Be a bold romantic
Roses are red, violets are blue, but take the time to come up with something different to give your Valentine this year and they’re sure to love you
How about doing something a little bit different this Valentine’s Day? I know red roses and chocolates are lovely, but they can also get a bit tired year after year.
And with plenty of beautiful – and very romantic – plants out there with which to show your affection, a little originality can go a long way.
In fact, roses are a relatively recent tradition. At one time, single women would place a bay leaf at each corner of their pillow on the eve of Valentine’s Day, and one in the middle to bring dreams of future husbands.
These days, bay leaves might not be romantic enough – so try some of my other suggestions…
In Denmark, the Valentine’s Day tradition is to give snowdrops rather than roses.
Loved ones press the flowers and exchange them in notes or cards along with an anonymous message or rhyme. Snowdrops are abundant in Ireland at this time of year so why not give it a go?
Sunflowers are a surefire way to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Yellow symbolises warmth and happiness, so these can make a great alternative if you want something bright and cheering – buy them either as a bouquet, or in a pot for the window sill.
If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, orchids are another winner, and have become a popular plant to give for Valentine’s.
They are stunning to look at, and make great houseplants that will last for ages on a bright window sill. Just be careful not to over-water them.
Peonies are also a marvellous option… and they enjoy that same classic feel as a rose. They come in a wide range of colours and have always been one of my favourites.
The species Ranunculus is perfect for Valentine’s – shaped a bit like a rose, it is wonderfully intricate.
For elegance, calla lilies look great in a mixed bouquet and really stand out from the crowd.
If you’re looking for impact, give these to your loved one on Valentine’s, as the bold, trumpetlike blooms are truly eye-catching and come in vibrant colours.
A more traditional flower that gets overlooked on Valentine’s is the beautiful tulip – and who doesn’t love those? They are one of the world’s most popular flowers for a reason. You can buy tulips in deep purples and reds that are simply perfect as a pledge of love. They still
A more traditional flower often ignored is the beautiful tulip
have the same impact and beauty as roses, but aren’t such an obvious choice – which makes them a little special, to my mind at least.
If your philosophy is “go big or go home”, here’s the big gesture – buy a tree you can plant together to watch grow over the years as a symbol of your love. A cherry tree is a perfect choice.
They are famous for their stunning spring blossom, bringing romance and beauty to your garden every year. You don’t need acres of space or lots of gardening know-how, either. Lots of trees come in bush or dwarf sizes, so you can even grow them in containers on your patio or balcony.
There’s something wonderfully permanent about planting a tree – it’s a lovely thing to do to commemorate any special occasion.
The cherry tree variety “Sunburst” will also bring a glut of deep purple sweet cherries which you and your loved one can enjoy indulging in throughout the summer.
It is a self-fertile variety, so you won’t need to worry about cross-pollinating with another tree. Simply pop in a sunny spot in your garden, and enjoy watching it grow with your partner for decades to come.
Whatever option you go for this Valentine’s Day, think outside the box and your loved one is sure to appreciate the effort – leaving you to sit back and watch your love bloom. Literally.
DANE SUPREME Snowdrops are a Denmark tradition
LABOUR OF LOVE Grow your own rose
RAYS A SMILE Bright yellow sunflower is sure to delight LOVE BLOSSOMS Plant a cheery tree
It’s like a rose, but better