It seems there are as many theories about how Valentine’s Day came about as there are flavors in a bag of conversation hearts. One that hits home with us is the ancient Festival of Love called Lupercalia that was dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus. This yearly event was held by an order of Roman priests called Luperci who would gather at a sacred cave to make sacrifices believed to promote fertility. The priests would then chase young women in a game of tag, gently tapping them with animal hides believed to bring the gift of fertility to women. The festival would end with the young women putting their names in a big urn. The single men in the village were given a chance to draw one of those names out of the urn and become paired with the given young woman for the next year. Often these pairings resulted in marriage and fertility. Although this rendition of the start of Valentine’s Day may read like a reality show sure to rival The Bachelor series, it presents some parallels with romantic experiences we can all enjoy every day at home. For one, love is often rooted in nature. In the times of Lupercalia, romance started around a cave with a fire and friendly game of tag. Today we don’t often have stone caves in our backyard, but we can create our own natural setting for love to bloom with stone elements like retaining walls, fire pits and fire places, even water features. Whatever stone features we choose, there is something about earth’s elements that brings out our heart and soul. Love, good and bad, is full of fun and games. Like the ancient Romans, there is something about wholesome fun that bonds us with each other. You can create the perfect setting for any type of game in your backyard, whether you want a forever green turf for golf games or “kissing” tag, or a stone-surface for basketball games. With today’s outdoor living products, you can put the game in your yard without compromising style, décor, and durability. Whatever your game or foundation for romance, there are many ways you can add to the fun of it in your own backyard. You can create a Love Festival environment with elements of stone, replicating the warmth and coziness of nature and today’s technology for outdoor media, taking your love songs outdoors with you, under the starry starry sky or hot summer sun. Just use your imagination and let the lovin’ begin in a setting made to last forever.