Fragrant Gardenias

It’s the best time for gardenias- the flowers are loving this weather….

I’ve always thought of the gardenia as the southern belle in my garden, loving the warm nights and summer heat so prevalent in the south. Visions of a flower-filled courtyard in the moonlight, a heady fragrance in the evening air. A lovely lady wearing one in her hair. A gentlemen’s boutonniere.

These glossy evergreen shrubs are happy to grow here in our climate. A few things about gardenias worth mention:

-Get the grafted ones. They were originally developed for nematode resistance in the southern states, but it was discovered that grafted plants will utilize nutrients more efficiently, making them greener, more floriferous and vigorous.

– Food. Give them acid fertilizer regularly and you will be rewarded with many more flowers. Liquid food every 2 weeks, or granular monthly is best during the growing season (March – October).

– Plant them with acidic Planting Mix. It has great drainage, right out of the bag. Use it straight in containers, or mixed 50/50 with your native soil in the ground. While you’re at it, throw in your first dose of fertilizer.

-Flowers are most prolific when the nights are warm, so pick a nice warm spot. I like to put them near a walkway or window to best enjoy the wonderful fragrance. And yes, I bring the flowers inside- how could you not?

We like to stock these plants most of the year, but now is the best time to see them in bloom. Once you smell those flowers….come on by to see what I mean. Our staff is ready to tell you more if you have any questions.

 

 

Exotic Clematis

The vine of the times right now is clematis. Our customers are really snatching these up!

Winding, twining, lacy tendrils adorned with masses of tropical-looking flowers. Clematis is one vine that gets noticed…..

We love the look of this when it’s allowed to clamber up through climbing roses, creating a bouquet effect with the two types of flowers blooming together. Try it spilling out of a hanging basket, where it can mound, cascade and wind upward all at once. Use it to fill up sections of chainlink fence for a spectacular ‘living wall’ of color, or guide it up a post for a fountain effect. Add even more ‘wow’ when you blend several colors and styles in the same area.

 

Grow clematis anywhere that you’ve got some sun. It’s happy in the ground or in containers, especially when there’s something planted beneath that will keep the roots nice and cool. The only maintenance it generally requires is once a year pruning; some types don’t even need that. Provide the usual good drainage (as with most things you plant).

 

There are so many kinds available, most with large flowers- some can get 10″ across! We’ve got lots in stock right now, setting flowerbuds and ready to climb. Come check ’em out!