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.
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.
Elsewhere today Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ drew a myriad of visitors, including this lovely one.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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!
Glad you remember that lovely scent. I probably would not have the patience to grow them inside.
That butterfly is stunning – love the last photo on the centre of the rudbeckia. Hope your gardenias settle into their new home well! 😀
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.
Here in CT, we can only grow gardenia as an annual. How lucky you are to be able to grow an entire fragrant hedge of it.
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.
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
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.
Beautiful butterfly on a beautiful plant.
Thanks very much!
How lucky to be able to grow these stunning flowers – they are the height of luxury and definitely chic. Lovely butterfly pix too.
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.