Keeping the romance alive


With Valentine’s day just around the corner, a bouquet of red roses may seem the best choice to gift your loved one on this special day. Red roses symbolize love and passion however there has been an increase in people shunning the Valentine’s Day staple for other kinds of flowers.

Does this mean that romance, love and passion are dead? Certainly not! See our 5 alternatives to red roses on Valentine’s Day to keep the element of surprise, and most importantly, the romance alive. But first… Where did it all begin?


The history of Valentine’s Day


It was during the third century in Rome that legend has it Valentine’s Day originated. It was during this time, that Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers! So he outlawed marriage for young men. Sounds pretty harsh right?!


Claudius Gothicus Valentine's Day
Emperor Claudius II (Claudius Gothicus)


So what happened next? Outraged by the Emperor’s actions a young priest named Valentine decided to defy the great Emperor and take matters into his own hands! Valentine would perform top secret marriages for young lovers across the empire.


St VAlentine Valentine's Day
St. Valentine


Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death! (not quite the fate of those who fail to buy their significant others flowers on Valentine’s Day, but clearly a lesson to be learned from history!).

It was when Valentine was in Jail that he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine” – and that’s where the expression comes from today!

But why send flowers?

Sending flowers on Valentine’s Day is actually an old-fashioned custom. Sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages. It was Introduced in the 18th century by Charles II of Sweden, with the idea that each flower had a specific meaning attached to it. This made it possible to have an entire conversation using only flowers!? Just like we do these days with emojis!


To this very day, people continue to send flowers on special occasions or to express sentiments of love and admiration. So what alternatives do we have to roses?


Tulips Image Valentine's Day


Tulips are a popular alternative to roses. Available in a variety of colours, you will sure be able to find the perfect colour for your loved one. Red tulips are fast becoming the new red rose as they are beautiful and unique however for something a bit more understated try a contemporary pink and purple bunch.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy Valentine's Day


A twist on a traditional daisy, the Gerbera is a cheerful choice available in many different colours. Representing purity and innocence, it is a great gift for new or old relationships. For that extra romance, a bunch of red Gerbera Daisies are fun, sweet and let your loved one know ‘I love you’.


Sunflowers Valentine's Day

These vibrant flowers not only symbolize the sun but also longevity, dedication and adoration making them a great alternative to roses. To brighten someone’s day, pick a golden bunch of sunflowers or a mixed bouquet will also be gratefully received.



Peonies Valentine's Day

These great smelling blooms are thought to represent good fortunes and a happy marriage, so they couldn’t be more appropriate to gift this Valentine’s Day. Peonies make fantastically romantic bouquets as they come in different shades of pink, coral and burgundy which is perfect if you want to avoid a traditional red flower.

Succulent Terrarium

Succulent Terrarium Valentine's Day

Finally, don’t think you are restricted to flowers on Valentine’s Day. A succulent terrarium will last much longer than a bunch of flowers. When positioned on your loved ones dressing table or desk it will be a constant reminder of your love. Succulent terrariums are a modern alternative that do well indoors and take very little looking after.

We’d love to see your beautiful Valentine’s day bouquets, so send us your pictures using #grabagardener on Twitter and Instagram or Tweet us at @grabagardener.

For any other gardening tips you can see our related blogs right here!

From all at Grab a Gardener have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.