There's lots of choices for dads who love being outdoors and in their gardens. Some like to putter with plants and pay attention to details and others prefer collecting gadgets and tools. Knowing what type of gardener (or not) your dad is, will make a difference in what his favorite gift will be. There are a number of things that you can surprise him with that will make for a special day. Just take note if he's one that likes tools that get the job done fast, or if he prefers to watch his garden grow.
Multi-tools make great gifts
If you want a handy tool in a small package, get him a multi tool. Tools of convenience, like multi tools that perform a number of functions, are good choices. They can prune, cut fence wire, file a rough edge or replace a screw with one handy tool, that also does double duty in the workshop or car garage as well. The man that has one of these, has a whole tool chest at his disposal in a handy pouch on his belt. There are a number of brands and price points for these types of tools, the most inexpensive start at around $20 and go up to over $100. However the best one you can afford will last the longest and be the easiest to use. My husband has one that cost right at $80 and it is over ten years old and still going strong. They're better than a Swiss army knife and any man (or woman) who owns one never leaves home without it.
Give Dad a pollinator-friendly gift
Does your dad want to help the environment? Perhaps something that encourages pollinators would be a gift he'd love. Our fragile pollinator population needs all the help it can get, so a Father's Day gift that helps them and pleases your dad at the same time might do the trick. From complete kits for raising honeybees, to a simple mason bee house, there is a pollinator-friendly gift for all budgets. A complete basic beehive kit, minus the bees is usually just under $200. And, yes, you can actually order honeybees on line and have them delivered. The best time to have honeybees delivered is in late winter, because they are semi-dormant at that time. So that opportunity may have to wait a few months. However, getting the hive set up and Dad educating himself on beekeeping will probably take a few months as well, so the bees can come later. It is a year-round commitment to keep the bees healthy, happy and producing honey and not for the casual gardener. If honeybees are not practical for him, or for his property, maybe mason bees will work. Mason bees are a North American native bee that does not make honey, however it is a super good pollinator and encouraging them is an excellent pollinator-friendly activity. They require very little work and a nesting container can cost as little as $10 or about $40 for the deluxe edition. They are non-aggressive and rarely sting. Most areas already have several species, however you can also order mason bee cocoons on line and have them hatch in your own garden. They are little pollinator machines, and use the pollen to feed their young, so be sure to have a good stand of pollen-laden flowers close by for them to use. Get Dad a good wildflower mix for your region to go with the house too.
Indoor gardening options for Dad
Perhaps Dad or Grand-dad has physical problems or they live in an apartment. There are great indoor gifts to satisfy their gardening needs. How about a 'grow your own bonsai' in a convenient little package. The kits are less than $40 and come with about four different kinds of seeds and everything you need to get started with bonsai. They are fine for either indoor or outdoor gardening, so work well for dads that have a limit on how active they can be. There are also neat little indoor hydroponic gardens that work well for herbs or salad greens. They range from about $60 to near $400. They come with proper lights that have the best spectrum for the plants you are growing and the plants actually grow faster in the hydroponic system than in soil. Both of these gifts are excellent choices for the indoor dad who has limited outdoor space or physical capabilities.
Plan a Father's Day clean-up
If Dad is an outdoorsy type and is concerned about the environment, something that costs nothing is to take the family and clean up a natural area, beach or forest. Take garbage bags, wear gloves and use insect repellent. Choose a local waterway or natural area and help the creatures and the land. Collect plastic garbage, cans, and other debris. This only works if the kids are old enough to follow instructions and the area is relatively free from things like broken glass or poison ivy. It's a good outing for teens. Perhaps a picnic in your local park with a litter pick-up after would work well for the little ones. They can don gloves just like the big people and collect bottle caps, paper and small trash that isn't hazardous. It is an eco-friendly activity that not only makes Dad happy, but teaches the youngsters to respect outdoor spaces as well.
Be creative and make the day all about Dad
However you choose to celebrate Father's Day, make sure that the day is all about him. Plan his favorite meal or have that dessert that he's always craving. Show him you've put some creative thought into whatever gift or activity that you have planned. Dads always appreciate a great coffee mug or new necktie, however you can make the day more personal and satisfying by doing a little pre-holiday research and finding something for him that he didn't know he wanted or needed. You may just hit upon a great family tradition at the same time.
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