It’s that time of the year again – when a pink haze settles over us all, brought on by the heart-shaped boxes of candy, glitzy bottles of perfume and rack upon rack of Valentine’s Day cards hitting the shelves of just about every store in town. But before you run out and start shopping, remember this: Valentine’s Day gift-giving is, in many ways, much simpler than other occasions. After all, this is not the holiday season or a birthday. It’s not a time of too many festively wrapped presents piling up around the house. Valentine’s Day is a time of one sentimental, thoughtful gift given to that someone special.
Instead of the usual box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, why not try something more personal for the gardener in your life?
Photo Credit: John Donley
A few packets of your sweetie’s favorite seeds tied together with a nice gardening journal make a wonderful gift for your Valentine.
Photo Credit: John Donley
Amaryllis makes a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift. (This variety, called ‘Candy Stripe’, is just one of the many types available.)
Photo Credit: Tracy Donley
And because you want that gift to come from your heart – and fly straight to theirs – it might be nice to dispense with the usual chocolates and cutflowers and give the one you love something that he or she will really cherish. And if the object of your affection also happens to be a garden lover, look no further! Here are some creative ideas to send along with Cupid’s arrow:
- Love the tradition of roses? Then why stop at a dozen? Buy a whole bush! You and your sweetie can plant it together and enjoy the blooms all season long, year after year. Red roses are always a classic choice, but if you’re up for something different this year, try Lovestruck floribunda rose (Rosa ‘JACboupu’ Lovestruck®), with petals of pink and cream, or Dream Come True grandiflora (Rosa ‘WEKdocpot’ Dream Come True™), featuring gorgeous yellow and ruby petals.
- Give a selection of sweet herbs in pretty pots. Include all-time favorites like basil, oregano and thyme, then propose an Italian dinner for two with these fresh herbs in the sauce. Or give lavender, rosemary, and mint – the leaves can be snipped, tucked into small muslin bags and tossed into steamy water for a fantastic, aroma-filled therapeutic bath. Another great choice would be lemon verbena, geranium and chocolate mint – all can be key ingredients in decadent desserts.
- February also happens to be the time of the year when all good gardeners start to ache for spring, when they can finally get outside and start planting. If your loved one is a planner (or even a dreamer), help your sweetie make the most of the cold weather and look forward to a wonderful spring garden. A notebook or journal with grid paper, several packets of favorite seeds, a stack of peat pots and a gift certificate to a local garden center – all bundled together with pretty ribbon or some twine – will fit the bill perfectly.
Want to bring your beloved a little piece of paradise? Amaryllis is the perfect choice – it blooms easily, comes in a range of pretty colors and can be enjoyed indoors right now. Buy them planted and ready to bloom, or give several bulbs along with a bag of soil and a beautiful pot for a great Valentine’s Day gift.
If you’ll be planting the bulbs yourself, be sure to keep them cool until you’re ready to do so. Then soak the base and roots of the bulbs in lukewarm water for a couple of hours, and plant up to the neck of the bulbs in a good-draining potting soil mix, about 3 centimeters apart. Be gentle with the roots, press the soil down firmly around the neck of each bulb, and place the container in a warm, sunny spot. Amaryllis doesn’t really need to be watered until you can see a little green peeking out. After that, water them regularly.
- Give a basket filled with gardening goodies. Include favorites like a new trowel, a good pair of gloves, gardeners’ salve for tired hands, a new plant book, a bundle of marker stakes and a pair of snippers. In spring and summer, they can use the basket to gather cuttings from the garden.
A garden-themed Valentine’s Day gift is a different way to show your love to that special someone in your life. Candy and cutflowers are nice, but even nicer is the gift that keeps on growing! Try one of these unique ideas this Valentine’s Day (or for any special occasion), and you’ll likely find Cupid hanging out in your garden for more than just one day of the year!