Nothing beats the early-in-the-romance moment when you’re called to the front of the office to fetch an envy-inducing vase of flowers.
Bonus if there is an announcement over the loud speaker. Extra bonus if you did not send the flowers to yourself.
The gals giggle. You blush. You get the (wrong or right) impression that your new guy actually has some cash to throw around.
If all goes well, you’ll still like the guy by the time the flowers fade.
Yet, after a few years into a relationship, I’m an advocate for gifts you can put in the ground.
Love, and flowers can be a verb. Love can grow, leap and go through a perennial life cycle. Plants bought under the right conditions can bloom for years, perhaps even after you’ve moved to a new home.
If you’re wondering what plants to buy, walk around the neighborhood and take digital photos of what you see in bloom.
Ask a nice person at the nursery to help you make the right choice.
When next year rolls around, you can point to the flowers in your sweetie’s yard and say “yep, I still love ya babe” and spend money on movie tickets.
Good choices for timely bloomers include flowering quince, camellias and daffodils.
My favorite for Valentine’s Day plant is Daphne odoro. The scent travels and lingers, and almost makes you cry with the sweetness.
More red-letter day gifts
If in doubt, you should also be able to find bulbs that have been forced to bloom around this time. Your heart-thumper can enjoy them indoors and plant them outside when the time is right. Cyclamen and primrose also make fine indoor-to-outdoor transitions.
Bare-root roses are in season right now. These are the dead-looking canes sold in a plastic bag.
If you look closely, you might find a rose with a goofy name, such as “Heart’s Desire,” or “Everlasting Love.”
For those unencumbered by a love interest, buy yourself a ginormous bag of spring-planted bulbs at the big-box store. Whisper sweet nothings as you plant them, thinking of all the love you have to share.
Perhaps a handsome stranger will stroll by and offer to help you scrub the dirt from under our fingernails.
Heartfelt pros and cons
Overall, my opinion is still mixed on holidays that appear to be created by Hallmark.
Some people have a tough time saying “I love you,” and can benefit by the nudge.
A day on the calendar also helps stores remember to fill an entire aisle, floor to eye-level, with gift-items wrapped in red cardboard.
What would we do without pink M&Ms? Wear-once tacky panties? World’s No. 1 Lover statuettes and $2 satin roses in plastic tubes?
A night on the town also seems like an amateur night. If I want to schedule a romantic evening enjoying a really great dinner, I want to arrive early and leave late. I don’t want to stand in the lobby, stare at photos of pastoral scenery while listening to other lovers lingering over Tiramisu.
We’re making reservations for Saturday night. I’ve already clipped a coupon.