On Father’s Day, you can gift chocolates, beer, wine and socks, but one of the greatest things that you can gift is memories. So, spending some time outdoors with your Dad gives you the chance to have some quality time together whilst at the same time, sprucing up your outdoor space.
For eco-gardening Dads, why not collect the materials needed to create an eco-friendly addition to your Dad’s garden and then spend the day together constructing it?
You can really make a success of the day by building your own compost bin. All you need is a wooden frame fixed together with a few screws—see my tutorial here.
Summer is the perfect time to get stuck in with projects like these because you need the garden space to build and the fresh air is so good for wellbeing.
Another great Father’s Day project for beginners is to build a wildlife-friendly feature for the garden and you can do this with the plants you sow or even get out the toolbox and build a wildlife home. When constructing an insect hotel, or similar, the trickiest part is building the outer structure.
As long as you have prepared some timber cut-offs or some repurposed wooden boxes, you can pull together a structure to start. Then it’s just a case of inserting the smaller hollow items needed to fill the inner sections. Here’s a guide on how you might go about building one.
If your Dad isn’t accustomed to garden cultivation, start with something easy like putting in some new summer bedding plants—there’s no quicker way to brighten up a garden than with some multicoloured blooms scattered in the borders and flowerbeds. Luckily, as well as gratifying, this is a really quick job too.
Take a visit to your local garden centre and don’t be put off by the vast selection, you can quickly narrow it down once you start reading the plant labels—for my guide on what to look out for label-wise, just read my blog.
Now you know what you’re looking for, you can pick plants that are well-suited. Sweet peas, busy Lizzies, and geraniums are all staples in summer gardens but, before you buy, get an idea of how they look together. Plants in blues and purples are a sure-fire win, complimenting one another as well as being an all-time favourite for bees.
For garden aficionados, there are still plenty of ways to use the garden in your Father’s Day celebrations.
Take his garden to the next level with a grow-your-own space. Add in some raised beds to cultivate homegrown crops in and it will be the gift that keeps on giving.
Although a raised bed might seem like a large feature in the garden, it’s actually a real space saver because you can mound the soil in it to provide more surface space for planting.
Raised beds are also particularly practical as they help reduce back strain when weeding or tending to the beds.
• For a wooden raised bed, first, measure out the area.
• Then find some pressure-treated (‘tanalised’) wood to this size, fixing it together to create the outer structure.
• Once positioned, you want to stake it in place as an anchor to the ground and then screw in the retaining stakes to the sides of the wooden structure.
• Once you’ve filled it with soil, allow to settle for a few weeks before planting.
If your Dad is already growing crops, you’ll find that any peas, beans, strawberries or potatoes he’s growing may be cropping now.
You could spend the morning harvesting these together and then cook up the produce for lunch. Or, why not gift an exciting new addition to the veg plot—like a herb wheel.
June is the last chance to get sowing coriander, basil, dill, and parsley. Herbs make a fantastic addition to homegrown cooking and they’re relatively easy to maintain, so can be cared for around busy schedules.
Herb wheel planters can be simply created by using rocks or bricks to form the sections needed for each herb variety—the added bonus is that they look really striking!
However you decide to spoil your Dad with gardening gifts this Father’s Day, it’s about getting outside together and enjoying the green spaces in order to reconnect with nature, relax and unwind.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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