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7.2.12

Give Seeds Instead of Roses This Valentine's Day

In Radical Gardening author George McKay quotes a Colombian activists as saying, “Behind every beautiful flower is a death. Flowers grow beautiful while women wither away.” She is speaking to western buyers on behalf of the 40,000 women that work in the Colombian cut flower trade. According to this CNN article, the United States imports more than 80% of its Valentine's Day roses. Most of them imported from Columbia and Ecuador. In the language of flowers, roses symbolize love and passion. The gifting of roses on Valentine’s Day will probably lead to many Valentine’s Day babies nine months from now, but will anyone involved in the ritual stop and think of the women withering away behind every stem rose? Giving seeds for plants that symbolize love and romance is a way to participate in Valentine’s Day that is slightly more sustainable and will create a connection to nature that will last longer than a week.*

Giving Seeds on Valentine's Day instead of roses


Many seed packets are just as decorative as Valentine’s Day cards, and you can present your seed packets in creative ways to show that there’s some thought behind the gesture.

Love Lies Bleeding & Ballon Vine seeds for Valentine's Day

With an knife you can hollow out a box of chocolates and transform it into a gift box for seeds that express your feelings for your valentine. 'Loves Lies Bleeding' from Renee's Garden on the left and 'Heart Seed' from the Hudson Valley Seed Library on the right.

Love in a Mist & Bachelor Button Seeds for Valentine's Day


'Love in a Mist' beautifully rendered by the Hudson Valley Seed Library on the left. The old-fashioned flowers of 'Bachelor Button' get an update and serve as commentary of our modern times on the right. Saving 'Bachelor Button' seeds is really easy, BTW.

Adding to the list of seeds that mean love and romance, (or fit the Valentine's Day theme) and can be given in lieu of roses: 'Black Valentine' beans, Sweet peas 'Queen of Hearts', 'Exotic Love Vine', sunflower 'Valentine'. 'Forget-Me-Nots,' Lovage, and the green 'Love Lies Bleeding'.

If we were to examine the seed industry we would likely find that the conditions of workers in the trade where not that different from those of the cut flower industry*. But I feel that seeds are a gateway to living a life that is in tune with our communities, ourselves, and ultimately with nature- and the people we share this planet with. You can profess your love and devotion for your valentine this year by opting out of buying roses this Valentine's Day and instead giving seeds. Not only will the gift show that you've put thought and have an interest in the recipient's passion for gardening, but the resulting flowers will last longer than a bouquet of cut roses ever will If you have any suggestions for seeds and seed companies to buy from this Valentine's Day you can leave them in the comments below.

22 comments:

  1. Good idea. I got my seeds from my husband last weekend and I am excited about planting them in my garden.

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    1. It's awesome that your husband knows you well enough to buy you seeds for Valentine's Day.

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  2. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Wonderful idea! Thank you. I am definitely doing to do this for my little girls. I know they will love it. I called our local nursery and they have seeds in already.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like it and that you're teaching kids about growing from seeds.

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  3. I love the thought and symbolism behind giving someone seeds like those for Valentine's Day. Great idea.

    They don't necessarily have "love" in the name, but there are lots of flowers you can grow from seed that symbolize romance. Globe amaranth symbolizes undying love, heliotrope symbolizes devotion, morning glories symbolize affection or attachment, and magenta zinnias (for some reason) are supposed to symbolize "lasting affection." You may or may not want to add cleome seeds: cleome is traditionally symbolic of "run away with me."

    I'm sure there are tons more out there, but those were the ones I could remember off the top of my head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great suggestions, Colleen! I cam across the zinnia one and wondered why the magenta ones meant that in the language of flowers. I like that the mixed colored zinnias are suppose to symbolize friendship.

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    2. I didn't know the mixed color zinnias symbolized friendship! Nice.

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  4. This is a great idea, and I love the heart packaging as a way to gift the seeds. I always told my husband never to give me flowers on Valentine's day. I always ask for plants, bulbs, or seeds instead. Flowers die, I always say, but plants, bulbs and seeds live. :)

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    Replies
    1. Cool. Hope he listens to you and gets you plants, bulbs and seeds. Do you know what he's getting you for Valentine's Day this year, or is it a surprise?

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  5. Great idea! We generally don't care about Valentine's Day or bother to celebrate it, but I may make an exception for more seeds!

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    Replies
    1. I don't either (primarily because I'm a forever alone) but I making an exception this year to give the kids some valentine-themed seeds they can sow. I don't need any excuse to give seeds, but I'll take any opportunity I come across.

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  6. Great idea! now I just have to figure out how to casually shove it under my dear spouse's nose! Perhaps in time for next year. Hope all is well with you.

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  7. great idea. love the top pick of seeds wrapped in heart shaped tissue paper!

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  8. Lol, smiled to see loves lies bleeding here--also my idea of a Valentine! I mentioned it to Renee, to add to their VD special, lol!

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  9. What a great idea! I'd much rather get seeds than candy and such (not that I'm complaining... I do have the world's biggest sweet tooth). Maybe I'll just buy myself some seeds and pretend it was a valentines present.

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  10. Great money saving idea as the price of red roses on valentines day is like £50...

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  11. Those seed packets are so cute! Hoping my husband gets me seeds for Valentine's day. You can never have too many seeds!

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  12. That's a great idea, and it can lead to so much more time people can spend and enjoy together gardening after the initial gift-giving.

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  13. good idea! robbie:-)

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  14. Anonymous7:20 PM

    I cannot testify to the conditions on Colombian rose plantations, but I have visited an Ecuadorean rose plantation and saw absolutely no negative working conditions. It was a family-run plantation> everyone had a stake in its success.

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    Replies
    1. I've never been to see the conditions myself, but I don't think they would be much different. Wherever people who are historically exploited (women & children) go for work it seems to be the same story.

      Here's a great article I just came across today. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/The-Secrets-Behind-Your-Flowers.html

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