Happy Friday! I’m sharing some fragrant garden blooms, magnolia and gardenia!
I’m always aware when the gardenias are in bloom before I even see them, by the wonderful fragrance permeating the air. . .
Gardenias are native to southern China and Japan and were introduced to the western world in the 18th century, arriving in Charleston, South Carolina. As its flowers were scented like jasmine, it was known as “Cape Jasmine.”
They were later christened “gardenia” in honor of Dr. Alexander Garden, an 18th-century botanist and physician from Charleston.
Gardenias thrive in warm, humid weather in moist, well-drained soil. Most gardenias are hardy in USDA zones 8-11, with a few varieties hardy in zone 7. We’re in zone 7b here in North Carolina. I discovered by accident when I was feeding the azaleas several years ago that they benefit from acid-based fertilizer.
Gardenias can handle full sun as long as they have protection from afternoon sun in higher growing zones. Our gardenias receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Deadheading your gardenia bush by removing fading flowers will encourage more blooms.
We have a Southern Magnolia tree, Magnolia grandiflora, in our yard. Southern Magnolia is known for its thick thick, glossy leaves and big, fragrant white blooms. Southern Magnolia typically grows to 60-80’ tall and spans 20-40′ wide so it needs plenty of space to grow. Southern Magnolia is native to the southeastern United States, spanning from southeastern North Carolina to central Florida, and west to East Texas.
Our magnolia was already part of the landscape when we bought our house 20 years ago so it’s probably 35 years old and is approximately 30 feet tall. My hubby always removes some of the lower branches in the summer to help maintain the lawn, but ideally magnolia should be planted in a natural or mulched area as it sheds some of its large leaves every. single. day. The foliage is wonderful to have to decorate for the holidays and sprucing up the window boxes at Christmas but the leathery leaves are hard to deal with due to their size and as they don’t break down or compost easily.
Our magnolia tree typically blooms from mid May to the end of June. Once fully open, the individual blooms last about a day or two at the most, but their size and fragrance will take your breath away!
Normally the blooms are too high on the tree and beyond the zoom of my camera lens so I took advantage of my hubby’s branch trimming to photograph them and arrange some greenery and blooms. . .
A fragrant combination of white blooms and glossy green foliage. . .
I placed a ball of chicken wire in an urn for an organic and easy arrangement, allowing the branches and blooms to ‘do their thing’. Admittedly impractical as far as longevity for a flower arrangement, but a wonderful way to enjoy the pruned buds, blooms and foliage, albeit briefly.
I couldn’t resist mixing in some gardenia blooms with the magnolia. . .
A fragrant pairing and scent-sational arrangement!
“Sultry as a summer evening and as intoxicating as an exotic perfume, the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul. The blossoms are just as enticing. Buds shaped like seashells unfurl into velvet soft flowers in the warmth and humidity of early evening. But it’s the fragrance that captivates.”
The summer solstice officially arrives this Saturday, marking the first day of summer for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re on a warming trend with temperatures climbing back to the 90s after a very wet week and colder than normal temperatures.
Happy Summer. ♥