Tuesday, June 1, 2010

White Gardenias on June Muse Day

It is growing very dark. The little boys, laughing shrilly, have left the avenue.

And I, leaning out of my window, alone, peering into the gloom, am seized by a
passionate desire for everything that is hidden and forbidden. I want the night to come and
and kiss me with her hot mouth, and lead me through an amethyst twilight to
the place of the white gardenia. -- Katherine Mansfield, Silhouettes, 1907

"You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugarcane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation." -- Billie Holiday

Gardenias and unattributed text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Gardenias' fragrance floats on the breeze. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet and a Ham sandwich with Pepper Jack Cheese and slices of canned pineapple because our Tomatoes are not yet ripe.


  1. Oh my gosh. Look at all of your gardenia bushes. I can't help it, I am 'jealous'. I hope my two shrub babies from Tom will grow huge and be covered in blooms like yours. They are one of my very favorite scents and blooms.

    Your lunch sounds delicious!


  2. I know that smell. Right now both the magnolias and gardenias are in bloom. Depending on the way the wind is blowing, I get hints of each. My gardenias aren't going to bloom this year, at least not the big ones. The Daisy Gardenia is just covered. It has a different fragrance, but similar to the ones you know better as Cape Jasmine. The older bushes smell more like vanilla. And then, there's the lemon fresh fragrance of magnolia wafting through. This evening, more datura will bloom adding another layer to the odors in the yard.

  3. When it comes to Gardenias, I am a bit obsessive. Once I began to root cuttings I just kept going. It doesn't take many years for them to reach a great size. I guess this is the one known as 'Mystery' -- the original shrub has been here for many, many years.

    Gardenias ask for very little. A little soap spray takes care of that black mold stuff. An alcohol swab will take care of mealy bug. Two tablespoons of epsom salts will make them right happy. Yellow leaves fall off, not to worry. They are hardy down to about 5 degrees if it doesn't last more than a few hours at a time. I have grown gardenias for 45 years. More gardenias die of too much 'care' than from neglect. They like acid soil -- give them a little azalea/camellia fertilizer if your soil is alkaline.

    Cut a little bouquet, leave the green parts in the vase after the blooms fall off. Eventually they root. Plant them out with a bit of shade, not too much. They make a wonderful evergreen hedge.

  4. Gorgeous gardenias. I love them. I have a couple of bushes not nearly as large as yours. I take cuttings indoors and they smell for several days. I failed to post mine today.

  5. Your June Muse Day post is perfection! And I mean that. Your are up to your boobies in gardenias there in GA. Just beautiful.

    Pepper jack....just bought some today. Can't live w/o it.


  6. Those are beautiful and I wish I could smell them.

  7. Your gardenias are gorgeous! I wish we could grow them here, but since I can't, I'll just enjoy yours. Your garden must smell heavenly!

  8. Another plant I keep forgetting to add to my garden. My grandmother had these by the patio in Texas and their scent was so heavenly first thing in the morning. :)

  9. Oh how beautiful Nell. All those gorgeous bushes. I bet the fragrance is just wonderful. A ham sandwich and tea sounds good too LOL!

  10. Hi, Nell Jean, Your gardenias are so beautiful! I need to do my research and find one that will grow well in my area because I love their fragrance. I have left a challenge for you on my blog! :)

    I am sorry to sign in as anonymous, but I couldn't get Google to let me sign in as me!


  11. Oh. Wow. Those were the first words that came to me when I saw your photos. Just gorgeous! It must smell heavenly in your garden! Would love some tea and a good sandwich. Can't wait 'til the 'maters are ripe, though;-)

  12. P.S. PERFECT choice for your header photo;-)

  13. Oh gosh they are all so pretty. Gardenias are a favorite plant but not too hardy here. I wintered one over because it said it was hardy. Ha! It all died but is now coming back to life. I might get to smell that breeze after all but in the meantime I'll join you for a nice cup of virtual ruby tea.

  14. Gorgeous gardenias!

    I am having Bruschetta for lunch, because I have plenty of fresh basil and our tomatoes are ripe!

    Then I am going to stroll out to see if my gardenias are blooming. I have been watching the buds, they are about ready. Thanks.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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