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Choosing Flowers for Your Valentine


Isn’t it wonderful that once every year there is a single day dedicated to showing special people in our lives how much we love them!  That day is call Valentine’s Day, named for a famous saint.

According to a BBC online account, it is a popular belief that Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February.  At a later date, “the church wanted to turn the festival into a Christian celebration, and decided to use it to remember St. Valentine too.  Gradually, St. Valentine’s name started to be used by people to express their feelings to those they loved.”

I still have the Valentine cards given to me as a baby!  They were signed by my aunt and mother and older brother (he was too young to sign his name, so Aunt Rose Evelyn signed his name).  I remember trading a slightly “more modern” version of the same kind of cards with elementary school classmates.  What fun I had!


Little did I know then that I would become a florist, and how much of my life I would dedicate to helping others give beautiful flowers to their loved ones.  As a florist for many, many years I would say that I believe roses are still the number one choice to give as Valentines!  I don’t have proof, but I believe they must outrank candy and jewelry.

Most of the roses will be red, the color most associated with Valentine’s Day.  However, there are lots of beautiful roses in other colors such as pink, yellow, white, orange, etc.  When asked about what the colors mean, I have always advised the person who asked to try to find out their sweetheart’s favorite.  The meaning of the colors is not universal and can be cultural.  Your Valentine will be impressed to know you cared enough to ask about a favorite rose color, or that you already knew!  (Try a small, low basket to use any short stem flowers that might have broken…a great extra Valentine for a child or an elderly neighbor.)

Other fresh flowers make beautiful Valentines too…tulips, carnations, etc.  During this season, there are also flowering house plants that your Valentine will love.  Tulip plants, cyclamen, and orchids can be particularly lovely when decorated with Valentine colors and hearts.  Imagine wowing your Valentine with a beautiful orchid plant that will last for months!

So you have chosen the right color of roses or the favorite plant, but go above and beyond by enclosing a card that lets your Valentine know how much you care.  Buy a greeting card (Hallmark?) but add a personal note.  Or write a message on a small card from the florist.  Ask for help if this isn’t easy for you, but be sure it “sounds like you.”  I promise you, this is the most meaningful part of giving a Valentine!


by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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