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Designing an Outdoor Space for Valentine’s Day

Live Flowers Planted In a Garden Represent a Lasting Relationship

© 2011 by Jessica Ackerman; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

Lavender_tulips_blooming_in_mulch; photo courtesy Kelly Smith

This article was update on 1/6/19. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is an excellent example of a holiday that inspires us to redesign certain spaces within and outside of our homes. Designing an outdoor space for Valentine’s Day parties and celebrations can be a wonderful surprise for someone that you care about. Many gardeners remind us that Valentine’s Day is the time to trim our roses.

Or, just a great way to improve the look of your yard, flower bed, garden, or outdoor living space. Here are a few plant, seating, and lighting ideas that can help you design the space of your dreams this time of year. Just think of it as the opportunity to tackle that list of new year’s DIY projects!

Choosing the Perfect Flower

Almost every woman loves to get flowers on Valentine’s Day, and some would far rather receive something living that will bloom more than just that one day. After all, why limit yourself to a wilting bouquet when you can have cut flowers on a regular basis?

Coriopsis Annuals Add a Splash of color to the Front Yard; photo courtesy Kelly Smith
Coriopsis Annuals Add a Splash of color to the Front Yard. Photo courtesy of Kelly Smith.

Many of us do not mind caring for the flower or floral arrangement minimally, either, especially during the mild spring and fall months. Annuals, such as the coriopsis above, are very hardy and come back year after year once established.

The perfect living flower should be designed to suit your climate, sunlight requirements, and soil conditions. If you are unsure of this type of information, talk to someone in a garden center, nursery, or plant retailer for more details. If your community is lucky enough to have a Master Gardener group, they are very knowledgeable about local plants.

One great tip is to find out her favorite color, and keep in mind how much time and energy will need to be devoted to caring for the flower.

Design your outdoor Valentine’s Day surprise with this basic information in mind, so that you will know that your significant other will appreciate what you have created.

Find accents and accessories for the space in the favorite color if you cannot find in-season plants that are blooming for this special occasion, such as lighting, flags, decorations, and similar items designed for outdoor use.

Choosing Outdoor Seating Arrangements

If the space is large enough, why not consider adding seating to your outdoor space to create the romantic environment this day is known for inspiring.

A great bench is a wonderful idea, so that two can sit comfortably, but be sure that any seating arrangement you choose is intended for use outdoors, including fabric choices. If you have a homeowners association, check to ensure that your project falls under their (often unreasonable) guidelines.

This will ensure that your gift lasts much longer, and the durable and beautiful addition will add monetary and aesthetic value to your home. We can’t say enough about home equity, can we?

Seating should be comfortable without presenting health risks. For example, you should choose fabrics that are designed for outdoor use, so that the fabric does not mildew or mold after the first hint of condensation or dew.

The building material for the seat should also be weather and climate appropriate, so that it can be used when the weather permits.

Ideal Exterior Lighting

More than likely, you will not be spending a significant amount of time in your romantic space outdoors after dark, but adding outdoor lighting changes that parameter and gives you that opportunity should you desire to sit and relax after the sun has gone down. A simple lantern, LED spotlight, or a couple of Tiki torches for the space is ideal for most arrangements.

This will add that perfect touch of light for a romantic rendezvous. It resembles candlelight, which is the most popular lighting for romance, so you cannot go wrong with a hint of light that does not cost a lot of time, energy, or money to purchase or install.

In short, designing an outdoor space for Valentine’s Day, is an important holiday ritual to start following. You can start small and add to it as the years go by. And you just might stay out of trouble.

About the author:

Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at, specializes in southwestern metal wall artwork and wrought iron door toppers.

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