Modern-day Valentine's traditions include the sending of cards (often anonymous) bearing messages of love and the giving of romantic gifts, especially flowers and chocolates (all of which we can help you with here at Clare Florist). In Wales, another traditional gift is a wooden love spoon, carved with motifs of hearts, keys and keyholes to symbolically bear the message “You unlock my heart”.
In old superstitions it was said the type of bird a woman saw Valentine's day would tell her about the man she would come to marry. If she saw a robin he would be a sailor; if she saw a sparrow she would wed a farmer; if it was a blackbird her husband would be a clergyman; a goldfinch would tell of a rich man; a blue bird of a happy man; a dove would foretell a loving man, and woodpecker would mean that she would never marry.
Different flowers also carry symbolic meanings and messages (the study of these even has it's own name: floriography). Choosing to include particular blooms in you Valentine's bouquet gives you another, more subtle way to send those Valentine's messages. Here are a few interpretations to get you started:
Anemone: a dying love
Carnation: fascination, devotion
– pink: a woman's love, "I'll never forget you"
– red: admiration, "my heart aches for you"
Daisy: innocence, loyalty
Lily: purity, pride, prosperity
Orchid: love, beauty, refinement
Rose: "I love you"
– red: true love
– white: dreams, innocence, secrecy
– pink : grace, happiness
– yellow: friendship
– orange: desire
Tulip: perfect lover, fame, passion
– red: declaration of love, "believe me"
– yellow: hopeless love, or "there's sunshine in your smile"
For more flower meanings see here.