Image from Select Seeds – Annual Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate
There are many stories about Saint Valentine. According to some, during the 3rd century, Valentine was a priest and a physician who was martyred. According to legend, St. Valentine signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, who he had befriended and healed from blindness. Another legend said he married couples secretly so the husbands could then avoid being sent to war.
Nowadays no one thinks very much about what the good saint did, they are just thinking about gifts for their beloved. And I remind everyone that Valentine gifts can please mothers, fathers, cousins and other relatives. I like to think Saint Valentine was all about love for everyone.
There are plants in the garden with names that speak of love. I’ve often wished I had a garden gate so that I could grow the vining kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, (Persicaria orientale). These are annuals, growing quickly. They grow so quickly they should be seeded right in the ground instead of hoping to get a head start by starting seeds indoors.
Love Lies Bleeding – a Red Amaranth
I remember the first time I saw Love Lies Bleeding in an historic garden. I did not like the look of it and was appalled at its name, provided on a stake. I have adjusted to this interesting plant but I would not enjoy it in a bouquet. Whether I like it or not it is a member of the Amaranth family, and they are all edible, but this one was not really intended to be used in the kitchen.
I have always had a bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) in my garden with green foliage or with golden foliage. It is lovely and looks delicate, but it is strong, as love should be. This is Goldheart, because of the foliage, but the pink bleeding hearts are just as they would look in a green foliaged plant. No matter about the color of the foliage, a bleeding heart often symbolizes passionate love, however the pink and white blossoms may speak of a broken heart. This plant always reminds us of Valentine.
Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis) bloom in the early spring, and will move around, increasing if you are lucky. These little flowers speak of love and respect, and of faithfulness. They begin blooming in April and into May.
The English name of Tiarella cordifolia is foamflower. but it is romantic in the sense that the foliage is heart-shaped. There are a lot of plants in my garden that speak of love – one way or another.
I have many roses in my garden in colors from this scarlet to shades of pink, peach, amethyst, wine, and cream. This rose, name forgotten, is a beauty in my old garden, and I have not been able to replace it. There is no difficulty in imagining romance, love – and courage.
There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. What will you be doing?