As promised this piece will continue our top ten list of last minute gardening gifts for Father’s Day and this section will be focused on the more frivolous side of horticulture – specifically aids to help Dad further enjoy being in his garden. Now, with only a couple of days left, it is important that any prospective buyer get the ball rolling quickly, though we should warn you, some of the entries on this list are not the most bank account friendly. But what we can guarantee is originality and, hopefully, some genuine surprise when the Dad in question does the unwrapping.
Anyone who’s watched an episode of the Simpsons will recognise the obviousness of this choice – there are few things that more succinctly or aptly sum up the concept of relaxation than a scrap of cloth hung between two trees. In its simplicity, the hammock reigns supreme over the likes of lawn chairs or swing sets. It can be erected practically anywhere and with greater ease than its rivals and there are models available with built-in mosquito nets, if the dad in question is a napper which, after a hard day’s digging, I imagine we all are.
2. Recycled Bird Feeders
Though in their infancy these were a fairly limited range of products, in both style and functionality, the aesthetic of their medium has seen more of the limelight in recent years particularly in the wake of ecological sirens being sounded. As such, these reclaimed glass jars serve as the perfect distraction to local birdlife, however, if you’ve already blown your budget on hammocks, then there’s also the option to make some yourself, for which all you’ll need is a couple of jam jars and matching numbers of coat hangers by which to suspend the jars.
3. Family Plotting
Next we have one of our more niche choices, though also probably our most sentimental, as its success depends on the contribution of the whole family. Customisable garden stakes are now available from certain suppliers that can be printed into a shape or design you specify. The example we found was a darling rendering of a 2.5 family and their dog, the heads of the stakes uphold the memory and the stakes themselves guide future saplings, quite a wonderful, if inadvertent, metaphor.
4. Butterfly Puddler
We’ve recently published several articles concerning the decline of British wildlife, more specifically the butterfly, and here we have not only a solution to this pressing ecological concern, but an attractive lure to take advantage of these marvellous insects’ comeback. The puddler essentially creates an artificial watering hole, however due to its small size it is tailored only for insects. The shallow cavity is filled with glass or rock salt and a teaspoon of water, once the fluid evaporates it leaves behind the minerals unlocked from the soluble materials and, once the butterflies know there’s a new gin joint in town, they will come back and back until the booze stops flowing.
5. Wireless Speaker
Finally, if you feel like splashing out why not give your dad music while he works, or even while he doesn’t (!), with a wireless speaker that he can tote around with him wherever he is in the garden, or in the house for that matter! This gives him freedom from extension leads or the need for expensive outdoor sockets. Just make sure he brings it in at the end of the evening, and doesn’t leave it out in the rain!
So, go on, get him something he’d really like – he’s worth it!
By Josh Ellison