I spied some gardenias in my local garden centre this weekend, with their beautifully pristine flower heads and gorgeous scent. If the fragrance of flowers could be measured by a scentometer, gardenias would career off the charts. The perfume is intoxicating, a sultry mix of jasmine and bubblegum with a soft fruity note.

Gardenias are a much-loved garden plant but they have a reputation for being difficult to grow. That might be because they’re prone to yellowing leaves, or chlorosis as it’s called, which is caused by lack of chlorophyll. Why that happens could be any number of reasons, including poor drainage, damaged roots, high alkaline soils (gardenias like an acidic soil), wet or cold conditions, or nutrient deficiencies. Iron and magnesium deficiencies are the most common, but you need to look closely at the leaves to determine which deficiency your plant has. [Read more…]

Winter bouquet

winter bouquet

How pretty is this white winter bouquet? It just shows you that no matter what time of year it is, there are always flowers for the picking. Shown here are anemones and sweetly scented gardenias. There are also blue-grey eucalyptus leaves in there, a nice addition to subtly break up all that white. See more photos from this lovely wedding over at Ruffled.

Summer flower combos

Evergreen magnolia, cattleya and gardenia bouquet
Mermaid roses and yellow zinniasBouquet of roses and peaches
I was talking about evergreen magnolias last week, then came across this lovely bouquet (top photo) that uses the leaves as a backdrop to white blooms. The glossy green of the leaves really makes the white flowers pop, I think, with their bronze undersides showing too. The white flowers are made up of cattleya orchids and gardenias, and the fern is the umbrella fern.

The next image features the large-flowered climbing rose ‘Mermaid’ and bright yellow zinnias, [Read more…]