Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Birthdays, weddings and anniversaries are all important milestones which deserve to be celebrated in style. Yet what do you get for that special someone who has everything? Flowers are all well and good but don’t last long and gift certificates can seem rather impersonal.  

There are many beautiful trees, shrubs and even perennials with names commemorating special occasions that just might be the answer. When each of our children were born we gave our wonderful midwife the patio shrub rose ‘Sweet dreams’. I think that was wishful thinking on our part, but it was a special gift nonetheless!

Consider a few key questions first; will the plant need to live in a container or can it be planted into the ground? How much space is available? Does the recipient share their garden with the local deer? If so, forget the roses or the deer will be the ones doing the party dance! Is the garden shady or sunny?

With those guidelines it’s time to start your treasure hunt. Here are a few ideas to start you off.


Rhododendron 'Birthday girl'
is pretty in pink

Camellia ‘Happy Birthday’ (Camellia japonica): Large creamy white flowers produced in early summer and again in late summer. 10ft tall.

Rhododendron ‘Birthday Girl’: Pink flowers in May. Compact rhododendron reaching 3ft.

Rose ‘Happy Birthday’: Yellow flowers from summer-autumn. A patio rose growing to 2ft high. Ideal for containers.

Possibly the most romantic rose of all;
 'Wedding day'
Photo credit; Mooseys Country Garden

Clematis ‘Wedding Day’: large, single, creamy-white flowers accented with striking dark pink anthers. This blooms in May/ June and often again in September.

Rose ‘Wedding Day’: Creamy yellow flowers turn white with age. Vigorous rambler which can grow up to  26ft and 13ft wide. Maybe you’d better give the gift of a large arbor too!

Wedding cake tree (Cornus controversa variegata): tiers of beautiful green and white variegated foliage give this tree its name. Allow it room to spread so its sculptural beauty can be appreciated. 25’ x 25’

Silver Anniversary (25 years)

Abelia 'Silver anniversary'  is semi evergreen
Photo credit; Meg Green
Camellia ‘Silver Anniversary’ (Camellia japonica): White flowers from January to March. 8-10’

Rose ‘Silver Anniversary’: Pure white double flowered hybrid tea rose. 3’ x 2’

Butterfly bush ‘Silver Anniversary’ (Buddleia davidii): Creamy white fragrant flowers in late summer. Deciduous shrub with silvery leaves. 8-10’ but can be kept shorter by pruning each spring.  

Abelia ‘Silver anniversary’ (A.grandiflora): crisp green and white variegated foliage and white flowers on this award winning shrub.

Ruby Anniversary (40 years)
Is it a peony? Is it a rose?
 No this is Camellia 'Ruby wedding'

Camellia  ‘Ruby Wedding’(Camellia williamsii): Deep ruby-red peony-type flowers in spring. Vigorous, upright bush reaching 5'.

Rose ‘Ruby Wedding’: Deep red hybrid tea rose. 2’

Abelia ‘Ruby anniversary’ (A. grandiflora): ruby red new growth and good fall color are trademarks of this improved variety. Tubular white spring flowers attract hummingbirds.

Golden Anniversary (50 years)

Why buy a bouquet when you can
buy a lifetime of blooms?
The 'Golden wedding' rose .

Hosta ‘Golden Anniversary’: Golden foliage turning green as the season progresses with blue flowers in summer. 

Rose ‘Golden Wedding’: A floribunda rose with large golden-yellow clusters of flowers. 2-3ft.

Abelia ‘Golden anniversary’ (A.grandiflora): pretty green and gold variegated foliage on this compact, deer resistant shrub.

Other Occasions
Rose ‘Warm Wishes’: Fragrant peach blooms and dark foliage. A hybrid tea rose

Rose ‘Loving Memory’: Dark foliage and long stems with red flowers throughout the summer. Good for cutting. 4’

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) was revered by the ancient Greeks, whose mythology held the myrtle sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. It is an emblem of love, laughter and joy. What else do you need?!

Need more ideas?  

Oh and in case you’re wondering Garden Adventures – for thumbs of all colors is ONE today! Happy birthday to all of us who have enjoyed this adventure together.


  1. What an interesting post! These are definitely some blooms to consider for those special dates. And they are beautiful, too!

  2. What a great idea and a very helpful post. Congratulations on the first birthday of your blog--that's quite n achievement!

  3. Thank you both - I'm glad you enjoyed the post and found it helpful. Hopefully it will solve a few gift dilemmas!

    Carolyn - Thank you for your congratulations and encouragement. It has been a fun journey.


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