The garden year with Mr Bear is a children's book, published by by the large Australian seed company Arthur Yates & Co. It features beguiling vignettes of green-thumbed Mr Bear sowing flower seeds, planting onions and putting up netting for sweet peas.
Some illustrations are printed in colour; others are in black and white for children to colour in. Each page of text subtly promotes the publisher’s product – vegetable seeds, flower seeds, bulbs, shrubs, trees, and Yates’ garden guide – while providing simple instruction in seasonal planting.
The publication has been dated from a reference in 'Sunbeams', the children's supplement to The Sunday Sun and Garden (Sydney), 12 December 1937: Australian books [for Christmas] ... Another little book we can buy ourselves is 'The garden year with Mr Bear' - a book for all young garden lovers. Also reference in the Hobart Mercury 17 February 1938: seeds available from Charles David Ltd plus 'The garden year with Mr Bear, for the kiddies'.
Identification of Bert Peach as author courtesy of horticulturist Judy Horton, formerly associated with Yates as garden advisor, archivist and updater of the Yates' garden guide.