February is the month of love and, right in the middle, is Valentine’s Day – one of the largest card and flower sending celebrations of the year around the globe!

Like so many of our favourite love stories, the history of Valentine’s Day is bitter sweet

It dates back to the third century when the Roman Emperor of the time outlawed marriage for his soldiers. A young priest named Valentine didn’t share his opinion and continued to marry young lovers in secret. He was eventually jailed for conducting these nuptials and, ironically, during his time behind bars, fell in love with his jailer’s daughter who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death on February 14, 270 AD, Valentine sent a letter to this special young lady, signing it with what has now become the traditional “From Your Valentine”.

Co-incidentally, in ancient cultures, February has always been a time for fertility festivals, making flowers the perfect choice as a gift.

This also dates back to the old fashioned custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages. In the old days, each flower had a specific meaning in much the same way as our Zulu beadwork originated to convey specific love messages

Through the centuries, however, red roses, have become the ‘official’ Valentine’s Day flower

But why not try something completely different this year?

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Sean Granger, general manager at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, suggests: “With South Africa having so many beautiful, indigenous flowers to choose from, it seems like the perfect direction to go when choosing your Valentine’s Day bunch or bouquet.”

That also sends the message that we love our beautiful countryside and, in particular, the lovely surrounds of Granny Mouse.

Granger not only includes stunning indigenous blooms in his arrangements but says they always include plenty of greenery, “We’re a very lucky province to have a constant supply of shrubbery and fresh greenery to always add into flower arrangements. This does such a great job of ‘bulking up’ an arrangement and offsetting and highlighting the beautiful flowers that make up each bunch”.

For a special Valentine’s touch, add just a single red rose to a lovely indigenous bouquet.

For any more tips on arrangements, give Granny Mouse a call on 033 234 4071.

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