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
Cartoon reference number: a544
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
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
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.
Cartoon reference number: a296
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.
Cartoon reference number: a294
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.
Cartoon reference number: a290
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.
Cartoon reference number: a280
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.
Cartoon reference number: a276
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
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.
Cartoon reference number: a271
Gardening cartoon and self-sufficient power generation cartoon
Cartoon about sustainable power generation, featuring an Escher type use of false perspective to make water flow up hill in a garden pond or ‘water feature’.
Cartoon of a woman mowing a lawn with an electric lawn mower powered by a generator harnessing the power of flowing water in her garden pond.
She is saying “It’s amazing how much electricity you can generate with a small generator and a little bit of false perspective”
This is a recently redrawn version of a cartoon that I first drew about thirty years ago in the 1980s. It’s one of a series of cartoons that I drew at the time about sustainable technology – mostly employing absurdist ideas such as the impossible structure here that allows water to flow uphill (borrowed from the work of M C Escher). Other ideas in the series included perpetual motion machines and Heath Robinson devices.
A cartoon about sustainable energy, lawnmowers, garden ponds, garden water features, environmental gardening.
Cartoon reference number: a263
Cartoon of a gardener at her front door with a watering can.
The house fronts straight onto the street, with no front garden.
The gardener is waiting what looks like a door mat
She is saying “It’s not a door mat – it’s my lawn”
This is a cartoon about garden lawns, gardening in small gardens.
Cartoon reference number: a262
Control freak cartoon.
Cartoon of a gardener obsessively measuring the height of his plants.
His daughter has overheard her mother chatting to a friend, and the child is asking her father “Daddy, what’s a control freak?”
A cartoon about control freaks, anally retentive behaviour, children saying embarrassing things, regimented garden design, flower arrangements, formal garden layouts, obsession with order, psychology of gardening
This is a joke about the cliche of the stereotype of the man and his shed – where the garden shed is a man’s ‘den’ or hideaway from his family, where he can do manly (though unthreatening) things.
Part of the joke is that you wonder why the garden shed would have a cellar, and what might be in it.
It is a cartoon about masculinity, male territory, territoriality, men’s interests, gender roles.
Cartoon reference number: a258
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 and garden design cartoon. Ordering garden seeds from a seed catalogue
Cartoon about garden design and planning
Cartoon showing a man trying to decide what type of garden to create – a vegetable garden or a garden in the form of a sub-tropical paradise retreat
Part of the humour in the cartoon is that the man who is contemplating designing or planning a new garden is a stereotypical old age pensioner – a type of person who probably wouldn’t be interested in creating an aspirational garden design such as a designer garden. He’d normally prefer a traditional vegetable garden or allotment garden in which he could potter round rather than a high status garden that would (hopefully) impress his friends.
The cartoon is meant to imply that an ostentatious high status garden design is more vulgar than an ‘honest’ vegetable plot.
This is a cartoon about cultural types, social class, cultural stereotypes.
Cartoon reference number: a236
Gardening and gardens cartoon. The only way to get children to go outside into the garden is to put a television there
A joke about the problem of getting children away from the television and their computers.
The horror of the idea of ‘outdoor television’ – especially for kids
A comic illustration about child development, children’s games and activities, children won’t play outside anymore, physical exercise for children.
Cartoon reference number: a229
Gardening and gardens cartoon – installing a turnstile in place of a garden gate
A comic illustration showing a gardener who has replaced his garden gate with a turnstile complete with a money slot
The turnstile means that to enter his garden people have to pay. This acts as a deterrence to unwelcome visitors
By having to pay in order to reach the front door the turnstile stops cold calling door-to-door salesmen, junk mail deliverers, leaflet deliverers, Jehovah’s witnesses and other unwelcome visitors. Only people who really want to visit the house will pay to enter the garden (and possibly get a refund when the front door is answered.
I think I may install one of these devises myself now that I think about it.
Cartoon reference number: a227
Garden topiary cartoon – bushes clipped into the shape of pointing hands
Comic illustration showing bushes in a garden or park trimmed to the shape of pointing hands
The people are looking in the directions that the bushes are pointing in
Cartoon reference number: a226
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
Garden design cartoon – is there a swimming pool in this garden?
Comic illustration showing a swimming pool diving board visible over a garden fence.
It’s just there to make it look as if there’s a swimming pool in the garden
A joke about status and prestige in garden design.
Cartoon reference number: a223
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. Mowing the lawn with an electric lawn mower that needs a longer cable
A cartoon showing a gardener cutting the grass with an electric mower
The electric cable of the mower is shorter than the length of the lawn, so the end of the lawn remains unmown
A humorous illustration about tidy gardens, untidy gardens, the end of the garden, grass cutting, power mowers, hover mowers.
Cartoon reference number: a213
Gardening humour – a motor mower fitted with sat nav
A joke showing a gardener buying a new lawn mower in a garden centre.
The salesman is saying to the prospective customer “This lawn mower’s for the man with a very large lawn – it’s fitted with sat-nav”.
The implication is that the mower is for a lawn that’s so big that you need gps to navigate your way round it without getting lost.
A cartoon about satellite navigation systems, large gardens, lawns, garden centres, unnecessary accessories, gimmicks, status indicators.
Cartoon reference number: a209
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
Funny cat cartoon. A cat trying to catch birds at a garden bird table
A humorous illustration about the problem of cats stalking birds in gardens
A cartoon about garden wildlife, bird tables, feeding birds.
Drawn: July 2011
Cartoon reference number: a197
Cartoon featuring a bird box with a bird feeding station attached
A humorous illustration about how to encourage birds into the garden by providing nesting boxes and feeding areas such as bird tables.
A joke about encouraging wildlife into the garden.
Cartoon reference number: a195
A cartoon about 3D printing (additive manufacturing).
A cartoon showing a computer-generated 3D statue of a man generated from digital scans of the man. The cartoon was drawn before the concept of 3D printing entered mainstream public awareness, and definitely before the cartoonist (me) had heard of the existence of 3D printing technology, so it’s an early reference to 3D modelling in cartoons, if not one of the first.
I’m sure that 3D technology must have existed for a few years before I drew this cartoon, but possibly mainy in research labs and places that were experimenting with early prototypes of 3D printers. 3D printing definitely wasn’t in the zeitgeist.
The humour in the cartoon lies in the fact that highly advanced, even futuristic, computer technology is being used to produce a representation of a stereotypically simple and technologically conservative old gardener.
The cartoon is partly a comment on the fact that advanced technology inevitably often ends up being used for mundane purposes (just look at television and mobile phones, where ludicrously trivial content abounds). This is not a criticism of this phenomenon, just a humorous observation.
A cartoon about hi-tech manufacturing, garden furniture, garden statues, statuary, sculpture, self portraits, gardening.
Drawn: June 2011
Cartoon reference number: a194
Gardening cartoon. Relaxing in the garden – using a wheelbarrow as a chair
A cartoon showing a man relaxing in his garden by sitting in a wheelbarrow
The man is reading a garden furniture catalogue – because he needs to buy a proper garden chair
A cartoon about outdoor furniture, outdoor living, garden design.
Cartoon reference number: a191
Chess cartoon and gardening humour.
Topiary bushes in plant pots in a garden, shaped like chess pieces. The plant pots are on a checkered patio that looks like a chess board.
A person is clipping one of the bushes into the shape of a bishop.
A humorous illustration about board games, outdoor games, novelty chess pieces, unusual garden design.
Drawn: Dec 2011
Cartoon reference number: a188
A sundial with young children who are too young to tell the time
The reason why the children can’t tell the time is because they are too short to see the top of the sundial
A sundial in a garden as a decorative feature.
A cartoon about child development, learning to tell the time, clocks.
Drawn: Aug 2009
Cartoon reference number: a187
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
Solar energy cartoon -solar panels on an artificial sunflower
Showing a plant harnessing energy from the sun. The plant in the cartoon is artificial (a sunflower) and the energy it is obtaining is being used to drive a speaker which is producing the sound of birdsong.
A humorous illustration about alternative energy, sustainable energy, renewable energy sources, electricity generation.
Drawn: Aug 2011
Cartoon reference number: a184
Garden cartoon. Using jigsaw shaped paving stones on the drive to the garage
Cartoon showing a man constructing a drive in his garden, with flagstones shaped like interlocking pieces from a jigsaw.
The man has just finished constructing the driveway – to find that one of the pieces of the jigsaw is missing.
This is a joke about the cliche that there’s always one piece of a jigsaw that’s missing.
Drawn: Nov 2006
Cartoon reference number: a173
Christmas gardening cartoon – leave the outdoor Christmas decorations in the tree all winter
Cartoon about garden and outdoor decorations.
Brighten up the garden in the dark winter months and bring winter colour to the garden by putting Christmas decorations in the trees.
Drawn: Dec 2011
Cartoon reference number: a168
Garden layout and design cartoon – someone taking a shortcut to avoid following a curved garden path
Cartoon – someone wearing bare patches in a lawn by cutting the corner on the garden path.
Cartoon showing an unforeseen consequence of garden design.
The cartoon brings to mind the expression “up the garden path”.
Cartoon reference number: a166
Wind turbine cartoon
A Wendy house fitted with a child’s windmill as a wind turbine to supply electricity and to convert the house to an eco-house
A cartoon about sustainability, electricity generation, power generation, alternative energy, sustainable development, fuel supply, environment friendly power, eco-friendly design, environmental architecture