Gardenias are my favorite flowers. My mother and I embrace its beauty and fragrance.
My family forgot about my 18th birthday because my older sister was marrying a few days before. The bride did not even realize her wedding was before my birthday until a few weeks before her big day. She promised to make it up to me. And she did, in an unexpected way. A few weeks after her wedding I received a box in the mail, inside was a plant. I thought “What am I going to do with this plant? Well, I guess I will take care of it and see what happens”. When it bloomed for the first time, it was love at first sight (and inhalation), what a celestial view and scent!
The last time I went to Mexico I purchased a gallon sized Gardenia for 5 US dollars to plant at my mother’s house. I bought it a few days before we were going to return to the USA so my mother was hesitant that it would survive, I knew it would. Summer rains and the soft sun were on the way, plus soil drainage is good and the plant was mature enough. This past spring my aunt let us know that the Gardenia did survive and looks gorgeous with its blossoms.
The fragrance of the blossoms is heavenly. It smells like a highly concentrated Rose with Jasmine. Watch out because the blooms are delicate in handling yet strong in scent. When I had my first Gardenia my brother could not believe that one bloom was able to fill our big living room. So, he decided to put his nose in the center of the flower and inhale as deeply as possible, he was choking from the intensity (and I was laughing). Don’t worry he is fine, and he has never done that again to a Gardenia bloom.
Sadly, not all regions of the USA can tolerate Gardenias outdoor. Mine have to be inside until Spring/Summer. The great thing is I still get to enjoy their beauty and I encourage you to do the same!