January 12, 2011

Gardenia – a beautiful and highly fragrant plant

Isn’t it funny how a certain fragrance can bring back memories of a particular event or time?

For example, Anais Anais perfume reminds me of my first trip to Germany in the late 1980s, when I was on a student exchange.

The exotic fragrance of gardenia brings back memories of when I was working at a florist in London, where they’d ordered in lots of gardenia plants for a wedding.

As soon as you walked into the room, you could smell them and this memory was brought back to me the other day, when I noticed a gardenia plant in a shop – and just had to buy it!

Below is an overview of the Gardenia: –

What is the Latin name?
Gardenia Jasminoides

What is it commonly known as?
Gardenia

How do you pronounce it?
gar-DEE-nee-ya

What does it look like?
An evergreen shrub with delicate creamy-white fragrant flowers and dark green, glossy leaves.

When can you buy them?
All year round

Where can you buy them from?
Florists, garden centres

How do you look after them?
Keep the plant in a bright place, but not in direct sunlight.  It likes average warmth.  Keep moist, but remove remaining water from saucer/pot.  Take care with the flowers themselves, as they tend to bruise and turn brown easily.

Did you know?
Gardenias are a very popular wedding flower. For example as a buttonhole, wrist corsage, wired into a bouquet or flower heads simply floating in a glass vase.

They are also chosen as the key scent in some perfumes.  For example, Jo Malone : Vintage Gardenia Cologne  and Annick Goutal : Gardénia Passion.

Plus, Billie Holiday, the American jazz singer, used to wear gardenias in her hair. Click here to view a video showing Billie adorned with her trademark flowers.

Are there any fragrant flowers which remind you of a particular event or time?

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