear tree producing gluts of fruit in the autumn

pear tree fruit glut cartoon

Fruit gardening cartoon – a glut of fruit on a pear tree

Cartoon about the problem of gluts of seasonal food or the over abundance of seasonal crops

The gardener complaining that all of the fruit on a fruit tree arrives at once.

A cartoon about fruit gardening, vegetable gardens, harvesting fruit, pear trees, garden fruit, allotment gardening, autumn gardens, fall gardening, fruit picking.

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Gardening cartoon – you sometimes only notice trees when they’re in blossom

only notice trees when in blossom - cartoon

Gardening cartoon – how blossom imposes itself on your senses

Cartoon showing gardeners commenting on how plants can go unnoticed except when they are in flower

The gardener is saying that it’s amazing how a tree stands there unnoticed all year – then it comes into blossom and you can’t take your eyes off it.

A cartoon about blooms, flowers, colour in the garden, attention-seeking flowers, attractive blossom, cherry blossom time, flowering trees, summer gardens.

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Next door neighbour’s children’s toy in garden – cartoon

next doors kids toy in garden - cartoon

Gardening cartoon – children’s toy in garden

Cartoon showing a gardener finding a small spaceship in his garden
He is wondering whether it’s a real spaceship or a children’s toy spaceship from next door

The gardener is saying “Either the vegetable patch is being colonised by tiny aliens or next door’s kids have lost one of their toys.”

Part of the humour of this cartoon is that the gardener thinks that it may be a real alien spacecraft first and a children’s toy second.
A cartoon about children losing toys in gardens, alternative explanations for phenomena, neighbours, next door neighbours’ balls in garden.

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Innovative garden ornaments cartoon – Loch Ness monster sculpture

Loch Ness monster  as garden ornament - cartoon

Gardening cartoon – Loch Ness monster cartoon

Cartoon showing a man putting a model of the Loch Ness monster onto his garden lawn.

The gardener’s wife is saying “Why can’t we just have gnomes like everyone else?”

Part of the humour of this cartoon is that the Loch Ness monster is composed of a series of humps that can be placed individually on the lawn, giving the impression that the creature is both above and below the lawn.
A cartoon about eccentric garden sculpture, humorous garden features, novelty garden ornaments, garden design, innovative garden sculptures

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Autumn garden cartoon – Indian summer gardening

indian summer wearing shorts - cartoon

Gardening cartoon – autumn heatwave cartoon

Cartoon showing a man raking autumn leaves on a very hot autumn day after a cold and miserable summer.

The gardener is saying “This is the first time this year that it’s been hot enough to garden in shorts.”

A cartoon about unseasonable weather, Indian summers (spells of very warm weather in autumn or fall)

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Hanging basket in front of front door – gardening cartoons

hanging basket in front of front door - cartoon

Hanging basket cartoon – gardening cartoon

Cartoon showing a hanging basket hanging in front of a door

The joke is that the hanging basket is too low and is blocking the doorway, but the man can’t quite work out what’s wrong

As well as being a straightforward cartoon about garden design and the pitfalls of garden design, this cartoon is a metaphor for the way that people often can’t tell what they are doing wrong (even though it may be staring them in the face).

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Gardening cartoon – a model of a tower crane to hang hanging baskets

hanging basket crane - cartoon

Garden design cartoon – hanging basket cartoon

Cartoon showing a hanging basket in a garden, suspended from a scale model of a construction crane or tower crane.

The woman in the cartoon is saying “It’s dad’s way of moving into retirement gradually. He used to be a crane operator.”

The model of the crane in the garden is meant to illustrate the fact that garden features and garden decorations need not be limited to concrete or resin copies of classical statues. The structure of the crane here is meant to suggest modern sculpture of constructivist sculpture to some extent, as well as simple garden frameworks and trellises for plants to climb on.
A cartoon about retirement, changes in lifestyle as people get older, leisure activity in old age, retirement activities, keeping busy in retirement

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Garden gate with health and safety notice on it – cartoon

garden gate health and safety notice cartoon

Garden gate cartoon – garden design cartoon

Cartoon about health and safety in the garden
A warning sign on a garden gate similar to the type that are displayed on building sites and construction sites

The joke here is about the pervasiveness of health and safety culture, in which practically every human activity is judged to be hazardous.

The gardener is saying “The garden’s a dangerous place, what with its ponds and thorns – not to mention the power tools.”
Health and safety warning signs such as the one in the cartoon are, I assume, a defence against the current litigation culture. The fact that the signs are there proves that people have been warned of potential danger, thus placing responsibility for personal safety in the hands of the person who has been warned.

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Creepy crawlies on garden flowers cartoon

bugs on flowers cartoon

Garden insects cartoon

Cartoon about garden insects on flowers.

A gardener looking closely at a flower and noticing the tiny insects that are living on it that had been unnoticed until he examined the bloom closely.

The gardener is saying ” It’s wonderful how every spring I’m newly surprised by the incredible shapes and colours of the flowers in the garden – and of the insects that are hiding between their petals.”
A cartoon about garden wildlife, secret life in the garden, invertebrates, nature, natural gardening, organic gardening, eco-friendly gardening

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Frogs spawning in garden pond – garden gnomes cartoon

frogs spawning garden gnomes cartoon

Garden wildlife cartoon and garden gnome cartoon

Cartoon of a garden pond that has garden gnomes round the edge holding coils of barbed wire in order to keep cats away from the pond

The garden gnomes are being used to protect the frogs and fish in the pond from the local cats.
Cats are a problem around garden ponds, especially in the frog spawning season.

Garden gnomes are normally holding fishing rods, spades, wheelbarrows or other gardening implements. Gnomes holding barbed wire is a novelty.
Part of the joke is that this particular type of garden gnome is actually useful rather than just being decorative.

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