To quote Forrest Gump, "I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is." Or at least I know everyone likes something unique better than the old standard. Don't get me wrong, a dozen roses can go a long way on Valentine's Day. But the Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension have some suggestions that will "make you stand out from the crowd."

Instead of cut flowers than can be high priced and hard to come by on Valentine's Day, the Gardeners suggest a plant. They can convey the same feelings of love with heart-shaped foliage, great smelling fragrances and can last forever by replanting them in the spring. Here are some suggestions:

Miniature Roses

Nothing says the holiday like roses. They're readily available, come in a variety of colors and are easy to keep alive.

Violets

The Greeks consider them a symbol of love and used them in love potions. They bloom year round indoors and can also be move outdoors.

Orchids

Some consider them difficult, but they aren't. They come in a variety of colors and convey love, beauty, endurance and strength.

A Dish Garden

These may not be perfect for your Valentine, but make a great gift for friends or relatives. There are many choices, from blooming plants to terrariums.

Again, just a personal suggestion; but I'd still get chocolates. You can never go wrong with chocolate. If you want more information from the flower experts, call The Master Gardeners' hotline, at (315) 736-3394. They're in session from 9 to noon Wednesdays and Fridays.

SOURCE: Cornell Cooperative Extension

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