Sunday, June 20, 2010

Missing the merry month of May, Part I

It's in May that the gardenia bushes burst into bloom and the air smells divine. I'm always amazed by how well these usually chlorotic shrubs do in our limestone soil. Traditionally, to keep them happy, one pours pickle juice and other acidic food waste around the roots. The simplest thing to do, really, is mulch them well.

Still, I keep my gardenias in large pots and water them from the rain barrel to avoid the problem. Even so, I've lost them from other diseases over the years. They tend to be a bit finicky in their needs.

My favorite bloomed throughout the winter, and wasn't even phased by the freeze. Extraordinary!

I also have a trailing gardenia. It's more of a curiosity since it's a very slow grower and the small flowers don't have a particularly strong scent. It's nice in a big ceramic pot and helps disguise the rain barrel.

2 comments:

Ami said...

I love gardenias as well. It blooms prolifically in my garden last month as well. The only thing bothers mine is those tiny white bugs (I don't know the name). I usually use the water hose to wash them out. The scent just worth the extra effort! I also kept mine in a container. Your trailing gardenia looks lovely! Did not know there is a trailing type of this.

Penny McCrea said...

Ami, are they white fly? Thrips and aphids are other common pests. Periodically, I give mine a drench of Bayer Advantage, which contains imidacloprid, a synthetic derivative of nicotine. (http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/imidacloprid_bayer.htm)