The dating game - it's Valentine's Day!
With one month of the year having passed and all but a memory, are you ready for the rest? It seems that from February onwards theres a gradual but steady feeling of momentum which builds to a triumphant climax marked by the burst of spring blossom.
The entire process commences on 14 February and this date is known to many as Valentines Day.
The season of love is almost upon us!
Where did St Valentine's Day come from?
The origins of the Valentine's festival probably date back to the Roman celebration of Lupercalia
which was all about fertility. Historians find it unclear as to which of the saints called St Valentine lent his name to the event as there were at least three early Christian saints
who shared the same name. These Valentines all suffered a rather unfortunate end as they were thought to have been martyred on 14 February. There are plenty of myths and legends surrounding Valentine. Many believe that he secretly performed marriage ceremonies during the reign of Claudius II
, a king who prohibited marriage for young men as he claimed that bachelors made better soldiers. Other stories point to the possibility that Valentine, who had been imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of the jailer and before being executed he sent a letter to her, signed from your Valentine.
Valentine's messages probably originated from Roman times.
In 1969 the Catholic church revised its liturgical calendar and removed feast days of saints that had questionable origins and St Valentines day was axed.
St Valentine's feast day was struck off the Catholic calender.
Watch the birdie!
Whats not to love about the opportunity to express affection on Valentine's Day? There are many reasons why its a wonderful idea. Birds certainly believe this to be the time of the year when potential mates need to be wooed in readiness for nest-making
and raising a brood. Its the natural season for making babies who will be able to grow and thrive during the warmer months to come when food is plentiful.
Look out for birds on February 14, St Valentine's Day. This is when they will be searching for their mates in readiness for nest building and egg laying.
Embrace the occasion with joy and affection!
Giving gifts for Valentines Day
You might want to give flowers to a loved one. Theres no doubt these make a beautiful gesture. You could give a growing gift
which could be construed to represent the growing nature of a relationship which will change over the months and years to come. Your partner is bound to be delighted to receive a heart-shaped present
that will flourish as the season progresses.
These heart-shaped Hoya come in a little painted pot that says I Love You, plus a suitable gift bag.
Some house plants actually do have heart-shaped foliage. Many are obvious and theres no mistaking the link to Valentines Day. Take the heart-shaped Hoya, for example, also known as the sweetheart Hoya. Hoya kerrii (pictured above) is a small succulent plant that is really easy to care for and it can be purchased in Valentines packaging including a painted pot too. As it grows it will gradually produce multiple heart-shaped leaves, making the gesture even bigger!
A hooped heart!
There are slightly different Hoyas
which could be highly suitable for Valentine's Day too. Hoya australis
can be trained on a heart-shaped hoop for those looking for something rather eye-catching. Also known as the wax flower,
the plant produces highly scented flowers which look as if they are made of wax. A gift for Valentine's Day that will last and last.
Hoya australis on a hoop! There's no mistaking this heartfelt gesture of love.
Chain of hearts
Want something more subtle? A hanging and trailing plant called Ceropegia woodii
needs close inspection in order to appreciate the heart-shaped foliage. It is tiny and exquisite and easy to see why it is also called the chain of hearts.
The subtle 'chain of hearts' has tiny, heart-shaped foliage
Alocasia foliage is amazing!
Two types of Alocasia
: Bambino Arrow
have the most striking heart-shaped foliage. These house plants arent the easiest to look after, but perhaps this is the perfect present for someone who likes a challenge! These house plants enjoy high humidity and a light, bright position in the home. They will reward with a stunning shape and feast for the eyes.
Amazing foliage is what you will get! Alocasia has the most incredible leaf-vein markings and... they are heart-shaped!
Alocasia 'Polly' has heart-shaped foliage and the most amazing leaf veins.
The jungle theme
Then there are cheese plants
! Who would have thought that the Swiss cheese plant or Monstera in all its slightly different forms, would have such a strong following after all these years! The leaves are definitely heart-shaped. When juvenile the leaves are whole and the splits and holes gradually appear as the plant matures. Whats more, this really is a plant that is almost indestructible so the new owner wont need to have green fingers.
Monstera, or cheese plants are really popular house plants, even after several decades! The jungle theme is all the rage in the 21st century.
If a hanging or climbing house plant will be appreciated on Valentine's Day theres probably no better plant than Scindapsus,
also known as Devils Ivy. The leaves are, as you might have guessed, distinctly heart-shaped!
Scindapsus or Devil's Ivy, has heart-shaped leaves and this one also has yellow splashes. A lovely gift for a loved one on Valentine's Day.
Red hearts signify passion!
There are more house plant choices including Anthurium,
which includes this spectacular 'Bugatti's Red'! Distinctively heart-shaped, and the appropriate colour for Valentine's Day too!
All these Valentines gifts, and more ,
including heart-shaped hot water bottles, doormats saying 'love', heart-shaped outdoor plant pot holders
, trinkets and loveliness from wwwperfectplants.co.uk