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Classic Covers: Calling All Gardeners

Published: June 12, 2010

So your tomatoes are a little bit smaller than you expected. We can’t help with gardening tips (at least in the “Featured Artists” segment), but we can show you covers from The Saturday Evening Post and The Country Gentleman that will make you want to grab your gardening gloves and get started.

Toddler Watering Geraniums by K.R. Wireman, June 28, 1924 (The Country Gentleman)

Toddler Watering Geraniums by K. R. Wireman

Toddler Watering Geraniums
K. R. Wireman
The Country Gentleman
June 28, 1924

The Country Gentleman magazine (from the same publisher as the Post) showed us that gardeners come in all shapes and sizes. Cutie Patootie here wants to help with watering the flowers. This is from 1924. Artist K.R. Wireman is little known today but did about two dozen covers for The Country Gentleman magazine and about a half dozen for the Post.


Hardware Store at Springtime by Stevan Dohanos, March 16, 1946

Hardware Store at Springtime by Stevan Dohanos

Hardware Store at Springtime
Stevan Dohanos
March 16, 1946

This is the part I love best! Shopping for flowers at the local stores. This hardware store in 1946 is tempting your wallet with shiny equipment, seeds, and cool stuff for your patio. “There is nothing like the feel of a good rake or hoe in your hand,” the editors noted, “in the hardware store.”


Ready to Garden by J.C. Leyendecker, May 6, 1916

Ready to Garden by J. C. Leyendecker

Ready to Garden
J. C. Leyendecker
May 6, 1916

All ready with his brand-spanking-new equipment and the latest seed catalog is this endearing fellow by artist J.C. Leyendecker. Oh, to have a shiny new push mower like this one from 1916! Oh wait, we can still get one. It’s just that it will be $100-$200 these days.


Geranium Gardener by W.D. Stevens, May 1, 1937

Geranium Gardener by W. D. Stevens

Geranium Gardener
W. D. Stevens
May 1, 1937

I wish artist W.D. Stevens had done more than one cover for the Post, because this is a charmer. Dig the high-tech wheelbarrow. That, a couple of rakes, a shovel, a hoe, and a watering can for one itty-bitty geranium. And darned if she doesn’t look good doing it!


Little Girl Gardener by K.R. Wireman, March 15, 1919 (The Country Gentleman)

Little Girl Gardener by K. R. Wireman

Little Girl Gardener
K. R. Wireman
The Country Gentleman Magazine
March 15, 1919

Now THIS is a gardener! If you can grow cabbages half your size and body weight, you have accomplished something indeed. This is another adorable cover from artist K.R. Wireman and is from 1919.


Victory Garden by Howard Scott, August 7, 1943

Victory Garden by Howard Scott

Victory Garden
Howard Scott
August 7, 1943

Now for the part about gardening we all like least. Toiling in his victory garden in 1943, the man’s face and posture says it all. Maybe a wifely backrub and some fresh-cooked veggies will make it all worthwhile.

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  • Frank James Davis

    Because of their beautiful portrayal of wholesomeness and innocence, I am drawn to the top two covers.