With Valentine’s Day upon us, we offer some ideas for creating a little romance in your garden.

The word romance primarily means “the feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love”. In this article, we speak of romance in its secondary meaning: “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement and remoteness from everyday life.”

Create a destination

Have a good look at your garden. Is there an area further way from the house that could become a getaway for two– a cozy sitting or lounging area? A round paved area, composed of flagstone stepstones, concrete pavers or even decorative gravel or shredded mulch, defines the space and creates a surface for your furnishings and foot traffic. To create more privacy, consider surrounding it with a living screen of evergreens, a deciduous shrub hedge, or a lattice screen with vines.

Then, select the right outdoor furnishings for this space. Houzz is a useful website and online community about home improvement and decorating and landscape design. It can help you find the style that suits you, along with finding outdoor seating, lounging furniture, accessories and more, to create your getaway.

Two lounge chairs at a remote corner of this expansive garden afford a private conversation and a pretty view. Their placement on grass reinforces a connection with the outdoors.

In this small garden, an exciting combination of colorful perennials surrounds a concrete paver sitting area.

Add The Element of Fire or Water

Fire and water are opposite elements, but adding one or the other to your setting creates a detachment from modern technology and a return to simplicity. There’s nothing quite like a fireside gathering for two, and a portable fire pit is an easy way to create a romantic mood. Similarly, a water feature like a pondless waterfall adds the unrushed sounds of trickling water.

Lounge chairs near a portable fire pit create a place to relax.

A pondless waterfall near a sitting area creates soothing sounds.

Add Beautiful, Fragrant Flowers

We’ve all heard that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. And that scent can have a powerful effect on memory, with the ability to transport one from life’s daily humdrum to a time and place when life was sweeter and simpler. Adding landscape plants with beauty and fragrance bring romance each year. Here are a few wonderful selections.

Clockwise from top left: Pink Perfume Lilac; Candy Store Series Phlox; Hidcote Lavender; At Last Rose.

Bloomerang ‘Pink Perfume’ Lilac Syringa ‘Pink Perfume’ is a medium sized shrub lilac with delicate 3-6-inch clusters of reddish-purple buds that open fragrant, pale pink flowers in May. A profuse bloomer. Prune after spring bloom for best results. Mildew resistant. 4-6′ tall. Full sun.

The Candy Store Series Phloxes offer colorful, deliciously fragrant flowers from summer to fall, loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Select from Grape Lollipop Phlox P. paniculata ‘Ditomsur’, Coral Creme Drop Phlox P. paniculata ‘Ditomdre’, Cotton Candy Phlox P. paniculata ‘Ditomfav’ and Bubblegum Pink Phlox P. paniculata ‘DITOFRA’. Excellent mildew resistance. 18-24″ tall. Full sun.

The scent of lavender is loved all over the world. If you have a well-drained, sunny location, consider adding Hidcote Lavender (more adaptable than Munstead), with fragrant silvery foliage and deep blue-purple flowers in spring. It’s a pollinator magnet that’s also deer and rabbit resistant. 18-24″ tall. Full sun.

Reminiscent of yesteryear, At Last Rose Rosa ‘HORCOGJIL‘ is a new Floribunda rose with the appearance of a tea rose flower, plus the easy care habit and disease resistance of a shrub rose. Large, perfumed, sunset-orange, double flowers profusely bloom from May to October. 24-36″ tall. Full sun.  

Create mystery and excitement with lighting

An evening spent outdoors in your garden creates mystery. Outdoor candles and lanterns gently illuminate your surroundings. Citronella candles also function to repel mosquitoes.String lights come in a variety of styles and brightness to create the mood you are looking for. An outdoor light fixture adds permanence and ambience year round.

A silhouette bollard light fixture casts an interesting light pattern, creating mystery and excitement. Photo credit: Dauer Lighting.

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