Gardening: These gifts will make a father’s day – Entertainment & Life – The Columbus Dispatch



Don’t get me wrong; moms earn every mushy card, family brunch and art-class project that are bestowed upon them on Mother’s Day.

But dads deserve recognition, too, and Father’s Day — just two weeks from today — is the perfect time to let them know how much you love them.

If your dad (or stepdad, grandfather, uncle or fatherly friend) likes gardening or puttering around outside, consider one or two of these gift ideas.

By the way, I bet he wouldn’t protest if you invited him to brunch as well.

The new dad

Congratulate a new dad by planting a tree or shrub in his yard to commemorate a baby’s birth. As time passes, he’ll watch both grow and mature.

For smaller yards, consider a long-lived shrub, such as a hydrangea; for dads with bigger yards, look into a tree that matures into a large specimen, such as an oak.

Of course, you’ll do the work of planting, watering and caring for it through the years — which gives you a convenient excuse to visit and catch up with the growing family.

The beer enthusiast

Many a dad has been known to guzzle a cold one after mowing the lawn on a sultry afternoon.

If that sounds like your pop, he might like a hop.

That’s what the perennial vine is called that produces hops, fruits that look like little green pine cones that are used in brewing beer.

A pop who is a home brewer can even harvest the hops and use them in his next batch. If not, he might enjoy an ornamental cultivar, such as chartreuse-leaved Summer Shandy.

Some local nurseries sell hops; an online source is Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards (

The minimalist

For whatever reason, your father might lack the space or time for gardening. Perhaps he has a demanding career, travels frequently or lives in a nursing home.

You can still add a touch of nature to his life by choosing a small and low-maintenance option such as a potted cactus, a terrarium or an air plant, aka tillandsia.

Tiny treasures such as these are available at nurseries, big-box stores and even grocery stores.

The outdoorsman

Whether your dad prefers hiking in the woods or chilling on the patio, he needs a good hat.

It will protect his skin (manly, yes, but delicate, too) from the sun’s damaging rays and also shield his eyes. A model with a wide brim shades not only the face but also the ears and neck.

Vendors of rugged outdoor hats that feature sun protection include REI ( and L.L. Bean (

Every dad

He might not let on, but a dad is human and sometimes needs a helping hand. A homemade gift certificate promising time and labor — in two weeks or at any time — would really make his day.

The youngest kids can help with watering and other simple tasks. By the teen years, they can do most adult chores, with plenty of energy if not finesse.

And by the time kids are adults, too? Maybe just a visit with him for an hour or two in his beloved garden.


Diana Lockwood, a freelance writer covering gardening topics, posts on Facebook at


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