The whitest of blooms, the gardenia is famous for its sweet and intoxicating fragrance. Natives of Asia, Australia and Africa, which means they require high humidity and bright, but indirect sunlight. Gardenias are engaged in many traditions. Weddings, fashions and cosmetics favor its bright white glow. Commercial perfume houses create a variety of scents with their essential oils. As a romantic flower, it has graced many corsages and bouquets, while in France it is a favorite flower for a man’s buttonhole.
With all of this, there is nothing like having a gardenia bush or two in your garden when a gentle breeze wafts its scent across a porch, patio or front door. Welcome your guests with a bush on either side of a walkway. They may even be tempted to pick one and, of course, that’s another good reason to have one, because they like being picked and seem to bloom even more as a result. Be sure to take the dead flowers off as quickly as possible so it will continue to bloom.