Southern air is different. I know this, having grown up in New York City's shadow. The air down here is soft with fragrance and sometimes intoxicatingly bold.
Summer offers countless scented flowers. These five illustrate the numerous ways to bring enjoyment to your garden. Ask about a favorite, and you’re bound to get a story.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
"I believe this flower is as much a staple in a Southerner's garden as cornmeal is in the kitchen pantry. I love the fragrance and the stark contrast of dark green, glossy leaves and bright white blooms. It is so classy and elegant." --Dianne Bass, Quincy, Florida
Light: Plant in full sun or light that's filtered through trees.
Water and soil: Gardenias prefer acid soil and consistent moisture; feed once a month during the growing season with a plant food such as Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Plant Food 30-10-10 or fish emulsion.
Garden secret: Some selections, such as 'August Beauty' and 'Chuck Hayes,' bloom in June and again in late summer or early fall. Read the plant tag for the selection name and blooming habits.