As landscapers, we know the appeal of fresh cut flowers—especially on Valentine’s Day. In landscaping and in love, flowers add a welcome touch of excitement. Granted, that excitement is temporary—flowers wilt, dry up, and turn as taupe as the rest of winter’s dull vistas—but that doesn’t kill the charm. Year after year, we keep growing and planting more and more flowers for our clients, and it’s likely that at least some of them end up as the centerpiece in a flashy Valentine’s Day spread.
As landscapers, we also know the appeal of lasting, practical gifts. After all, most of what we do is maintenance, and maintenance is a no-frills kind of game. Couples who have been together for many years might similarly appreciate the low key art of maintenance. For them, love is probably more about the small, practical things that keep a relationship going than flashy romantic gestures. In other words, it’s not the brightness of the flowers but the sturdiness of the soil that matters most. In honor of that truth, and those couples who are celebrating longevity more than romance this Valentine’s Day, here are some practical (garden-themed) Valentine’s Day gifts that will make your sweetie feel as loved as a freshly fertilized lawn.
A Pair of Pruning Shears
Pruning: the oft-overlooked garden chore that will totally transform your yard. Many amateur gardeners neglect their pruning duties and end up with shrubs that resemble overwatered chia pets. Other gardeners prune incorrectly, using dull shears that hack more than they trim. A good, sharp pair of pruning shears and a sturdy pair of gloves to go with them can make a world of difference in the garden. Removing debris and dead growth will be easier than ever, and your love will have no reason to neglect that tangled mess you both sweetly refer to as a “winter garden” any longer. If you want to win some extra points, gift your sweetheart the shears and then take them back to do the pruning yourself. There’s really no better Valentine’s Day gift than watching someone else do the work you’ve been finding excuses not to do.
Soil pH Meter
If the strength of the soil is really more important than the brightness of the flowers, then it’ll probably be helpful to know exactly how strong the soil is. Perfect for amateur gardeners who want to take it to the next level, a soil pH meter lets users measure the pH level of their garden soil with ease, thus allowing for more accurate troubleshooting and better planning. After all, many plant problems can be traced back to the soil, and corrected by using soil amendments and fertilizers. So, if your love wants a “green thumb” but can’t grow anything without also killing it, a soil pH meter may be the clearest path towards redemption.
A Sun Hat
There’s only one thing that makes me lazier than cold weather: hot weather. It’s just plainly difficult to get any meaningful work done in the garden when you’re sweating up a storm and the sun is in your eyes. It’s amazing how much a decent sun hat (and plenty of water) can cool you off on a sweltering day and provide much needed sun coverage. Your love will surely appreciate having a convenient and stylish summer accessory that will make the dog days a little more bearable—and they might even get more work done because of it.
A Freshly Mowed Lawn
Out of all the yard chores there are to do, many people say mowing is their least favorite. It is loud, sweaty, arduous (especially if, God forbid, done with a push mower), and it invariably leaves the person doing it smelling of wet grass and gasoline—not a great smell. Maybe your love doesn’t normally mow the lawn (lucky!) or maybe they always do. Either way, February may be a bit too early to think about trimming the grass. Still, all seasoned couples know the value of delayed gratification. When the time comes to mow the lawn for the first time this spring, let your sweetheart sit this one out and do it yourself. If you want to be extra impressive, maybe even throw some fertilizer down—cow poop isn’t a pleasant smell either, and your S.O will be grateful to avoid it.