Father's Day in the garden

Patricia Hanbidge

As Father's Day is coming up, I thought it might be fun to write about gardening and men (specifically fathers). As I do with all writing, a bit of time was spent on searching what else is out there and whether there is any appreciable marketing around this theme. Well, what a surprise. It was the gadgets, the tools, the toys that are advertised for those fathers who are also gardeners. In comparison, for Mother's Day, you see purchases of flowers and all things traditionally womanlike that are the biggest sellers. Given that a woman is physically different from a man and generally not as strong (in brute strength), one might think the tools of the trade might be a better gift for a woman who is a gardener.

At any rate, it was an interesting perusal. Many men are avid gardeners and many of those men are traditional in that pursuit. They do not need all the latest gadgets but instead just get enjoyment from the act of growing and nurturing itself. So what do you get "Dad" the gardener?

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Every gift with thought behind will usually turn out to be the most appreciated. So if your "Dad" is that type of gardener, perhaps the best gift might be a perennial or shrub that he loves. Any plant that grows for many years is truly a gift that is appreciated long term. For instance, the Morden Sunrise rose is a smaller hardy shrub rose from the Parkland series. It has attractive dark green shiny foliage and a unique orange and yellow bloom that brings a sunrise to mind. It will bloom all summer long and has no appreciable disease problems.

If your "Dad" is a gadget guy, then a trip to any of your local garden centres will fulfill your gift needs. From a quality pair of secateurs or a handy hoe, tools that are needed every day in the garden will be appreciated. The sky is the limit with gadgets so how much you are willing to spend will be your guideline.

Feature items in the garden are also a good choice. A new obelisk to support a climbing rose in a style that will fit the current garden decor is another gift that will last for years. Fountains for the table top or for the garden itself will not only bring beauty but all the birds in your neighbourhood. A nice gift for anyone who enjoys sitting outside in the garden.

If you just can't make up your mind, then there is still yet another solution. Get a gift card for one of the garden centres that Dad might frequent. It is a sure fire way to ensure he gets what he really wants.

Last but not least, if your Dad is not a gardener, why not give him your labour for a chore that he does regularly but does not really enjoy. Perhaps mowing the lawn might be a great chore to take over. Hand-made cards entitling him to pass on that chore by choice is a gift that not only says, “I love you,” but I understand that you may not like mowing the lawn, but do it because it is a chore that needs to be done.

Happy Father`s Day to the fathers of children, of dogs and, of course, Mother Earth.

Hanbidge is the Lead Horticulturist with Orchid Horticulture. Find us at www.orchidhort.com; by email at info@orchidhort.com; on facebook @orchidhort and on instagram at #orchidhort.

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