The rose is the official flower for Father’s Day and not surprisingly some rose bushes have been cleverly and commercially named with the day in mind.
Choose from Father’s Day, an orangey-red patio rose ideal for growing in containers; My Dad, a beautiful hybrid tea with bright red blooms; Special Dad, another hybrid tea, with scented red flowers; Simply the Best, with coppery-orange spicy scented blooms; or Absolutely Fabulous, with yellow highly perfumed blooms and good disease resistance.
Some of these may be available at your local garden centre or online from www.giftaplant.co.uk at around £15.
Years ago, sons and daughters also wore a rose to honour Father’s Day – a red one if their father was still alive, a white one if he had passed away.
How it all began
While Mother’s Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years, Father’s Day is a fairly recent concept and not surprisingly there are several accounts of its origins and history.
Many historians believe Grace Golden Clayton was the founder of the first Father’s Day in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908 after Monongah, a nearby town, suffered a mine explosion killing more than 360 men.
Over 200 of these men were fathers and left behind their widows and more than 1,000 sons and daughters prompting Grace to initiate the idea of a special day for fathers to be honoured and remembered.
Others, however, attribute the origins of Father’s Day to another American woman.
Two years after Grace’s endeavours in 1910, a Washington lady named Sonora Smart Dodd also publicly recognised the need for a Father’s Day.
Having heard a Mother’s Day sermon in church the previous year, she felt that fatherhood deserved recognition too.
Having lost her mother at the age of 16, Dodd was brought up, along with her five siblings, by her father William Smart, a Civil War veteran; she was therefore very passionate about the need for a Father’s Day.
So it seems most of the credit does go to Sonora.
But a little more randomly, I have also read that the idea of Father’s Day may originate in pagan sun worship.
As some branches of paganism see the sun as the father of the cosmos and the summer solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father’s Day, some people see a link between the two.
Mums and dads are not the only ones to have celebratory days dedicated to them.
In 1990 Grandparent’s Day was introduced by Age Concern, and is now recognised annually on the first Sunday in October.
And even though Children’s Day is marked on various days around the world to honour children globally, the very first National Children’s Day UK was held on Wednesday, May 15 this year. So pop Grandparent’s Day in the diary and I don’t think you could give a better present than a home-made voucher for some help in their garden.
We mustn’t forget other members of the family of course; Love Your Pet Day was on February 20 but don’t worry if you missed that as Take Your Dog To Work Day is on June 21 (www.takeyourdog.com).
Although, my own dog Yogi, thinks that every day is Love Your Pet Day and Take Your Dog to Work Day!
Gifts for Father’s Day
The most popular gift for Father’s Day is apparently a tie but if you are still looking for something a bit different, treat Dad to a day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales near Carmarthen.
Dads (and grandads) are allowed in FREE of charge tomorrow on Sunday June 16th to celebrate their special day and although there will be some bloomin’ lovely flowers to admire, green fingers are not essential as dads will have a chance to make their own F1 racing car and then race it on a special track, which will be set up in the Great Glasshouse.
There will be displays by Jaguar and Land Rover, and a science exhibition of work done by Maes yr Yrfa, Amman Valley, Gowerton and Gwyr schools, plus Coleg Sir Gâr, Swansea Metropolitan University, Cardiff University and Panasonic – all in association with STEMCymru and Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW).
Music, magic, merriment, a bouncy castle and general entertainment for the all the family awaits.
The garden is open from 10am-6pm and for more information about events at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, go to www.gardenofwales.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01558 667149.
Gone but not forgotten
And I’m sure readers won’t mind me mentioning my own father, Bob, who passed away the day before Father’s Day 17 years ago.
There are many reminders of him locally in the many gardens in which he worked and my brother and I still mention and refer to him most days.
As a friend once said: “If only there were visiting hours for heaven.”
Gnome and garden
And if you are really struggling for that perfect Father’s Day gift, nip down to your local garden centre and buy a gnome.
They are topical and fashionable thanks to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show lifting the ban on them and folklore also assures us that they are very lucky to have in the garden; so never mind what a TV advert may suggest… gnome is where the heart is!