Mindful of the Little Things: Gardenias

Happy Friday! I know the calendar page has turned to June when the gardenias are in bloom!

As soon as I stepped onto the porch, their sweet fragrance wafted my way alerting me that they were in bloom before I even saw them.

I wish I had a ‘scratch and sniff’ feature, so you could smell them. . .

Our two gardenia shrubs are 20+ years old. The could use some pruning but provide us with some privacy as a buffer between us and our neighbors, who enjoy the wonderful fragrance too.

The birds love the year-round shelter they provide.

 I discovered quite by accident, that gardenias thrive with fertilizer for acid-loving plants, when I fed the azaleas next to them.

Gardenias originated in the Orient but are named in honor of a Southerner, Dr. Alexander Garden, an 18th-century botanist and physician from Charleston, South Carolina.

Gardenias are subtropical plants that thrive in warm, humid weather and when planted in well-drained soil.

Most gardenias are hardy in zones 8-11, with a few varieties hardy to zone 7. We’re in zone 7b here in North Carolina.

Gardenias can handle full sun, with protection from afternoon sun in higher growing zones. Our gardenias get morning sun and the afternoon shade.

Lord, make us mindful of the little things that grow and blossom in these days to make the world beautiful for us.

– W.E.B. du Bois

We have rain in our forecast this weekend that we desperately need, but preferably without the flooding the storms brought to the south-central US.


We are mindful of those affected by the storms and keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. ♥

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Between Naps on the Porch

  40 comments for “Mindful of the Little Things: Gardenias

  1. Jackie
    June 7, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I love the photo with the cardinal. So pretty!

    • Jenny
      June 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      The Gardenias seem to be thriving to a sublime degree this year!!✨ We are just down the road in Davidson and ours are magnificent this year… oh that heavenly smell!!

  2. Ann Woleben
    June 7, 2019 at 7:27 am

    We live in Virginia near the coast, and I picked our first gardenia blossom of the season yesterday. I am thrilled that our bush is loaded with buds this year. Gardenias were my Nana’s favorite flower. When she was in the hospital for the last time, I bought a small ,blooming gardenia bush for her room so that she could have the wonderful fragrance there. Each year when I smell the first hint of blooms, I remember my Nana. Your post is lovely, as always.

  3. June 7, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Thank you for the gardenia beauty this morning Mary! I would love to have shrub with all those gorgeous blooms!

  4. Bonnie Morgan
    June 7, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Your gardenias are beautiful! So many gorgeous blooms. I can smell the lovely scent without being there as I also have several large bushes full of blooms. My bridal bouquet was gardenias just like my mother’s bouquet. My daughter also followed the tradition.
    I’ve had good luck rooting them. My vision was a row of gardenias with hydrangeas in the front. My mistake was the gardenias got so big they have engulfed the hydrangeas. I should have planted them much further back. I was shocked by how quickly they grew so large.
    I am extremely thankful for the rain we have received because we were parched but also aware of those that have had too much and are flooding.
    Beautiful post.

  5. Susan
    June 7, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Lovely pictures. Our gardenias are really putting on a show as well.,I had cut them back really hard in the fall and they have really grown and rewarded my effort. Between the magnolia tree, the hydrangeas, astilbes and gardenias, it’s time to enjoy the scents and colors.

  6. cwilson1958
    June 7, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Oh my! The gardenia’s are beautiful. I guess we don’t grow those here in Canada. It’s likely too cold. I’ve actually never seen one before. But, I do understand how the scent must be breathtaking. Our lilacs just finished blooming and , boy, the fragrance from them is gorgeous as well and when there’s a breeze, you can smell them from quite a distance away. Must be mother nature’s way of sharing the beauty! How long do gardenia’s bloom? Thanks so much for sharing the pics. I’m so envious!

  7. June 7, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Mary, your gardenias are just beautiful! I have daisy gardenias which are more compact, but have the equally fabulous fragrance! Our rain started on Wednesday night and is supposed to continue through Monday. My plants are very happy!

  8. June 7, 2019 at 8:14 am

    The size of the bush is amazing, never seen one that mature! I put several plants in here but deer devour them, never touched them at my other house so quite unhappy to be missing out on their delicious fragrance! I hope your house is flooded with their scent, truly heaven on earth!

  9. franki
    June 7, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I’ve “tried” so many times…*sigh*…seeing yours makes me want to try, try again. franki

  10. Sue
    June 7, 2019 at 8:45 am

    In some of the gardenia photos they remind me of a pin-wheel, very pretty.

  11. Dianne Chrestopoulos
    June 7, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Gardenias are my favorite flower of all times! What a lovely surprise to see your post. In Georgia we bought a house which has 10 large bushes and when they bloomed, it was heaven on earth. I had SO many blooms. I used to cut them and put them all over the house and even in drawers as their scent lasted so long. Since then we live in hot Texas and we buy one every other year from the nursery, it blooms and then never seems to re-bloom despite feeding it and nuturing it along. We are moving farther into east Texas and I am hoping to plant some bushes there right out front of our wonderful new porch. Maybe with luck I can get them to grow there. Thanks for a beautiful wake up!

  12. Kathy Menold
    June 7, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I love Gardenias has and the sweet smell always reminds me of a perfume my mother used to wear. I have tried to grow them to no avail. Now that we have removed some old sickly boxwood I will try again. Thanks for the lovely pictures and enjoy the rainy weekend. Sometimes we need to stay inside and read a good book.😊

  13. Kimberly Jorgenson
    June 7, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Those are the biggest gardenia bushes I have ever seen!! In California they are all over but, the biggest is about 4 feet tall! I have never seen a yard I love more than yours, thank you so much for all the beauty you share as well as all the information you give.💜

  14. Clara
    June 7, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Mary your gardenias are gorgeous, especially the one with the cardinal! I’m just imagining the wonderful fragrance surrounding your home. I may have to try one again as it has been many years since my last attempt as we don’t live in an ideal zone but we’re close! We’ve had 4-6 inches of rain last night but it’s been dry so the plants should be happy & the watering hose will get a break as it’s still supposed to rain through Sunday. Have a great weekend! Clara 💕

  15. Joy B
    June 7, 2019 at 9:38 am

    How beautiful!

  16. Shirley Graham
    June 7, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Pictures are beautiful. I’m sure they smell fantastic. Right now I have peonies from the grocery store that are opening! They smell great too. Geraniums are blooming their little hearts out & had a cardinal visit first thing early this morning so I enjoy them all even though I have a deck now! Love your pictures & Thank You!

  17. June 7, 2019 at 10:24 am

    What a heavenly fragrance! You have the biggest gardenia bushes I’ve ever seen!! The Confederate jasmine is blooming right under my screen porch…I walk out in the morning with my coffee and just absorb that delicious aroma. So happy to be getting rain finally here in Upstate SC.

  18. Jenny
    June 7, 2019 at 11:28 am

    The Gardenias seem to be thriving to a sublime degree this year!!✨ We are just down the road in Davidson and ours are magnificent this year… oh that heavenly smell!!

  19. June 7, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I wish I could smell your gardenias heavenly scent, Mary!! Yours so so healthy and lush, and even the birds can enjoy them on the winter. Maybe I should give them a try!

  20. gwcope46@gmail.com
    June 7, 2019 at 12:34 pm




  21. Darlene
    June 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Mary, your Gardenia Bush is simply Charming and yes Azalea food does work.
    Like so many others my favorite flower is the Gardenia (as was my Dad’s). Your “sweet” post reminds me how daddy had gardenia corsages made each Easter for Mom, me, and my sisters to wear to Church…boy I owned that Sunday!!!

  22. Darlene
    June 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Oops! Corsage not courage

  23. Darlene
    June 7, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Oops! Gardenia Corsage

  24. Alice Genzlinger
    June 7, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    I wish we had scratch and sniff also. I can close my eyes and remember their wonderful perfume from many years ago. When I was a child living in NC we lived across the street from the church and every time the church doors were open we went. Revival occurred when the big cape jasmine bush was in full bloom and the magnolia. The church wasn’t air conditioned at that time nor were there fans so the windows were left open to get a little breeze. Oh my, the smell was heavenly coming from those two flowering gifts from our Heavenly Father,

  25. June 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Gorgeous gardenias!!!

  26. Virginia
    June 7, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Love the beautiful photos of one of my favorite shrubs. We planted dwarf gardenias about six years ago. They sustained quite a bit of damage from a harsh winter year before last, fortunately all but one are recovering. They were full of blooms at the same time as the magnolia and the garden was full of their perfume. I too use azalea and camellia fertilizer on my gardenias as well as iron and phosphorous. Enjoy your blooms while they last, they are indeed sent from Heaven.

  27. June 7, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Growing up in the Piedmont of Virginia, my memories of summer included the smell of gardenias breezing through my bedroom window at night. I now live in Tennessee and I have tried repeatedly to grow gardenias in my yard. The Chuck Hayes variety is supposed to be for this zone, but every one I have planted has died. Your suggestion of acid fertilizer might be the trick I need to be successful. I was also interested to learn the origin of the name gardenia. As I looked at your photos I could almost smell the flowers right here. Thanks for a wonderful post. Hugs to Lola!

  28. Cyndi Raines
    June 8, 2019 at 12:32 am

    What a beautiful flower! I like how it unfurls, kind of like a star, very pretty. Wish I could smell it also. I wonder if a floral shop would have one as I sure would love to sniff and smell that sweet fragrance you all mentioned. I also wonder if it is as fragrant as our pretty lilacs. Your bushes are loaded and make a lovely privacy fence, what a bonus! Garden on Miss Mary! 🌹🏵🌸💐

  29. June 8, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Wow wow wow! So gorgeous! I can imagine the heavenly scent. You live in heaven on earth! Gorgeous! Blessings from the Netherlands :)

  30. June 8, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Wow, your bushes are huge Mary! G-Mom-B had a potted gardenia she kept in the diningroom:@)

  31. Bren
    June 8, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Wow- have never seen such a huge gardenia bush before! Gorgeous! My wedding bouquet, 46 years ago, was gardenias. Their perfume is heavenly and your beautiful photos brought back memories of their scent. Xo

  32. Ellen
    June 8, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I wish they were good growing here!! They are beautiful!!

  33. Rita C.
    June 9, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Your gardenias are intoxicatingly beautiful, any season, and I can vividly imagine their fragrance!

  34. June 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I love gardenias and have some blooming near my kitchen…I haven’t heard they were named after Dr. Garden, that’s kinda funny :) Our weekend got rained out at the beach, but luckily no big problems like the mid west, so awful how many have been so tragically affected… Thanks for sharing your magnificent blooms Mary!

  35. Donna B Oliphint
    June 10, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Wow! Beautiful bush! Here in Alabama my Confederate Jasmine that covers a large arbor finished blooming last month, followed by the small gardenias with the 1 day blooms, and now the regular gardenias are just finishing. It was a delightful 6 weeks! We are also finishing up the welcomed rains. Hope you just have a long, soaking rain so we can enjoy more pics of your garden!

  36. Claire
    June 10, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I love your gardenias. I grew up in Charleston, SC where we had gardenias, Confederate jasmine and so many other plants that don’t do well or die here in Western MD. How I miss all those lovely scents, but am blessed to have family and friends still living back home, so I get to enjoy all those flowers and their scents when we’re visiting.

  37. Cherry Goodson
    June 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I am so jealous. How I love the smell of gardenias and have tried numerous times to grow them in my yard. Never succeeding. In the ground in planters, etc. Maybe it’s our soil or the dryness not sure but I would love to smell your bush.

  38. Theresa R Keller
    June 10, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Mary your Gardenia bush is beautiful, i have one that a client rooted and gave me 10+ yrs ago and it has just bloomed this past week. It has very large blooms on it and i love it! I am afraid the heat got to a bit so thank heaven we got some rain this week.

  39. June 13, 2019 at 9:20 am

    There are numerous gardenia bushes here at the Berry Patch House and these are on my must have at the new house list…yours are gorgeous….When we moved in there were shrubs that were quite large and took a beating the past winter…we pruned them way back and now they are coming back beautifully!

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