Extension Educator, Horticulture
Plant lists can read like a dime store novel: love-in-a-mist, love-in-a-puff, love-lies-bleeding, lovage and even love grass. The garden is one big love fest. If you spend even a miniscule amount of time in the garden you know it's not always party time. Each year we gardeners must survive and hopefully thrive through pestilence, drought, flood, wind, and woes. We do it because gardening is so much more than just a pretty plant or a tasty veggie. For survivors, however, we have surprisingly delicate garden egos.
Relationship books extol the virtues of sharing words of praise with your loved ones such as "You look particularly nice today" or "I love the way the light reflects off your bald spot." If your loved one is a gardener, I offer a few other phrases: "That new flower bed is such a welcome retreat" or maybe something as simple as "I love having fresh lettuce from the garden." A simple phrase of praise goes a long way with a gardener. However words of disparagement have sharp points and the daggers may not be obvious to the sayer. So if you have a loved one that is a gardener and you want to stay together to enjoy another Valentines' Day, here is what not to say to your plant-lovin', garden-lovin' lover:
This Valentine's Day hug your gardener, smile when they talk about this year's garden and always let them read the garden catalogs first. And remember, "I garden, therefore I am."