Blog #6 Love is in the Air...
“Love is in the air ... everywhere I look around
Love is in the air ... every sight and every sound
And I don't know if I'm being foolish
But the glittering hearts I despise
All of this commercialization
Will be romanticism’s certain demise…"
Well, maybe not. But it is in my opinion, and thousands of others who would agree, that the candy/red roses/diamonds yearly regimen has been overdone and, really, how many Valentine’s day cards can one memory box hold?
Instead of the same predictable purchases this year my partner has been contributing to my aquarium addiction. Tropical fish keeping is one of my other passions in the slower times of winter and my new fishy additions make me extremely happy and are greatly appreciated. And I will be able to care for them and watch them grow and thrive for years to come. Much more appealing then eating a box of chocolates followed by extra time in the gym working off the guilt that this indulgence brings.
Presenting someone with a plant vs. a bouquet of flowers is just like the aquarium fish. It is one gift that will give again and again, bringing much joy throughout the years. Better yet, just think of how much happiness a whole garden can bring? Not planning on such a grand level? Give them some consulting time with a garden designer.
In lieu of the regular stuff and for tuning in to my blog I am giving you a list of plants that have some sort of association with Valentine’s day in their name. Yes, this has been covered in other blogs but you may find some LOVEly and unique plants that you will simply ADORE and DESIRE to have in your own garden. KISS boring goodbye and EMBRACE these lesser known varieties. (Sorry… couldn’t help myself).
Just mouse over each picture, click on it and watch it open up in a big window where you can see the full picture of the plant and a description.
D. 'Gold Heart' & 'Burning Hearts'
Dicentra “Gold Heart” and D. “Burning Hearts” – two gorgeous bleeding heart selections great for shade; “Burning Hearts” works well in a woodland garden. “Gold Heart” blooms in early summer and it’s yellow foliage carries on past flowering but will die back in the heat of August. “Burning hearts” has persistent silvery lacy leaves that brighten up a shaded area.
Gazania Big Kiss 'White Flame'
I love Gazanias. Such a bold color for the sunny garden. They tend to close up at night and on cloudy days which makes me appreciate them more when they are open.
This guy is an annual and worth seeking out each year.
Veronica 'First Love'
Pinky, spiky, summer fun! I nice addition to a low border in full sun.
Bearded Iris 'Gypsy Romance'
Bearded Iris, Iris germanica 'Gypsy Romance' has ruffled, violet-mulberry flowers in early summer. Lovely and hardy.
Hosta 'Love Pat'
I adore this plant. It has a wonderful blue color – did you know that slugs tend to stay away from blue Hostas? The leaves are also cupped which makes a great bathing and drinking station for many beneficial insects. This is very pretty in the shade garden where it will grow 14” high and 18” wide.
Hibiscus 'My Valentine'
This variety of hibiscus is hardy to Nova Scotia but will die back to the ground, unlike it’s woody cousins. Huge 8” deep red flowers in summer. Provide some protection in the winter months and plant in a sheltered spot.
Dwarf Cherries Romance Series
Prunus cerasus x fruticosa Romance Series. Hardy, sour cherries that grow in a bush form to 2 meters in height at maturity. These guys are self-pollinating but make sure you plant at least three different varieties for a better yield.
• “Cupid” has the largest fruit & is a bit later than the others; dark red.
• “Juliet” cherries are sweeter, earlier & great right off the bush.
• “Romeo” has dark red fruit great fresh or for juice.
• “Valentine” are harvested in late summer; best for pies & jam
Daylily 'Exotic Love'
Hemerocallis “Exotic Love” – this daylily is a real show stopper with bright yellow petals and dark red centers. Flowers grow to 32 inches high and the plant will get to be 32 inches across, blooms early to late summer.
Dianthus 'First Love'
Isn’t it awesome when plants produce multicolored flowers? “First Love” flowers start out white then turn pink and then fade to lavender and is constantly blooming so you will see all three colors on the same plant. Grows 12” high and 18” wide.
Clematis 'Sweet Summer Love'
Just like “Sweet Autumn” clematis only it blooms a bit earlier, from July until mid-September. It has very fragrant violet flowers, grows tall (10-12’) on a trellis and blooms on new wood making pruning easy.
Bugbane 'Black Negligee'
Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee' – Ooo La La.. now that’s spicy – best kind of negligee to give a gal. Fragrant, white bottlebrush flowers grow 5’ tall over a 2’ base of dark red-purple (almost black) leaves in late summer. One of my favorite perennials.
And now for the usuals…these guys are awesome annuals but are usually featured in other Valentine's Day blogs. Just in case you missed them before and since it this was written in honor of February 14th and I needed to include three more selections to make 14.
Here we go:
Love in the Mist
Nigella – Wonderful airy annuals in pink, white and true blue. The seed is best sown directly outside.
Flowering Tobacco 'Only the Lonely'
For those of us who are single this time of year. Nicotiana sylvestris 'Only the Lonely'. This is a fragrant and tall annual who's flowers are very unique and fragrant. It's form, scent and white color make it a great plant for the night time garden.
'Love Lies Bleeding'
Amaranthus – flowers look like drooping red tassels. And they come in green. And they come in an upright form in green and red.