Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gardenias In Bloom

One of my favorite things about the month of June here in Tallahassee is that the Gardenia bushes begin to bloom.  The blossoms fill the air with such amazingly sweet fragrance.  Walking out in the yard becomes a special experience as the soft breezes drift by and fill your senses with the sweet wonderful fragrance.

And that fragrance brings back such sweet memories!  Our oldest daughter Debi who currently lives down in South Florida with our twin granddaughter and grandson loves Gardenias.  When she was in elementary school,  each year when the Gardenias were in bloom,  she always took a bouquet of these beautiful white fragrant flowers to her music teacher.

Also, when the children were little we would collect bouquets of Gardenias for the house.  And we would have that wonderful fragrance all in the house until the blooming season was over.

There are so many varieties of Gardenias and I especially love the large-flowering bushes.  One of our bushes produces five-inch flowers and they are so perfectly beautiful. 

While I was out taking photos of the Gardenias, this cute little creature stopped by.  I used my telephoto lens to try to get a closer look at him.  He stayed busy right where he was for the longest time.

Gardenias are very persnickety in their growing habits.  I know all plants need the right growing conditions, but Gardenias refuse to bloom if conditions are not just right for them.  Most of the plants growing around our home are pretty much on their own, so I guess we were just lucky to have the right conditions.  They need a specific soil acidity, plenty of water and light,  high humidity and good drainage.

They say no plant expresses the grace of the South better than the very fragrant Gardenia. 

All of the above photos are from the large-flowering Gardenia bush in the side yard by the barn.  I am not sure of the name of this particular Gardenia, but Mr. Google told me there is a large-flowering Gardenia called "Aimee"  which has five-inch blooms,  which is about the same size of the above Gardenias.

There is another large Gardenia bush in the side yard which produces extremely fragrant flowers, 
but they are much smaller than the flowers shown above.

   I am a little late photographing this bush, but earlier in the week it was completely full of blossoms.

These blossoms are smaller, but they have a beautiful shape, and are so completely fragrant.  
I think they may be even more fragrant than the larger blossoms.

   Some say the hardiness zone for Gardenias is 7-10 and others say 8-10.

The picked blossoms last and are pretty for about two days in a vase of water.  Then they quickly turn yellow/brown and start to droop.  They are easily replenished because the bushes are usually covered in flowers.

It would be so nice if  I could transport the wonderful fragrance of these beautiful Gardenia blossoms along with these photos.   The fragrance is a bit like Night Blooming Jasmine if you are familiar with that scent.

Everyone has favorite flowers and I hope your favorite flowers are blooming beautifully wherever you may be.
Wishing you many blessings on this second Thursday in this beautiful month of June.

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