Happy New Year to you all – I really hope you enjoyed a wonderful festive season and managed to get a little beach-related downtime in the process!
So the busiest time for lovers and florists alike (!) will soon be upon us and I thought it might be nice to explore the ‘true’ meaning of St Valentine’s Day outside of the wordy greeting cards, the long stemmed red roses and of course the tubs of ice cream that are eaten by those who just wish the day would simply pass them by. (Yep – we’ve all been there!).
Originating in Roman times, there are a few supposed versions of how St. Valentines Day began. Some profess that in the third century, marriage was banned by Emperor Claudius II during wartime as he believed that single men made better soldiers (total killjoy, old Claudius) therefore a sneaky, starry-eyed priest named Valentine began to marry young lovers in secret. This romantic and defiant gesture saw many lovers joined in union during Claudius’ rule, but sadly Valentine’s actions were eventually discovered and he was put to death for his actions.
Another version suggests that a prisoner named Valentine fell for the daughter of his captor who used to visit him in secret and before his execution he penned her a love letter that was signed, “From Your Valentine”. Clearly it’s a phrase that has stood the test of time; almost seven centuries later it is still rolled out when, once a year, we dust off our writing implements and express our love for one another in words, sometimes with chocolates and hopefully always with a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
According to tradition, the red rose is a symbol of love and passion and has appeared in paintings, poetry and music for hundreds of years. Sending a single red rose on Valentine's Day is usually understood to mean ‘I love you'. Having said that, I believe that ALL flowers convey a message of affection from one to another in some way, and most importantly, such a gesture doesn’t have to cost the earth.
This year, while roses are certainly a classic selection, why not consider some equally stunning and original floral bouquets featuring blooms such as Water Lilies, Dahlias, Gardenias (that perfect scent!), or the ever-bright and beautiful Hydrangea? Trust me - putting that little bit of extra thought into the originality of your Valentine’s gift is sure to win you some major points. (You can thank me later … *wink*.)
I’m really excited about putting together a range of unique bouquets this year and there are so many flowers that can bring Valentine’s Day to life. And in addition to the individual bouquets I’ll be creating, our Bespoke Botanics’ Gift Subscriptions are still available - your special someone can receive a different designer bunch hand-delivered to them each week or each month for as long as you desire. One week they may be surprised by an explosion of brilliant Peonies, the next it may be gorgeous pom poms of Viburnums that magically appear on their doorstep. Yet another way to surprise and delight the one you love with a gift that extends well beyond February 14th
(Gift Subscription options and to purchase online can be found on our website here.
Whatever your plans this Valentine's Day, I hope you’re remembered, cherished and delighted by whatever gesture that comes your way. And if not, then go ahead and treat yourself to a lovely bunch of something, in addition to your favourite tub of ice cream! Everyone deserves to feel special this February 14th.