GARDENING: The meaning of Valentine flowers
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a fun day of the year when it is cool to give a gift of plants or flowers to your loved one.
Valentine’s Day is steeped in tradition, yet it could be said that in Australia that we have only participated in the spirit of the day in the last 25 years.
The giving of flowers on Valentine’s Day came from the English tradition where a young unmarried girl would strike her forehead with rose petals.
If the petals broke apart, the girl then knew that her valentine loved her.
In 1537, King Henry VIII declared, by Royal Charter, that all England would celebrate February 14 as “Saint Valentine’s Day”.
From this simple custom, the heavily commercialised Valentine’s Day tradition of giving flowers to your chosen valentine, in particular red roses, has evolved, with Saint Valentine becoming the accepted Patron Saint of Lovers.
For those people who may have forgotten, or who are running a little late with their Valentines gift or even for those looking for something out of the ordinary, the gift to please that will last for years is a plant.
Why not select some plants for inside your home or the garden or maybe plants for a whole new garden?
The main colours associated with Valentine’s Day are pink, red and white.
Pink is best described by romantic writers as a delicate, almost innocent shade of red and is also connected with Saint Valentine, whose burial was said to have caused the pink almond tree to blossom.
Red is a symbol of warmth and feeling, the colour of the heart, while white represents purity and faith between two who love each other.
So, maybe you can start a new tradition this Valentine’s Day, and create a Valentine’s garden for your loved one.
THE MEANING OF FLOWERS
You have made the choice to purchase plants for your Valentine?
Did you know that many plants have meanings?
Has your loved one come home recently with a bunch of flowers?
Has your friend given you a pot plant for a present lately?
Did you wonder what the real meaning of these gifts were?
I thought you might like an insight into these meanings, so that next time you are presented with a flower or plant, you will know what they are really trying to tell you!
Plants that you could give to your Valentine for the garden:
Acacia - means secret love
Acacia fimbriata or Fringed Wattle is a medium to tall shrub growing to about 5m high with a graceful weeping habit. This shrub will become covered in masses of yellow scented ball-like flowers during winter and spring.
Daisy - means innocence, faith, cheer and simplicity
Osteospermum fruticosa or African Daisy (syn Dimorphotheca fruiticosa) is a fast growing sun-loving groundcover that will withstand adverse conditions. It produces flowers ranging in shades of white, pink and purple and makes a great cut flower. It grows to 30cm high, spreading to 60cm and can be grown with other annuals and perennials to create a truly colourful display.
Fuchsia - means good taste
Graptophyllum ilicifolium or Holly Fuchsia is a shade-loving shrub that grows between 2m and 3m high and is also intolerant of frosts. At the end of spring beautiful deep pink tubular flowers engross the entire shrub. The flowering season is short, but very showy. A light prune after flowering will encourage a compact shape to the shrub as well as provide more flowers next year.
Gardenia - means joy and refinement
Gardenia augusta Golden Magic is a glossy evergreen shrub to 1.5m high. Its lovely heavily-scented blooms gradually change colour from pristine white through ever deepening shades of yellow to a brilliant gold from late Spring.
Honeysuckle - means fidelity and generosity
Tecomaria capensis or Cape Honeysuckle is an evergreen medium to tall scrambling shrub with shining green leaves and clusters of orange-red tubular flowers over a long period. It is useful as a hedge or screen plant. It must be pruned hard annually to control its long, trailing growth. There is also an apricot flowering form called Harmony Gold and a yellow form available.
Iris - means faith, wisdom and health
Dietes grandiflora or Fairy Iris is a very distinctive flowering tussock shaped 1m high plant for a part shade or easterly position. During the warmer months showy white three petaled flowers with centre golden stripes emerge in mass. Each flower will last more three days. The common name is derived from the flower petals look like “Fairy Wings”.
Jasmine - means amiability
Jasminum nitidum or Night-Flowering Jasmine is an evergreen scrambling medium shrub or climber. It produces large white fragrant flowers in small sprays from late spring to summer but can flower throughout the year. Jasminum nitidum is native to the islands of the South Pacific islands and prefers moist fertile well drained soil but is frost and drought tender.
Pyrostegia - means fame
Pyrostegia ignea or Golden Trumpet Vine is one of the fastest growing evergreen vines available to local gardeners and requires minimal watering. It produces an outstanding display of orange tubular flowers in winter described by some as a “flaming sheet of colour”.
Rosemary - means commitment and fidelity
Rosmarinus officinalis or Rosemary is a small woody shrub with fine, grey, scented foliage. Rosemary produces lavender-blue flowers throughout autumn, winter and spring. This hardy shrub has a good tolerance of drought and frost.
Stephanotis - means happiness in marriage
Stephanotis floribunda is an evergreen twining climber that has an open habit. Clusters of sweet perfumed waxy, white tubular flowers appear from November to April. Stephanotis is one creeper that will always perform much better in a part shaded position with rich well-drained soil.
DID YOU KNOW
Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on Valentine’s Day in 1876, I wonder if he had believed how much use his invention would receive on Valentine’s Day.
Over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year worldwide.
In Germany, girls would plant onions in a pot on Valentine’s Day, and next to the onions, they placed the name of a boy. They believed they would marry the boy whose name was nearest the first onion to grow.