4 Jan 2011


The problem with having a blog where you record the day-to-day rhythms of life is that eventually you are going to repeat yourself.

Every year summer arrives, and every year I am excited anew at the prospect of long sultry evenings outside by the swimming pool; glorious days filled with good friends, fine food and drinks and delicious harvests from the Kitchen Garden. I adore summer. The garden is bursting with delicious red tomatoes, fragrant basil, crisp lettuces, blow-your-brains-out-chillis, strawberries and pears. The quinces are ripening.

And the gardenias are in bloom.

I adore the glorious fragrance of the gardenia. I would, in past years, have declared that it just wouldn't be Christmas without it, but this year the seasons are all out of kilter, and it was only yesterday on my return from holiday that the first blooms were to be found. We still had Christmas, and it was still wonderful, so I guess gardenias aren't so critically vital to the Festive Season after all. I still love them though.

I love to pick little posies of two or three blooms. Even a single flower will scent a whole room with its warm sweet, lemony fragrance, and I selfishly place the first little bunches on my bedside to enjoy whenever I awake throughout the night.

We grow three different varieties in our Peaceful Garden - all in pots. The most prolific bloomer is G. augusta. It is supposed to have glossy dark green leaves, but ours are always yellowy, no matter how much of the Epsom salts and iron chelates we add. Whatever the problem, it has never affected the blooms, and so we just ignore it most of the time.

G. radicans is a tiny leaved variety with neat little blooms. It sits on a table in the courtyard, and I rarely pick its flowers, leaving them rather to scent the lazy breakfast meals that we invariably consume outside during these warm summer mornings. The third variety, G. augusta 'Florida' is about 1.5m tall, and grows alongside the shower where we freshen up after our dips in the pool. This one doesn't seem to stop flowering until the cool days of autumn set in - an idea that is all but unimaginable right now.

I wonder why it is that so many creamy white flowers have such lovely fragrance. There is even a category of perfumes names after them - the white florals. Gardenias, magnolias, frangipani, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, champaka, lily of the valley, white freesias - aren't they the epitome of love and romance?

I would grow them all if I could.


  1. Hello there! I'm soo please to have found another WONDERFUL blog of a super homeschooling mum in Aussie! YAY! I've just started one for our little family and am excited to join in on the ride with others out there too!!
    Love, LOVE these flowers! WOW they are simply devine!!!
    Smiles SHarnee :)

  2. Happy New Year, dear Jeanne!! I can't imagine beginning the new year with gardenias - not that I would mind one bit. They are a favorite of mine, too. I can almost smell them!

  3. Oh I adore the fragrance of gardenias, one of the lovely smells of summer :-)

  4. Just beautiful! It's lovely to hear from you! xxx

  5. Gardenia was the flower we chose to honour Issi with ~ & he has provided the most wonderful blooms this year. Sounds a little macabre doen't it? I love all the white florals & grow as many of them as I can. They are all delightful.

  6. Could you waft a little this way please?

  7. Arrr one of my favourites, just love the smell. But had no success in growing them in Canberra


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