February 13, 2018
Roses are so, so… last year’s Valentine’s Day.
If I did have a Valentine sweetheart, I’d be dropping hints all over the place about not giving me a bouquet of roses on this holiday. Sure, roses are showy, they’re fragrant, they’re pricey, but… They’re. Going. To. Die.
I say, give a gift that keeps on giving year after year. No, no, no. Not a diamond. Not shares in Apple stock. (Though I wouldn’t turn those down.) Not even chocolates!
Instead, give your Valentine a perennial plant. Yes, a perennial. After all, a perennial says this love will last. It says, this love is so important, I want it to endure. This love is so meaningful, I want you to think of us whenever you see this plant outside the window.
I can barely tolerate annuals. It seems so wasteful. I realize there's a huge industry behind them, and many of them are just gorgeous. But planting them makes me feel so temporary. Besides lasting for a long, long time, here are some other benefits of planting perennials:
Great Roots! The roots of perennial plants help to improve the soil by creating channels and spaces for water to travel throughout. The roots also make open spaces in the soil. This provides oxygen and water to all the plants in the area and microorganisms in the soil.
Nutrients Perennials have deeper root systems so they’re able to obtain nutrients like nitrogen, magnesium and iron, typically out of the reach of annuals. They then bring these nutrients up to the surface where they and other plants can also get them.
Water The root systems of perennial plants pull moisture up towards the surface, allowing other, shallower rooting plants to access. This also helps to prevent the soil from drying out and blowing away.
Cover Planting perennials preserves soil moisture because their foliage, some of which remains in the winter, doesn’t leave the soil exposed. The moisture in the soil is less likely to evaporate.
Energy-Saving Because the perennial plant sprouts from the same rootstock, gardeners are free of clearing areas for sowing, sowing seeds and composting and mulching the soil to supply nutrients for plantings. Once established, perennials also tend to need less care than annuals.
Propagation Though lots of perennial plants live a long time, eventually they’ll begin to die off. But, fortunately, perennials are easy to divide so that the gardener can continue growing the same plant that has renewed vigor.
Variety Annual plants all tend to bloom during the same period, typically the summer. Perennials are a group of plants that have various blooming times, allowing you to enjoy the flowers and foliage throughout the seasons.
Hardiness Perennials are also generally hardier than annuals and so are more likely to survive extreme weather events.
Overall, a perennial is a wonderful, lasting choice for a Valentine’s gift. But if you’re just a bit concerned that the gift will seem too utilitarian, offer up a box of chocolates, too.
And so, in keeping with the red color theme of Valentine’s Day, today's Design Inspiration is based on Beardtongue and Pineleaf Penstemons.
Red Penstemons Tank Top (Find it here)
Red Penstemons Long Scarf (Find it here)
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