A Celebration of Love
Cupid, the winged Roman god of desire, was armed with a bow and arrow to fill his victims with feelings of love. His namesake, the canna lily Canna x generalis 'Cupid’, entices gardeners with delicate shell pink blossoms. These exotic summer bulbs can be started indoors in places where they are not winter hardy.

The holiday was named for an early martyr of the Roman Catholic Church, but today we celebrate by expressing our affection for family and friends. Exchanging sentimental or humorous greeting cards is a long-standing tradition. Helianthus annuus ‘Valentine’, a garden greeting you can’t miss, is a sunflower whose sprightly six- to ten-inch blooms sit atop six-foot stems.

Your special someone, of course, deserves more than a card on this special day. Dahlia ‘Hugs ‘N’ Kisses’ features compact, four-inch flowers of luscious lavender with a deep purple reverse. Like cannas, dahlias are tubers that are hardy only in warmer zones, but can be dug up in the fall and stored indoors before replanting in the spring.

Hugs 'N' Kisses

Terms of Endearment
Bearing tender names for our loved ones, valentines allow us to reveal the depth of our feelings. Tulipa ‘Sweetheart’ is a Fosteriana type that naturalizes well and blooms much earlier than most other tulips. Delightfully bi-colored, the flowers are bright lemon yellow with ivory-white edges.

Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Darling’ is an adorable shasta daisy featuring mounds of pristine white flowers with yellow centers. Like other shastas, it blooms repeatedly throughout the summer.

Iris siberica ‘Dear Delight’ is a true blue charmer. Pale indigo touched with white, the blooms appear in late May to June. As an added plus, siberian iris foliage stays crisp and attractive all season long.

Dear Delight

The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth
Sometimes we make the mistake of falling for someone who toys with our feelings, or doesn’t return our affection. Hemerocallis ‘Just a Tease’ is a mid-season daylily sure to attract second looks. The flowers are cream with a lavender-rose eye and frilly edge above a green throat.

Tantalizing Lilium ‘Flirt’ is an Asiatic lily variety. The blooms, a lovely pale yellow with deep maroon brush strokes, will steal your heart. Asiatic lilies offer lots of color with little care, and bloom early in the summer.

Love is grand, but it can sometimes end in heartbreak. The spring-blooming genus Dicentra spectabilis, commonly called bleeding heart, says it all. Deep pink and heart-shaped, its blooms dangle from gracefully arching gray-green stems.

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Just a Tease
Bleeding Heart

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...
Valentine’s Day fosters romance, which often leads to marriage. Ipomoea tricolor ‘Wedding Bells’ is an apt name for the glorious trumpet-shaped flowers of this lavender-blue morning glory. These vines are annual growers, but often self-seed.

Iris ‘Honeymoon Suite’ is a suitably special plant to honor a new bride and groom. This sumptuous and stately 36-inch tall bearded iris features pale pink standards with orchid pink falls, and is fragrant to boot.

Our tour of botanical names inspired by love should end like every good fairy tale. Hosta ‘Happily Ever After’ offers gardeners an easy-care specimen for shade. Its blue-green leaves have a yellow margin that fades to cream. The plant’s white flowers appear in August.

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Wedding Bells
Honeymoon Suite
Happily Ever After

DG Member Photo Credits:
Thumbnail photo of Bleeding Heart ‘King of Hearts’ by Kell
Canna Lily ‘Cupid’ by Abutilon
Sunflower ‘Valentine’ by DaylilySLP
Dahlia ‘Hugs ‘N” Kisses’ by flowerfrenzy
Hemerocallis ‘Just a Tease’ by Lilypon
Lilium ‘Flirt’ by runnerboy713
Dicentra spectablilis by Rozilynn
Tulip ‘Sweeheart’ by mgarr
Shasta daisy ‘Darling’ by htop
Iris ‘Dear Delight’ by Todd_Boland
Morning glory ‘Wedding Bells’ by Seedsower
Iris ‘Honeymoon Suite’ by Nancymo
Hosta ‘Happily Ever After’ by Mctavish