I found a love for gardening quite a few years ago when we lived in the country with more land and light than I knew what to do with. I grew fruit and vegetables and herbs. It was amazing to watch these plants grow and bare witness to their wonderful little gifts. I would run and check on them first thing every morning and pick and prune to make sure they continued to grow healthy- forever glaring at the calendar in hopes the first frost would never come.
When we moved into the city a few years ago, it was hard to look at our little concrete outdoor slab and feel the same sense of excitement and hope. I no longer had enough light to grow edibles or the land to dig my hands into. I had to switch gears. After several conversations with a local nursery, my path was clear. Flowers were my only option. I was crestfallen; flowers just weren't as fun.
I was told that gardenias might fit within my growing constraints. My spirits rose a bit because gardenia is one of my favorite scents. One that reminds me of tropical places and makes me very nostalgic. However, I was warned, these were finicky plants and extremely hard to grow. Even given perfect conditions, those elusive fragrant flowers often give up too early. The buds so full of promise of good things to come, often drop without warning- never to give bloom.
So you can imagine my surprise last week when, after two years of working with these guys, I got my very first bloom. Even if this is the only one I get this year, it was worth it. The smell is intoxicating and the flower, one of the purest things I've ever seen.
|A single, pure gardenia bloom|