Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's All Good

One, two, three..

four, five, six.

First they were eggs,

now they are chicks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Watched Pot Never Boils

I'm sure we all know the old adage this entry is named for.  The funny (embarrassing) thing is, all these years I've always said "A watchpot never boils", imagining a funny little person, or watchpot, watching a pot.  I'm not sure why it never occurred to me that the person watching the pot wouldn't be the one who needed to boil in the first place, but I didn't.  Naturally, I knew what the whole thing meant, I just mis-quoted it. And this actually is about gardenias.

  • There are over 200 species of gardenias, mostly hybrids.
  • Gardenias are native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and nearby regions of the subtropical hemisphere.
  • The gardenia was named  for Alexander Garden, a Scottish born medical doctor and naturalist from South Carolina. I am not sure if it was named by naturalist John Ellis, or "the father of taxonomy", Carl Linnaeus, as the information I read was confusing.
  • The berry that follows the blossom is used to dye silk.

And now, introducing......

It happened, of course, while I was away on vacation for a week.  I just knew something like this would happen!  It's a little beat up by the hard rain we had, but perfect and lovely as I imagined.

 And here comes another one!

So I'll leave you with another bit of wisdom, properly remembered, I hope:

Good Things Are Worth Waiting For

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Waiting is the Hardest Part (This one's for you, Sarah)

Even though I have placed my gardenia in a sunny, sunny spot, I am still perplexed as to how she could STILL not have shared ONE bloom with me. So, I have been moving her around the yard, following the sun, in the hopes that amping up the light factor will help.

I also thought it might be time to get her into a new pot. I know this one is a little over sized, but she'll grow into it, and I'm pretty sure over sized clothing on chicks is a fashion trend anyway, or it was and will be again.

Can you beat the color? And wouldn't you feel blooming beautiful in a dress like this? (Hint, hint!) And by the way, I can't for the life of me make this picture turn the right way.                    

                      Pretty nice, huh?                  
I love the Internet so much with all the information that is available with the touch of the mouse-pad. I have surely been on every site and followed every link for gardenia care, as well as many other plants, and I am such a hypocrite when I chastise my kids for sitting in front of the computer for hours on end.  But it struck me the other day that I should refer to my very own gardening books as well!

Here are two of my favorites: Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, (one of my most used wedding gifts) and Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (x-mas '85 from Clay,  Best Brother Ever).

Anyway, Rodale tells me that G. Veitchii (aka Gardenia) , should be summered outside in a "shaded moist location"! Oh no! I'll have to rethink the whole sun thing!  On second thought, I'm thinking this advice is directed at people who live in areas that are blisteringly hot in the summer, so until someone clears this up for me, it's status quot. Rodale also says that the leaves that drop make a good mulch for the plant, so now I won't feel all gloom-and-doom when I find one.

Cunningham tells me the following:


Gender: Feminine
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Love, Peace, Healing, Spirituality
Magical Uses:
The fresh blossoms are placed in sickrooms or on healing altars to aide in the process. The dried petals are also added to healing incenses and mixtures.
Dried gardenia is also scattered around a room to induce peaceful vibrations and is also added to Moon incense.
Gardenias are used in love spells, and to attract good spirits during rituals. They are possessed of very high spiritual vibrations.

And actually, years ago I used this information to make a gardenia sachet for a wonderful room-mate to help her attract a guy she had her eye on!  It didn't work, but she deserved better anyway, so hah on him.

This tiny little pot is an oil diffuser acquired at a little shop in France, again, years ago (and I'm feeling a little uncomfortable at how easily that phrase rolls off my tongue), pre defusing
sticks. The bottom is unglazed, so the oil slowly               
seeps out into a little saucer and scents the room. Mine holds ...yes, that's right, gardenia oil! It's very sweet to look at, dresses up the bathroom, but I can't really smell it unless I go right up to it, and
the saucer is stuck fast to the shelf from the seeping oil! By the way, I think it is fake oil, but it has a fabulous smell.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Miss Fussy moved again after slumming it on the porch for a while. New location is outside unused kitchen door with lots of sun and great neighbors: Peruvian Daffodills are on the left (and watchout, Gardenia, because they DO bloom, and smell REALLY beautiful) and a large and scraggly Rosemary on the right.

Still lots of buds, and the leaves seem to be responding to the fresh air, sun and rain-not much speckly stuff, green and glossy.

I think there may be a slight change in some of the buds-a swelling of sorts. Is it my imagination?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Water Issues

Who knew that the what, when, why, and how of water in the life of a gardenia mattered so much? Well, it does.

Please note the saucer of beach stones and water to provide the requisite humidity. She normally sits atop the stones, but I wanted to show you the shades of pink and gray I thoughtfully selected. (Like she even noticed.)

And if you need a Mister in your life, which gardenias do, he should certainly be green, and definitely gorgeous. My sister Sarah hooked them up-she knows a good catch when she sees one.

However, I'm wondering about the white stuff on the leaves. I thought at first it was dust from its location near a wood stove. Then I decided it was mineral deposits from our minerally well. It was recommended that I try using distilled water in the mister, so I went to buy some at the supermarket, in the beverage aisle, which you already know was all wrong. Then I asked the sister with the street smarts, who directed me to the drug store. I went to the drug store, bought a newspaper, a Mounds bar, and some ibuprofen. Has that ever happened to you?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Change of Address

It's become warm enough to move The Gardenia out of the kitchen and into the great outdoors!

First stop, the porch, on a beautiful table (trash night in a greater Boston suburb, circa 1987) with an easterly exposure in order to acclimate to the stronger spring sunlight. I know, the neighborhood's a bit sketchy, but it's only temporary.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Vermont Gardenia

Once, long ago in Southern California, I was introduced to the heavenly gardenia, and I've been hooked ever since. But it has not been a shining story of success. My first pot grown one, which my mother bought me at the age of twelve, naturally dropped all of its buds in my drafty New England bedroom. Over the years I have tried my luck a handful of times, but it's always the same scenario. Fast forward to a snowy Vermont day at the supermarket in 2009, and there she is, like a siren, bidding me to try again. So for $12.00, and very little need to convince myself, I became the proud and optomistic owner of a healthy, glossy-green, bud covered gardenia. And guess what! Six months later, every bud and every leaf is still there, but not a single bud has openend! And this, my research says, is because it has not had enough light. But I'm not giving up! Stay tuned!