A Funny Year in the Garden
Gardening cartoon book
Versions of many of the gardening cartoons on this site can be found in my book, A Funny Year in the Garden.
My gardening cartoons appeared for many years in the pages of the Irish Sunday Independent newspaper.
The book contains about a hundred of my cartoons in black and white.
Gardening cartoon – a man sowing flower seed and a cat sowing bird seed
The man is looking forward to flowers growing from the seeds he is sowing
The cat is looking forward to seeing birds sprout from the seed it is sowing – as it’s sowing bird seed
Cartoon reference number: a583
Garden design cartoon
Hanging hanging baskets from electricity pylons
Disguising an eye sore in the garden by planting
An illustration of a person turning a disadvantage into an advantage by using a bit of creativity
Cartoon reference number: a577
Gardening cartoon – flower appreciation guide book
Cartoon showing a gardener looking in a book to see how different types of flower should be appreciated
The cartoon is about conventions of taste and aesthetic judgements as much as it’s about gardening
A cartoon about aesthetics, taste, beauty, design, cultural convention, artistic taste.
Cartoon reference number: a518
Pareidolia – an orchid flower as a man’s head
A photograph of an orchid flower that looks like a human head
Cartoon reference number: a420
See the face of God in a flower – cartoon
A cartoon showing a Sunday school teacher telling her pupils that you can see the face of God when you look at a flower.
One of the children is imagining the face of a pansy as the face of God.
Pansies do have faces after all.
Seeing faces in things is known as pareidolia.
Cartoon reference number: a396
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.
Cartoon reference number: a297
Garden cartoon – how to appreciate small flowers
Cartoon showing a microscope being used to admire tiny flowers in a garden
A cartoon about microscopy, studying flowers, size isn’t everything, beauty in small things.
Cartoon reference number: a295
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.
Cartoon reference number: a293
Spring garden flower cartoon – snowdrops in the garden
Cartoon showing a man in his garden studying snowdrops by looking at them from below by using a mirror on a stick
A cartoon about spring gardening, early spring garden flowers, flower appreciation, how to study snowdrops.
Cartoon reference number: a282
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).
Cartoon reference number: a274
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.
Cartoon reference number: a273
Spring gardening cartoon
Flower gardening cartoon, featuring drooping crocuses
Cartoon of a gardener looking at some crocuses in his lawn.
The crocuses are flopping over or keeling over and wilting after a very short period of flowering.
The gardener is complaining that no sooner do crocuses come into flower than they then wilt and die.
His wife is saying “Never mind dear, the daffodils will be along soon.”
The wisdom of planting flowers for successive flowering
This is a cartoon about optimism and pessimism, glass half full, glass half empty, looking on the bright side, plants flowering in succession. It’s also about life moving on, change.
Cartoon reference number: a260
Gardening cartoons. Arranging flowers in an herbaceous border
Cartoon about garden design, laying out garden borders
Cartoon showing a man planting flowers and shrubs in a garden border
The joke in this cartoon centres on the fact that the man who is laying out the garden has no aesthetic appreciation of design or colour in the garden, and is basing his design on categorisation of the plants by name. This is his idea of creating order and control in the garden, and this is what he is happy with.
An important aspect of this cartoon is that the man is arranging his plants in alphabetical order – not in order based on species (which may be a method of planting that places order over aesthetics, but at least such a planting scheme has a rationality to it, whereas planting in alphabetical order is to some extent random and thus is an illusory form of rationale).
A cartoon about planting schemes, garden layout, garden design.
Cartoon reference number: a238
Gardening cartoons. A weed’s a weed
Cartoon about attitudes to weeds and wild plants
Cartoon showing a man admiring a wild flower – but pulling it out of his garden anyway because he thinks of it as a weed
A cartoon about the definition of weeds, wild flowers in gardens, natural gardening, wild flower gardening, encouraging wildlife and nature in the garden.
Cartoon reference number: a237
Garden design cartoon. A drawback of tall plants
A humorous illustration showing a flower bed with a very tall specimen in it.
The gardener is saying “Its height is very impressive – but it stops us appreciating the amazing delicacy of its flowers”
The flowers are ones that you really need to be able to get close to.
Cartoon reference number: a225
Gardening humour. Design for small suburban gardens. Using a spiral staircase to maximise space in a small garden
Vertical gardening comic illustration – showing an outdoor spiral staircase in a very small garden, with flowers planted in hanging baskets up the staircase.
How to make a small garden seem bigger.
I may do a different version of this cartoon, set in a particular town in the UK. I’ll call the cartoon “The hanging gardens of Basildon”. Surely that must be the name of garden centre in Basildon. If it isn’t, it should be.
This type of gardening is now known as vertical gardening. Versions of it can be found on walls on the sides of city buildings, both outdoors and indoors.
Cartoon reference number: a220
Gardening cartoon – a garden that’s full of plants
`humorous illustration showing gardeners in a very well stocked garden. One of the gardeners has just returned from the garden centre with yet another plant.
She’s asking optimistically whether there’s room for another plant in the densely planted garden.
Cartoon reference number: a219
Gardening humour about prize-winning flowers
Cartoon shows prize winning blooms being picked by a child as a present for her mother
A humorous illustration about gardening competitions, flower shows, plant breeding, daffodils, children in gardens and prize winning blooms.
Cartoon reference number: a216
Gardening cartoon. A flowerbed shaped like a map of the world
A comic illustration showing a gardener laying out a flower bed in the shape of a map of the world.
In the cartoon the flowers in each country are plants what are native to that country (so China is planted with flowers that originated in China, and so on)
The joke is partly that the gardener hasn’t been able to source any plants from Antarctica.
This is because the Antarctic is the only landmass on earth with no vegetation to speak of, apart from a few species that hang on in the margins. There are only two species of flowering plants in Antarctica, the Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica) and the Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis), which grow on the South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland Islands and along the western Antarctic Peninsula (The source of this information is the British Antarctic Survey).
Cartoon reference number: a212
Gardening humour. Using a magnifying glass to look at small flowers
A cartoon showing a gardener looking at a very small flower through a magnifying lens.
The magnifying glass is mounted on a stake in a plant pot, and the flower is in a plant pot
A joke about appreciating flowers, studying blossoms, size isn’t everything, small but perfectly formed.
Cartoon reference number: a211
Gardening and gardens cartoon. Using a concrete mixer as a garden plant holder
A joke about a gardener using a concrete mixer as a garden planter or plant pot.
The joke in the cartoon is that the concrete mixer has just been used in order to concrete over the garden, leaving nowhere to plant flowers.
A cartoon about gardening, garden design, patios, patio gardening, paving over the garden.
Cartoon reference number: a201
Novice gardener cartoon. What’s this flower?
It’s a daffodil
A cartoon showing a man who is new to gardening looking at a flower and asking what species it is
The joke is that the flower is a daffodil – a type of garden plant that is so common and popular that almost everyone knows by name.
Drawn: Apr 2003
Cartoon reference number: a190
Gardening humour. Plants for sale in garden centres have images on their labels that show the plants at their best
Sometimes the plant labels show the plant as more beautiful than the plant will ever be (at least in most gardens).
A cartoon about selling flowering plants, blossoms and blooms by showing the flowers on the plant name labels.
Sometimes the flowers or plants on the labels look so much better than the actual specimen that they are almost against the trades description act.
Drawn: Nov 2011
Cartoon reference number: a186
Hospital garden cartoon – plant on a drip
Hospital garden cartoon – showing a sickly plant that has been put on a drip
A cartoon showing a doctor in the garden of a hospital. He has noticed that one plant looks sickly, so he’s put it on a drip.
A cartoon about ways of supplying nutrients to garden plants. Drip mechanisms are a common method of irrigating crops or of watering garden plants, so the drip joke isn’t actually very far fetched.
Drawn: Oct 2007
Cartoon reference number: a171
A cartoon from a series about gardens and gardening
A cartoon about garden flowers
A cartoon showing a man noticing that the flowers in the garden always seem to come into bloom just when he’s going away on holiday.
A cartoon about garden flowers, the importance of growing plants that come into blossom at the right time.
Drawn: July 2010
Cartoon reference number: a170