Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Valentine’s Day Traditions

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Hello fellow readers, Do you recall Valentine’s Day traditions as a kid having to bring cards to school? It was an assignment. An obligation. One for each classmate. Cards came in assortment packs and, while the sayings were mostly about friendliness, which isn’t a bad thing, connotations of romance were sometimes there. How awkward it felt.

Valentine card assortments for kids haven’t changed much, based on a collection I came across the other day.

“You’re a Bear-y nice Valentine (a bear holding a heart).

“I dig you” (a skunk holding a heart).

a birds eye view of a boquet of red roses

Red = I Love You

a birdseye view of a boquet of yellow roses

Yellow = Admiration

As an adult, Valentine’s Day’s melancholy remains because it’s commercially driven, though the history as a day honoring the early saint named Valentinus is fascinating. Credit goes to English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century for shifting the association of Saint Valentine’s Day to romantic love, a connotation that spread across countries and religions.

What rose colors mean:

When working in an office amongst other twenty-year old’s, I remember incoming flowers. It became a competition almost.

Receivers proudly displayed their bounty on their desks, as if touting that their somebody loved them more than another’s somebody based on their bouquet’s magnitude. But you can’t take it out on the flowers, mostly bouquets of roses, or arrangements of assorted flowers along with roses.

Then there’s one red rose, the iconic symbol of “I love you” – the same meaning as a bouquet of red. So, you may as well save your dough and spring for a single red rose rather than a dozen.

Dark pink or peach means appreciation, Light pink- admiration, yellow – friendship, orange – desire, lavender – enchantment, white – “I am worthy of you.” White and red together – “we belong together.”

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Mary Stone, what rose colors mean, valentines tips

White = “I am worthy of you.”

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Mary Stone, what rose colors mean, valentines tips

Lavender = Enchantment

The tradition of giving chocolates

Then there’s the tradition of giving chocolates, far more enticing not being a rose person.

I find roses hard to grow, attracting a plethora of diseases and insects. I have two rose bushes from the previous owners.  Each spring, I marvel over their shiny maroon new growth and consider tackling the upcoming pests. The idea quickly fades when aphids and black spot takes over. Even knock-out roses, introduced as “care-free,” are often riddled with rose rosette caused by a virus spread by dust-sized mites. But you can’t take it out on the roses.

Legend has it the Aztecs considered chocolate an aphrodisiac though it’s proven to elevate moods, much like falling in love. I wonder if the types of chocolates have a meaning. Perhaps white chocolate means “I am worthy of you” too. Though dark chocolate, especially with nuts, are the most worthy of indulgence in my mind.

Rather than cut flowers that quickly fade, why not give the gift of growth and abundance, such as seeds for a vegetable or flower garden.  But please don’t skip the chocolates, dear. Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com (and now on your favorite Podcast App.)

You’ll enjoy the story of The Beauty and Beast of Roses.

More about the History of Valentine’s Day

Column updated 2/14/21

A single red rose and two bars of dark chocolate next to a teddy bear wearing heart boxers

Curt nailed it! The lookalike teddy in goofy boxers an added chuckle. Happy Valentine’s Day! :^)

 

 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary
  1. jean Jackson Reply

    Thanks, Mary, for this interesting history of Valentine’s Day and roses. You always have some new ideas about flowers and I appreciate that!
    Hope your Valentine’s Day will be especially HAPPY!!!!!!

    Lots of love, Mom J.

    • Mary Stone Reply

      Happy Valentine’s Day Mom J, Your loving encouragement always cherished as are you. Much Love, Mary

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