Today is Father’s Day and 27 years since Bob (my dad) died–the day before Father’s Day in 1996. I still have the Father’s Day card I bought for that year – and so has my brother.
We are both lucky that we worked with dad for a number of years and got to know him as so much more than a dad. I never tire of recalling, and still driving past, the many different landscaping projects we worked on and watching the trees we planted together (all bought from Woodlands on the Mardy) reaching maturity.
So many local people will have different memories of him too. From ‘being on the Post’ to organising the obstacle course at the school sports day and playing a big part in Llangattock Fete and carnival, with the dressed and themed tractors and trailers as ‘floats’.
How on earth he fitted it all in I’ll never know, but he did and in doing so created great memories for so many.
Memories that will be ‘itched’ a bit by Llangattock Summer Fete being held in the Park on Saturday 17th. There will be music, stalls, food, and games – and possibly more importantly, your chance to talk to local councillors about what matters to you in the village.
In my reflective mood this week, I am reminded about how trees, and other plants, can make such good ‘tributes’ to someone or something special. A couple of years ago, quite by chance, my brother and I were asked to prune a couple of apple trees in the garden where my dad was brought up. It turned out that they were the trees that my grandfather planted for my dad and uncle when they were just 5 and 3 years old. Watching my brother climb the trees that had been handled by my dad and grandfather (who died when my dad was just 12) was a very special moment.
We planted a walnut tree in memory of Bob – just a lithe, enthusiastic sapling when planted but now a strapping majestic tree providing tasty walnuts each year.
Similarly I have a beautiful dog rose wending its way through a hedge at the cottage, planted in memory of Yogi’s predecessor, Tippy. Along with the shrub rose ‘Little White Pet’ that I also planted, (she was a Westie) it is a beautiful tribute to her and very special when it blooms each year.
As well as planting a ‘favourite’ tree, rose or shrub for that ‘special commemoration’, a drift of wildflowers could be effective and appropriate, and there are also lots of ‘named’ plants–roses in particular–that may be suitable. For Father’s Day, choose from My Dad, Special Dad, Father’s Love, Dear Dad, My Lovely Dad, and of course Father’s Day. There are also other possible ‘contenders’ like, Precious Memories, Thinking of You, and Special Friend. I am confident there is a rose suitable for just about every occasion, its just finding it!
And finally I think a really lovely gesture is that in some countries, many people wear a rose on Father’s Day, with red roses signifying a father that is still living while white roses represent a father who has passed.