Monday, 14 February 2011

Please don’t bring me flowers, nothing says I love you more than a big bag of compost!

The trowel of love, so spotty and perfect......
Happy St Valentines day to you all.

I’m avoiding all things red/flowery and heart shaped today – the price of flowers at this time of year is truly outrageous. I can’t help but feel bad for those out there who pay over the odds at this time of year in the name of romance. Whilst we are all worth it, its often hardly value for money. I’m pretty sure St. Valentine wouldn’t approve of the commercialism that surrounds this festival. He sounded like a pretty nice chap – helping those lovelost souls to get married in private. On the other hand, any excuse to have/give or send flowers, show someone you love them, can't be a bad festival after all. To be honest I'd rather a big bag of compost or a trowel, I'm positively giddy at the prospect of compost - so many possibilities!

Compost, could there be a better present?
That being said, I’m a big sender of flowers/plants/bulbs myself. If a birthday or an occasion pops up that merits a something, generally I send flowers or a plant if I can. If I’m taking flowers locally, I try and gather an arrangement from my garden, spread the love and I enjoy putting together hand tied flowers. If I’m sending ‘away sooth’ I try and source UK cut flowers – but it’s not always possible to find out ‘where’ or ‘how’ your flowers are grown. More and more companies are getting to grips with ‘ethical/local/uk’ flowers though so its getting easier to do. Personally, however, I’d rather have a home grown bouquet, a plant, bulb, seed, cutting or a rhizome – than a bunch of commercial flowers.

A stem of these lillies at our florist £3 each - one bag of bulbs which will come back year after year - £2.49 - I can wait.........
Don’t get me wrong I love flowers – I truly do – and I enjoy a cut flower as good as the next girl. My personal favourite is Lilium longiflorum or Lilium regale, both of these will get me all weak at the knees. During the year I also love to combine a few flowers from the garden into the house – to truly enjoy them. However, at this time of year I’d rather a bunch of bulbs, packet of seeds, bare rooted shrub, a wheelbarrow or even a nice trowel than a bunch of flowers. The money spent on those are likely to be far less than for cut flowers – even if I love them so, I can wait and grow my own. That away I get to have them bloom over and over again, for many, many years.

How many bunches of flowers do you think we could get out of that lot?
Does that make me unromantic? My romantic skills have been likened to that of a stone on more than one occasion. I’ve also been labelled with the term ‘Pragmatist’ more than once. Whilst it’s not always given as a compliment, I always see it as one!


  1. Could not agree with you more ~ a bunch of flowers has such a short life whilst a bulb can live for years and multiply ~ now as for manure don't get me started :)

  2. A great concept - what a pity the vision of a load of compost isn't more romantic!

  3. Very amusing Valentine's Day post. I always despair when someone buys me florist flowers. They never look quite right. Compost is a good alternative, but I prefer having someone do a job that I would normally do. You are new to Blotanical so you may not know that May Dreams Gardens blog does a Garden Blogger's Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. If you go there tomorrow, it's a good way to find new blogs.

  4. The people who benefit from your love of gardening are lucky people, because gardening is a labour of love!

  5. I love lilies too, especially stargazer, the scent is heavenly.

    The lasy of the family I worked for in the south was a flower arranger, she did the flowers for weddings etc, we used to go and dismantle the arrangements after the function, make up bunches and take them to the people who lived in the lane. I always managed at least one stem of lilies for myself.

    She did the flowers for Tim Henmans wedding, his bride's mother was a friend. The request was for the church to be lit with candles, the wedding was the week before Christmas; as the bride arrived the lights were put out and the church was illuminted by hundreds of candles, such a pretty scene. The flowers were left in for the local carol services and we dismantled them the day before Christmas eve. My house looked and smelt wonderful!!

    I have a pot of lilies which have travelled round with us wherever we have moved, I always cut just one stalk to bring into the house.....I have a proper lily vase, they look lovely in it.

    The only flowers I buy are daffs....such a harbinger of things to come!! We have dozens of the tine tete a tete in pots.....with crocus, tulips and winter pansies.

  6. Hear hear! Couldn't agree more - particularly when I keep coming across people describing how their dozen red roses arrived by post, probably having travelled hundreds of miles, looking dreadful. I love giving flowers and plants to people, and being given them too, particularly if they have grown them themselves, so much more personal. I'd also always be happy to be given compost, tools, plants - it shows that whoever it is knows me well! As to Valentine's Day itself, I have always hated the idea that we are "instructed" to be romantic on one day of the year, the general commercialism of it all, and the way it seems to turn in to a chance to show off in so many cases. Flowers delivered at work? Please! So it is all the more embarrassing that OH and I finally decided we were going to get married at around 1am. Making it Valentine's Day rather than the 13th, which is when we started talking about it. Ugh!

  7. We obviously have the same romantic tastes. You wanted compost, I was happy with mud!

  8. Quite right too, no reason why you can't be a whimsical romantic pragmatist! Bravo to flowers that keep coming back I say xx

  9. Ah, Longiflorum and Regale have also been our favourite Lilies for as long as I can remember. We are finally branching out and trying a good few more this year. I have always found that Longiflorum only last two seasons, is it the same with you?

  10. Excuse the silence - been off 'Sooth' in the midst of travelling now!
    Alistair my lillies are in pots which I change every year to get rid of slugs and any other 'lodgers' in my pots but by doing that they seem to keep going for a good few years. I think we are a bit wet and exposed to put them in our border here - I grow them as a cold indoor plant. Thanks for facing my blog on blotanical :)

    I thought of you as I cruised the garden centre down here (north england) and bought a witch Hazel for a family friend!

    Jenni bravo indeed!
    Linda mud is indeed a good pressie - off for a read now!!

    Janet your post made me giggle. Unfortunately for me the 14th feb is significant for the exact opposite reason in my life! Did you really get married at 1am.!?

    Silversewer what a lovely story - how perfect for the bride. Agree daffys are definitely a sign of things to come!

    Julie they don't appear very happy when I clump mud into the house:)

    Duchess thank you and nice to see you here - maybe I need my compost delivered in heart shaped lumps?! That would make it more interesting!

    Carolyn - thank you very much I might be able to join in next month - I'll pop along and have a look. :) the only thing flowering in my garden at the moment is a daisy in the spring will arrive in a wee while

    Anna valentines manure might catch on :)

    Thank you all for your lovely comments and popping by......x

  11. I've always, always, wanted to visit Orkney. I enjoyed reading through your post about compost as a Valentine gift- what a great idea! Needless to say, I enjoyed the read and will be adding you to my own humble blogspot.


  12. Alistair that should have said 'faving' blessed predictive text.