Gardenias in Oregon?

June 13, 2014

I broke a pair of pruners the other day so I was going to go to Home Depot to get a new pair. Paul suggested that I go to my favorite nursery, Garland's, instead. I pointed out that they would be more expensive there, but he insisted. Hah!! So, off I went. 

 

As I was wandering through the rows and aisles and greenhouses full of plants, I accidentally found a Hardy Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'). Gardenias have always been one of my favorite flowers because they smell sooooo good. They used to appear at flower shops when I worked at them in the 90s, but they seem to have disappeared. I'm not sure if they fell out of favor or if they are just too expensive to keep around and watch die as no one buys them. Anyway, here it was and I jumped at the chance. The owner of the nursery assured me that they really ARE hardy but that they really need good drainage. 

 

Drat! The soil here is clay. Stuff you can make bricks out of without much effort.

 

I went home and looked up how to achieve this. I decided to try the peat moss route. I will probably soon find out that his was exactly what NOT to do with a gardenia, but that is the story of my gardening life (did I ever tell you about the time I used tar paper instead of landscape cloth to cover the bottom of a raised bed??).

 

It took about five hours for me to dig the hole big enough for this little plant with hopes that it will be enough to drain it for the rest of its (long?) life. It wasn't even until after I had it in the ground that I realized it actually has three buds on it! Oh. Hopefully...hopefully.

 

Now I am going to go look up the effects of peat moss on gardenias.

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