Someone who lived in this old house before us planted a gardenia under the bedroom window. It must have been tiny, for years. Now it's full size and at night it fills the room with fragrance, just as someone intended.

This is the thing all gardeners know: our biggest dreams are realised for others. All the rest is pots and quick fixes and show.


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@katebowles The gardenia is my favourite flower and brings me right back to the poolside at my grandparent's house when I was 5 or 6. I knew magic then and I think I was a real princess whenever I visited my grandparents.

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@lauraritchie @katebowles Clearing the browned blossoms on our backyard gardenia bush was my weekend chore when I was 4 or 5. I didn't mind it. Mom told me it would make room for new blooms and the scent lingered on my fingers for hours.

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@ltaub @lauraritchie I spend the late spring vigilantly pruning sweet peas so they continue to bloom. At some point, inevitably, I'm overwhelmed. It's like nature's Tetris. Balance tipped, the plant makes enough peas to say to itself: job done. It promptly dies and on we go to next year.

But that fragrance is childhood to me. Gardenias didn't make it to the south of England.

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