Love and art came together at Newcastle Ocean Baths early on Friday morning.
Event florist Rachael Cullen was behind a $1500 flower display, which she put there as a surprise for locals on Valentine's Day.
She said it was an "interactive art installation" in which locals were encouraged to take some flowers for themselves, a lover, friend or "anyone who deserves a little something special".
Rachael, who runs a company called Botanica Bird, said she was pleased to "give something back" to the community.
The flowers - gerberas and gladiolus - came from the Central Coast and Queensland.
Flowers have long been synonymous with love and Valentine's Day, but an environmental group wants to change that.
Tree Nation has asked "what is the cost of Valentine's Day to the environment?"
The organisation said Valentine's Day was the biggest day for florists, followed by Christmas.
"While this industry does provide jobs for thousands of people in developing countries, there is also a significant cost to the environment caused by floriculture," a Tree Nation statement said.
The statement said some flowers bought in florists and supermarkets were imported, which means "large amounts of CO2 [carbon dioxide] are emitted during their transportation".
The statement said the cut-flower industry had a "huge impact on the environment due to growing methods and transportation".
"Carbon emissions associated with cut-flower production can be as high as 3 kilograms of CO2 per flower. Beyond the carbon cost of transportation and the refrigeration of flowers until sold, there is also a significant environmental impact associated with the intensive farming of fresh flowers."
This seems pretty ironic given that the hippies used flower power to try to create a better world. Seems a bit harsh, too, to pick on flowers. We probably should mention a few other products for balance.
Here's the carbon emissions of some other products per serving, according to the University of Michigan's Centre for Sustainable Systems: beef (3 kilograms), cheese (1 kilogram), pork (0.8 of a kilogram), poultry (0.6 of a kilogram) and and eggs (0.4 of a kilogram).
Seems flowers are up there with beef as a carbon culprit. Guess in the future, people will be eating their "beyond meat vegan beef burgers" on Valentine's Day, while sending loved ones flower emojis. Or, as Tree Nation suggests, you could plant a tree for your loved one instead of buying flowers.
"A tree will last as long as any relationship. Maybe more. A single tree is capable of cleaning up to 250 kilograms of CO2 during its lifespan."
Koalas Need More Tucker
Koalas are not only iconic and very cute, but they're voracious.
Never mind seeing the wood for the trees, those marsupials can gnaw away at them, as the kind folk at Port Stephens Koalas know very well.
The sick and injured koalas in care at the rehabilitation centre at One Mile plough through at least 200 kilograms of gum leaves each week. They only eat a fraction of that. They graze through the leaves, because koalas are not only hungry but very picky.
When my colleague Scott Bevan paid a visit to the centre for a story (you can read his piece in Saturday's Herald on page 20), manager and carer Amber Lilly explained the facility needed to do its own kind of grazing and find more "koala food trees".
"Right now with the drought situation, we are struggling to find good quality leaf and enough of it," Amber said.
So the facility has put out the call for more leaf.
If you live in the Port Stephens area on a sizeable chunk of land, and you have trees that may offer food for koalas, please contact Port Stephens Koalas so volunteers can visit - perhaps with secateurs in hand - to see if your place can offer a potential eucalyptus buffet for the marsupials.
Some key species for koala food are: eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany), eucalyptus tereticornis, tallow wood and eucalyptus parramattensis.