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Gardenia with bee 2014

We’re having some of the warmest days of the year now and yet here I am thinking about winter. Why? Because there’s just no way my gardenias would be looking this good if we hadn’t had a fairly mild winter followed by plenty of rain in the early spring.

Gardenia hedge 2 2014

Kleim’s Hardy has been in my garden for about four years. Some years are better than others in terms of the blooms – this year is spectacular. I think that is partially due to the fact that there was almost no winter damage. I only had to cut back a few twigs on each plant in my mini gardenia hedge that consists of five Kleim’s Hardy bushes. Less dead wood = more gardenia flowers.

Gardenia hedge 2014

Kleim’s Hardy is one of three gardenias you might want to try if you live in the Pacific Northwest. It truly lives up to its name. In 4 years I have only had to replace one plant and I’m pretty sure it was not due to the winter weather.

Gardenia banner 2014

The other two gardenias that do well up here on the left coast are “Chuck Hayes” and “Frost Proof”. I haven’t tried either of them. I’ve never even seen “Chuck Hayes” in real life but the blooms look beautiful. I don’t care for the look of the blooms on “Frost Proof” but maybe I am prejudiced because of the name. It sounds like something you should use to wrap your meat for the freezer. I’m happy with my Kleim’s Hardy because I love the heavenly fragrance, the look of the blooms, its compact size, and its excellent performance in my garden.

Gardenia closeup 2014

This summer is providing the perfect weather for the gardenias. They are able to set buds because of the night time temperatures in the 50s-60s while the mid 70s-mid 80s temperatures in the day time bring out the heady fragrance. My little gardenia hedge is planted in a sheltered area of the patio where it gets sun almost all day. Planted not far away against the chimney is a Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) which blooms at the same time as the gardenias. The intoxicating smell is almost too much – except that it’s not.

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