Gardening: Valentine’s gifts for your favourite gardener

Peony Red Charm, available from Claire Austin
Peony Red Charm, available from Claire Austin

So, what to get your green-fingered loved one on Valentine’s Day? Of course, the classic gift is a dozen red roses, but there are many more tokens which will last much longer...

Roses are red

The compact ‘Darcey Bussell’ from David Austin is a good bet, producing clusters of deep crimson rosette-shaped flowers all summer, combined with a fruity scent (from £16.50, www.davidaustinroses.co.uk)

Romantic blooms

The beautiful Peony ‘Red Charm’ from Claire Austin Hardy Plants is a gorgeous double glossy red peony that opens into a domed ball surrounded by large guard petals. Growing to 81cm tall by 75cm wide, the flowers are held quite upright on thick, stiff stems and each flower blooms for ages (£12 plus P&P, www.claireaustin-hardyplants.co.uk)

The pretty blooms of pieris should be in bud by Valentine’s Day and among the most eye-catching is the aptly named P. japonica ‘Valley Valentine’, with its cascading clusters of dusky red flowers, or alternatively opt for the Pieris japonica ‘Ralto’, which has variegated leaves and a pink flower, or Pieris ‘Katsura’, another variety with a red flower (£12.99, Hillier Garden Centres and available at other good garden centres)

If your Valentine prefers summer blooms which pack a romantic punch, treat her to a gift of Thompson & Morgan Begonia Majestic Mixed (£22 for six tubers, www.qvcuk.com)

Seeds of love

The new ‘Wine’ and ‘Dine’ Collections from Chiltern Seeds feature flowers with quaffable-sounding names including Clarkia purpurea ‘Burgundy Wine’, Lathyrus odoratus ‘Beaujolais’ and Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais Bonnets’, along with ‘dining’ varieties such as Strawberry ‘Temptation’, Capsicum chilli pepper ‘Hungarian Black’ and Asparagus ‘Connover’s Colossal’, which come beautifully and romantically wrapped (£10 for five packets, www.chilternseeds.co.uk)

Feeling fruity

The Forbidden Fruit kit may be the gift to get your loved one, a grow-your-own kit featuring two types of strawberries, goji berries, golden berries and Charentais melon. With seeds, pots, peat, and tips on how to grow the plants included in the box, it has everything to start the plants off before transferring them to containers or beds in the garden (£12.99, www.gettingpersonal.co.uk)

Gorgeous gifts

Using iconic floral imagery from the RHS Lindley Library, the Rosa Chinensis gift set in gentle green and soft romantic pink features gloves, trowel, fork, secateurs and Kneelo Kneeler to provide all she needs for everyday gardening (£64.95, www.burgonandball.com)

Sticking to a red or pink romantic theme, if you’re going to buy red flowers for February 14, then an accompanying red vase will go the extra mile. LSA International has a stylish bud vase, mouth-blown from a single piece of glass (£14.50, details at www.lsa-international.com)