Grab the kids and celebrate Father’s Day at your local garden center this weekend. You’ll certainly find a treasure worthy of adding to your landscape, and picking it out together will make it even more special. (Getty Images)

Grab the kids and celebrate Father’s Day at your local garden center this weekend. You’ll certainly find a treasure worthy of adding to your landscape, and picking it out together will make it even more special. (Getty Images)

Dads dig plants, too. This Father’s Day, find a gift to grow his garden

From maples and conifers to fountains, statuaries and tools, garden centers offer a diversity of gifts both fun and useful.

By Trevor Cameron / The Golfing Gardener

One of best things about being a dad is spending time with your kids, especially when sharing a personal passion with them. In my case, that means gardening. Just like moms on Mother’s Day, we dads also enjoy plants, flowers and gardening.

Helping your kids find love and respect for everything in nature is essential, and enjoying time together outdoors is a great way to do that. Pulling the modern child away from a screen can be challenging, but after some gentle coaxing, and sometimes simple bribery, you can get your kids outside and into the garden.

All father figures are a bit different, of course, but in my 30-plus years running garden centers, I’ve learned what dads tend to gravitate toward in the garden center. Here’s a look at a few of those things:

Japanese maples: These trees can be found in all shapes, sizes and styles — kind of like father figures, right? From weeping laceleafs to tall, stately specimens, there is one or more guaranteed to catch his fancy. Out of space, like me? Get him a sturdy, frost-proof pot to plant his new treasure in. The more pots the merrier, says this gardener, as there is always room for just one more somewhere.

Dwarf conifers: Slow-growing and colorful, dwarf conifers of varying textures make wonderful additions to any garden setting that has some sun and good drainage. There are many worthy candidates to explore, offering different shades of green, bright yellows, blues, and even some that will turn bright colors in colder winter months.

Statuary: A unique piece of garden art is an excellent way for any father figure to advertise their own style in the landscape. You can find beautiful garden art at many garden centers, especially long-lasting metal or cast stone pieces. Fun and even whimsical pieces can be found to match any dad’s taste. Maybe a bench with a trophy fish design for the fisherman? A pagoda for a Japanese themed garden? Perhaps a fun face that makes him smile whenever he sees it? A cool bird bath or bird house to enjoy? A huge golf ball for a golfing dad (yes, I have three of these)?

Fountains: Simply put, nothing is more peaceful than the sound of water in your outdoor spaces. By adding a stunning water feature like a fountain, you are sure to please any dad, and the entire family for that matter. Fountains are easy and durable, and many these days have modern LED lighting built right in, as well as power-efficient, magnet-driven pumps. Shop around with dad for one he likes and help him set it up on the patio, deck, porch or in the landscape. The sound and action of the water will mesmerize all who see it and attract desirable wildlife, like hummingbirds.

Tools: We always need a good tool to help make projects easier in the garden. It’s a gift made even better when the children offer to help dad, right? Check out his stash and see what’s missing, or which ones have been “well loved” and need to be replaced. Quality pruners, a pocket saw, a Hori Hori garden knife or a good sharpener are all things a gardening dad would love. Perhaps even a super useful shovel like the Root Slayer from Radius — a must have for any digging project. There is always a digging fork as well, an easy tool I wish all gardeners used.

Trees and shrubs: There are some great trees and shrubs that are blooming around Father’s Day. It might be fun to head to the local garden center and pick out a plant with dad, something that will grow and mature, like kids do, and remind everyone with its flowers, year after year, that Father’s Day is here. Korean dogwoods, Japanese snowbells, hydrangeas, roses and many other June-bloomers could be planted in honor of Father’s Day.

As a dad of two great young boys, I hope my non-stop chattering about plants, insects and soils sinks in, leaving them with green thumbs they can pass on to their children someday, just as my dad did for me many moons ago.

Free class

Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville will host “Pruning in Summer” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15. For more information or to sign up, go to www.sunnysidenursery.net/classes.

Trevor Cameron is a certified professional horticulturist (CPH) and serves as general manager for Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. He can be reached at sunnysidenursery@msn.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

A dog sticks their head out the window as a part of a Wandering Rover Field Trip at the Everett Animal Shelter in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Doggy dates: Wandering Rover at Everett shelter gives dogs a day out

The program offers people the opportunity to try a dog before they adopt or to simply get their Fido fix.

Trees and foliage grow at the Rockport State Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Rockport, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
When you get lost in WA, what’s the cost to get rescued? Surprisingly little

Washington’s volunteer search and rescue teams save lives without costly bills.

A booking error leads to a nonrefundable hotel room, or does it?

Glen Hartness books the wrong night at La Quinta through the Priceline app. Why won’t Priceline refund the booking?

Mona Newbauer, 62, pours caramel into a machine inside her store Sweet Mona's Chocolates on March 21, 2024 in Langley, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Sweet Mona’s Chocolates in Langley stirs up treats for all tastes

Chocolate slugs, whales, truffles and caramels are among sweets in the shop Mona Newbauer founded in 2006.

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

What do Patti Labelle, John Legend, Mudhoney, Dwight Yoakam have in common? They’re all performing locally this weekend.

2024 Infiniti QX50 Autograph (Photo provided by Infiniti)
Infiniti QX50 Autograph

The 2024 Infiniti QX50 Autograph AWD crossover delivers top-notch luxury, tailored design,… Continue reading

The five-passenger 2024 Mazda CX-5 compact SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive. (Photo provided by Mazda)
2024 Mazda CX-5 proves function can be fun

The compact SUV is practical and sporty at the same time.

2024 Mercedes E 350 4MATIC sedan (Photo provided by Mercedes)
2024 Mercedes E 350 4MATIC sedan

In this time of rapid change in the automotive industry, it’s nice… Continue reading

Animal Chaplain Shel Graves has her dog Lily pose for a photo in her home office on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is your dog or cat grieving? There’s an animal chaplain for that

Chaplains offer spiritual care for beings of all species: “Absolutely, animals do feel grief and loss.”

I scream, you scream, we all scream for … glace? Well, in France, yes.

This ice cream vendor toy, which sold for $1,800 at auction, reminds us of France’s role in popularizing the summer treat.

Lily of the Scheherazade variety with red-white flowers from the Oriental-Tubular (OT) hybrids group. Decorative plant in the garden
Great Plant Pick: Scheherazade Orienpet Lily

What: Once mature, this giant lily makes a stunning presence in the… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.