Dwarf Blueberry ImgQuick, when you hear Valentine’s Day, what do you think of?  A box of chocolates, a vase of red roses, maybe a romantic night out?  All are wonderful gifts, but do they really reflect your lasting commitment and adoration?  Chocolates are gone in a few days (or hours), roses wilt in a week, and the romantic weekend is quickly forgotten when your child sends a text saying he needs help with the school project due Monday.

What we need are Valentines that last; gifts that will remind them of our love for months or years to come.  If that light bulb in your head just flashed ‘Fruit-of-the-Month’, yank the chain a few times pay attention!

Like your enduring commitment, this may take a little more thought than dashing into the florist on the way home, but your efforts will be well received.  Instead of a dozen cut roses, how about a rose bush, so you both can enjoy cut roses all summer at the dinner table?  Are you the guy that goes big and gets three dozen roses each year?  May I suggest a rose garden complete with a stone path and bench?

A night out for a romantic dinner sounds great, but an easy-to-use vegetable garden will have you both smiling as you enjoy fresh salads and chemical-free vegetables night after night.  A classic Square Foot Garden is easy to construct, sow, and maintain.  A quick internet search will provide all the information you need.  Add a potted container with a nice red ribbon, and the photo she posts on Facebook will make her the envy of all her friends.  If a garden is a little more than you can take on, plant a few blueberry bushes.  They are as easy to grow as weeds, except you get fresh cobbler, blueberry pancakes and blueberries in your ice-cream.

Maybe you are looking for something a little more personal?  Surprise her with a miniature garden.  Autumn Hill Nursery can show you how easy it is to make, or even create one for you.  They are inexpensive, take up very little room, and you will be praised for your thoughtfulness.  Best of all they are easily changed for different season, holidays, or any special occasion.

It is amazing how a quickly an aroma can trigger emotions and bring back memories.  Wouldn’t you like your Valentine to think of you every time they walk past a wonderfully fragrant shrub in the yard? Gardenias smell wonderful and bloom through most of the summer.  Nearly everyone delights in the sweetly scented blossoms of Osmanthus Fragrant Tea Olive. And of course, it’s hard to beat the combined visual beauty and fragrance of an old-fashion tea rose.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking a little creatively.  Surprise your Valentine this year. And of course you can always add a small box of chocolates along with one red rose for good measure.

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