Give a gift they'll love...

...with our top 10 plants with romantic names

Crocus ‘Romance’ While roses may be the flower most commonly associated with Valentine’s Day, it was in fact the humble crocus dedicated to St Valentine, the Christian martyr, after whom Valentine’s Day was named. C. ‘Romance’ defies the cold and will add a ray of sunshine to the sleeping landscape with its buttery yellow, goblet shaped blooms. Plant several in alpine beds, rockeries or the lawn where they’ll naturalise if left undisturbed. At this time of year buy ready-potted crocuses and plant outside after flowering. H10cm (4in) S5cm (2in)

Clematis ‘New Love’ Unlike its climbing cousins, this herbaceous clematis needs little support and would nestle comfortably among perennials in a sunny or semi-shaded border, in a fertile, free-draining soil. This is a plant that stands out from the crowd while flowering for a long period over the summer months. Expect to see a profusion of unique, star-shaped indigo blue blooms with slender reflexed petals clustering along its strong upright stems. When grown in a container, use a loam-based compost such as John Innes No3. H90cm (35in) S50cm (20in) 

Catananche caerulea ‘Alba’ More commonly known as Cupid’s dart, this hardy perennial is a native of the Mediterranean, where its pure white flowers are still used in bouquets as a Greek symbol of love. During its flowering season from June to September, a mass of silvery buds on upright stems open into solitary, papery white flower heads with a purplish centre. This little gem dislikes heavy, water-logged soil and thrives best in gritty free-draining earth in a sunny aspect. H60cm (24in) S35cm (14in)

Rosa ‘My Valentine’ Red roses are the undisputed flower symbol of love but why buy a bunch when you can have a long-lived productive plant? This sumptuous Hybrid Tea produces recurrent flushes of classic red, velvety blooms, usually one per stem, from summer to late autumn. And unlike many of the cut flower roses available, the blooms on this bush rose are exquisitely fragranced. Plant in an open, sunny site, keep it well fed, regularly watered, pruned annually and it will live for decades. H90cm (3ft) S90cm (3ft)

Lavatera ‘Barnsley Baby’ A hard-working little shrub that embodies all that could be romantic in a plant; from its delicately shaded blush-pink blooms to its deeply lobed, heart-shaped leaves. This compact version of a classic garden favourite is no less equal in vigour to its lofty relations and flowers without pause throughout summer. It’s happiest in full sun and well-drained soil and is the perfect, trouble-free specimen for a container. H75cm (30in) S60cm (24in)

Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ For uninterrupted colour from mid-summer to autumn, jewel-toned salvias add a splash of opulence to any border. ‘Love and Kisses’ produces luxurious magenta flowers, held by deep burgundy calyces. Although not fully hardy in all parts of the UK (down to at least -5C/xxF), cuttings strike easily and new plants mature quickly. It performs best in full sun or lightly dappled shade, where winter drainage is good. Salvias are distinguishable from other plants by their heady aromatic foliage and are great wildlife-friendly plants for bees, butterflies and moths. H80cm (32in) S50cm (20in)

Zantedeschia ‘Captain Romance’ Clumps of this sumptuous calla lily live up to their distinguished name by providing great presence in a garden setting. The rich pink, trumpet-shaped blooms stand proudly to attention, above lush green foliage. Summer-flowering calla lilies prefer humus rich, well-drained soil; heavy soil may cause the rhizomes to rot. Lift in autumn when the foliage has died back and store over winter in a frost-free environment. H65cm (28in) S40cm (16in) after 5-10 years

Potentilla fruticosa ‘Lovely Pink’ This shrubby and compact cinquefoil is worth its weight in gold for unremitting flower power over the summer months. Five-petalled, cup-shaped pink flowers, favoured by bees, engulf a neat mound of attractive green foliage. This useful plant is easy to grow in most conditions but thrives in a hot sunny aspect and once established is reasonably drought tolerant. Trim it in spring to maintain a good shape. H1m (39in) S1m (39in)

Dianthus ‘Angel of Desire’ The diminutive nature of this perky little dianthus makes it ideal for edging a border, or equally, will keep containers colourful throughout late spring and summer. ‘Angel of Desire’ is characterised by masses of single to semi-double blooms of frilly deep pink petals with light pink centres that radiate a delicious sweet yet spicy scent. Bred to repeat flower throughout the growing season, it forms an attractive, tidy mound of evergreen blue-green foliage in winter. H10-20cm (4-8in) S20-30cm (8-12in)

Lily ‘Romance’ Fall in love with the seductive scent of lilies that drifts far and wide from where they’re planted. The eclectic mix of pink and red lilies in the Romance series epitomises the colours of Valentine’s Day, each with its distinct profile; some bearing spots, others stripes and all with eight blooms per stem. Symbolising grace and purity, these exotic-looking, oriental varieties need no staking, having been bred to be compact and are therefore perfect for growing in pots positioned in sun or semi-shade. H40cm (16in) S25cm (10in)

 

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