August Beauty and Chuck

Today I purchased five gardenias named ‘August Beauty’ to screen heating and air conditioning units near the house’s foundation. I am unfamiliar with this variety, but the price was irresistible. These plants are tiny, but should fill in quickly, reaching 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Meanwhile, well-established, ten-year-old gardenias perfume the garden.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Well-watered from generous rains during most of this year, ‘Chuck Hayes’ Gardenias along the western border bloomed magnificently in late May. They have flowered occasionally since, but recently there has been a flurry of sweet-smelling blossoms.

The hardy ‘Chuck Hayes’ is a good variety for this region as it resists cold and tolerates warmer temperatures. This compact evergreen shrub, 4-5 feet high, features leaves that are dark green and glossy. Flowers are double, velvety white and highly fragrant. Mr. Charles “Chuck” Hayes, who developed this gardenia, was from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Elsewhere today Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ drew a myriad of visitors, including this lovely one.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

I am not sure what it is (anyone?) but This butterfly is a Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops). [Thanks to P&B  for the identification!] I enjoyed the way the Monarda in the background echoes the scarlet in this creature’s wing.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

15 thoughts on “August Beauty and Chuck

  1. P&B

    Such a lovely gardenia. As much as I would like to grow it, I don’t think it will survive in the garden during winter in the Northeast. I have one gardenia in a pot (no idea what it is) that I’ve had for the past three years but it doesn’t seem to do anything. It barely survives. I think being in and out of the basement twice a year doesn’t help.

    By the way, the butterfly on the Rudbeckia hirta is a Red-banded Hairstreak ( Calycopis cecrops)

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hey, thanks so much for the quick identification of this butterfly. I really appreciate learning the name.

      Gardenias are probably not hardy where you are. I don’t know a lot about them but Chuck Hardy is only hardy to USDA zone 7(0-10f). Does your gardenia get enough light in the basement? I’ve never tried to keep one indoors (actually have given up on most indoor plants).

      Reply
      1. P&B

        I don’t think rows of plant lights in the basement provide enough light for the tropical plants, but the Lantana has provided flowers. I thought it needs more light than Gardenias. I love tropical plants too much to give up indoor plants.

  2. paulinemulligan

    Gardenias are really superstars of the plant world, you are so lucky to be able to grow them outside, they have to be indoor plants here unfortunately. I managed to grow one in a pot for a few years but it was never happy, did manage a few flowers so I know the wonderful perfume you are now enjoying!

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    That butterfly is stunning – love the last photo on the centre of the rudbeckia. Hope your gardenias settle into their new home well! 😀

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That little butterfly was constantly moving around the cone so I got lots of out-of-focus shots along with these two. Thanks for the encouragement for the new gardenias–it will be nice if they do well.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It does seem so fortunate. Several of my original ones died out out due to drought. Hope the August Beauty is hardy–we can get down to 0F some winters (certainly not the last one). Glad you can at least enjoy gardenia as an annual.

      Reply
  4. Christina

    Having gardenias in your garden is the one thing that shows your climate is so different to mine. We have many of the same plants, very many but sadly gardenias do not grow outside in my climate but are constrained in small pots that can be brought into the house or greenhouse during the winter. I might try one in a large pot though as I love white scented plants on the terrace and yours inspire me. Christina

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m delighted you enjoyed these. Hope you can find a way to extend your gardenia enjoyment Christina! With this post I have come to realize how lucky it is to be able to grow gardenias here.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Linda. Well it does feel lucky. Some years the gardenias don’t do much. This year the repeat bloom in August has been a real treat.

      Reply

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