Most of the real action took place in the boudoir. But the flirting, feverish glances and stolen kisses often started in the garden.

Literature and lore are filled with love scenes set in scented bowers or vine-caressed arbors. Romeo declared his passion for Juliet in the Capulets' garden. Henry II reportedly ordered a garden labyrinth where he could conceal his mistress from his jealous wife.

And in "Atonement," it was the garden where an overheated Keira Knightley exchanged smoldering looks with James McAvoy, before stripping to her chemise and plunging into the fountain.

"Gardens used to be places where people flirted and had assignations," said Pamela Hill Nettleton, author of "Getting Married When It's Not Your First Time." Nettleton kept that romantic ideal in mind when designing her own garden. "In 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' all the cool stuff happens in beautiful gardens."

The association between love and gardens took root during the medieval period and endures to this day.

"All gardens have a sense of romance in them," said Martin Stern, owner of Squire House Gardens in Afton. Gardens stir the senses in a primal way, which can be a powerful aphrodisiac. But even if reckless abandon isn't on your agenda, a garden can still add romance to your life -- and maybe even enhance your relationship with a loved one.

"Romantic, to me, means sharing your life; even weeding can be romantic when you're doing it together," said Minneapolis stylist/designer Tommy Brandt. "There's an intimacy. You're one with the earth, creating your little Eden, as a couple. It's like putting little children in the ground and watching them grow."

And even if you live and garden alone, there's something romantic about partnering with Mother Nature to create beauty, said Scott Endres, owner of Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis. "There's a connection that's romantic and spiritual within oneself."