Valentine Picks for Nature Lovers

CMBG At Home, Gardenshop

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with friends, a partner, or a good book, it’s nice to have some gift-giving inspiration, a list of gifts at your fingertips perfect to communicate your affection and gratitude to the people you love. We’ve polled Gardens’ staff from across departments, just to give you that inspiration. From our hearts to yours, happy gifting!

Lon, Horticulturist:

What’s better than the love of home and garden? A winter day by the window, watching the snow, and making plans for a new or existing garden sounds like the perfect February day to me. Here are a few items to set the mood.

THE HOLISTIC ORCHARD: TREE FRUITS AND BERRIES by Michael Phillips: Walking out of the house and picking fresh fruit—that’s true love! This book is a great resource for planning and caring for your fruit trees and berries—and one day, you can make the loves in your life delicious bakes and desserts with the fruits of your labor.

HAND THROWN PLANT POT: YELLOW & WHITE by Becky Wright Pottery: That incredible new houseplant you received as a gift needs and equally incredible container. Gift yourself this hand-thrown pot; yellow gives an additional bit of cheer to that little houseplant.

MASON JAR SOY CANDLE: LEMONGRASS: The refreshing scent of lemongrass definitely lifts my mood, no matter the day or the weather.

Nan, Webshop Coordinator

For me, a gift should be something that you love, but might never buy for yourself! Perfect for traveling, carrying your laptop, stylish and oh-so durable! I LOVE my URBAN TOTE! There are so many options, too, for any taste. Explore for yourself! 

I actually got this for my husband for Christmas. Yes, practical, but that’s who he is. We will love this on our flagpole in the spring! A simple design that is everything MAINE. ORIGINAL MAINE FLAG

Above, hand-thrown plant pot by Becky Wright Pottery and original Maine flag

Michaela, Senior Philanthropy Advisor

February in Maine is categorically dark and cold. I find warm light paired with a hot bath to be an extraordinary antidote to the winter blues…but I seldom make the time to indulge in such a luxury. Sometimes we are better at loving one another than loving ourselves. 

To that end—if someone (my husband, for example) were to gift me some DEAD SEA TUB TEA, with its healing blend of organic herbs and flowers, and the divinely-scented, locally-made LAVENDER SOY CANDLE–then I might be inclined to treat myself with a restorative mid-winter soak. (Hint, hint.)

Sarah, Interpretation & Exhibits Educator

Here are my selections that I would give, receive, AND represent love. Nothing says “I want to be in your life six months from now” like a pack of seeds. My favorites? Send your valentine some future flowers: SUNFLOWER SURPRISE, or take care of the birds and the bees… BUTTERFLY WEED. (Puns aside, seeds represent hope, optimism, and the promise of a future—a perfect message for the love of your life OR the love of life itself!)

Are you looking for THE ONE? Look no further than the HORI HORI digging tool. It is the only gardening tool you ever actually need. Simple to use, versatile, and with a sheath that you can loop through your belt, it will always be there when you need it. Careful though, this soil knife can cut through your buried irrigation as easily as a heart can break. If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one item from Gardenshop, it would be this hori hori. Not that it would necessarily help me survive on the deserted island, but I would be able to effortlessly weed, plant bulbs, and dig out an invasive barberry plant’s root ball all with the same little tool. And I wouldn’t feel so alone. This, my friends, is true love.

Above, Dead Sea Tub Tea and butterfly weed from Hudson Valley Seed Co.

Tory, Digital Marketing & Content Program Manager

Taking the time to nourish oneself is so important! To me, recently, this has meant taking more thoughtful care of my body and skin. I would love a little gift basket with Maine-based Unfiltered Skin Care’s RESTORING ROSE TONIC and BLUSH CLAY MASK, and a little pot of SEAWEED DREAM CREAM from Planet Botanicals (another Maine-based company!).

To me, flowers are a love language, and that is true of many of the beloved folks in my life. Gifting little seed packages is like giving a garden lover flowers all season long. Hudson Valley Seed Company’s seed packs are little works of art, too! I’d especially love to gift some of my floral favorites that tie in great with the theme of love: MOTHER OF PEARL POPPIES that come in the most amazing shades of dusty, muted pinks, purples, creams and grey; LOVE-IN-A-MIST, which not only has one of the best names, but also comes in the best shades of true blue and purple; CORAL FOUNTAIN LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING (amaranth), with its beautiful pink cascades that look amazing in arrangements; and the POLKA DOT MIX of bachelor buttons, which are not only sweetly colored, but also have a long tradition of being symbolic in love.

Ginger, Culinary Director

MAINE STREET BEES RAW MAINE HONEY: I put honey in my coffee every morning, eat it by the spoonful, drizzle on roasted veggies, and warm buttered toast…I have given it to my children for sore throats, put it on burns and stings. It is something that has an everyday presence in my life. I love to buy honey when I travel because they taste so different depending on the local pollen. My all-time favorite honey came from Arizona…it was so thick that I had to chew it. I think it would be a wonderful gift of sweetness for Valentine’s Day.

DANDELION LAVENDER BATH OIL: Hello warm bath with Maine sea salts and lavender. Is there anything better? Obviously, I would want someone to give this to me, but I would also gift it to someone special.

Phaidon’s FLOWER book: I love Phaidon books. Most of mine are cookbooks, but I do have a couple landscape/gardening and architecture books by them. I adore coffee table books that are visually stunning and full of information, stories, and history.

HUDSON VALLEY SEEDS: The packets alone are works of art. If someone in your life likes to garden, these seeds from NY are a beautiful gift. Flowers, herbs and vegetables can represent so many things! How about a packet of Nigella…”love in a mist”?

Above, Unfiltered’s Restoring Rose Tonic and Blush Clay Mask 

Above, Maine Street Bees raw honey, and Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom

Amy, Marketing Communication & Project Manager (and your humble blogger)

We all love to be pampered, so it makes sense to give the gift of pampering, too. I love Brickell products–they make skincare and grooming products exclusively for men using high quality natural and organic ingredients. Try the FACIAL MOISTURIZER and BALANCING TONER.

Have lots of people on your list who need to know you love them? There are always cards. I love MATTHEW RICHARD BARNES’ cards, which are so kind, so sincere, and so funny. They strike the perfect note. For Val’s Day? How about the I LOVE YOU CARD, the COMPLETELY UNFORGETTABLE CARD, or the YOU IS FLAWLESS CARD.

Above, Brickell moisturizer and cards by Matthew Richard Barnes

Can’t decide? Our amazing Gardenshop has collected these recommendations all in one place for you. Browse the staff’s Valentine’s Day picks and, while you’re there, maybe discover you own new, true love.