From crowded restaurants to heart-shaped chocolates, giant teddies and identical bunches of red roses – whether you love or loathe Valentine's Day, it's fair to say the cliches are hard to avoid at this time of year.
So at Treedom, we're offering something a little bit different to celebrate February 14th. Our Valentine's Day Limited Edition trees are gifts that show you care about the planet as well as your loved one.
We found some beautiful quotes about love that we've associated with Orange, Passion Fruit, Jacaranda, Mango, Banana and Cashew trees – and when you purchase one of these, you also get the chance to pen your own special message for the one you love.
For us, this is a modern way to celebrate a holiday with a history that stretches right back to ancient times.
Valentine's Day's origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Lupercalia was held in mid-February. This festival, which celebrated fertility and the coming of spring, involved the sacrifice of goats and dogs, as well as the exchange of romantic gifts and love notes between men and women.
The holiday we know today as Valentine's Day also has roots in Christian tradition. According to one popular legend, Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest, was executed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II in the third century AD for secretly marrying couples in a time when marriage was banned for young men. It's said that Saint Valentine was buried on February 14th, which later became known as Valentine's Day.
As a celebration however, Valentine's Day did not become popular until the 18th century, when it was popularised by poets and writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. In the 19th century, Valentine's Day began to take on a more commercialised form, with the printing and selling of cards, flowers, and gifts becoming a major industry.
So where do trees feature in all of this? In fact, in more ways than you might at first have thought - there are several traditional links between trees, love and romance.
First of all, there's the folk tale of the "Valentine Oak." In one version of this story, a large oak tree that grew from an acorn planted by St Valentine himself became a symbol of love and fertility, where people would leave love notes and tokens of affection at its base. Another version of this legend tells that St Valentine, while on a journey, came across a dry and barren oak tree. He blessed the tree and, as a result, it miraculously bloomed with leaves and flowers, symbolising the revival of love and life.
Additionally, in some cultures, certain tree species are associated with love and romance. For example, in ancient Greece, the myrtle tree was considered a symbol of love and was often used in wedding ceremonies. Similarly, the cherry blossom tree is a symbol of love and renewal in Japanese culture.
Across the world, trees have become a symbol of the growth and strength of enduring love – and this year, we like to think we're carrying on this timeless tradition at Treedom.