I Love This…Gardenia Hedge

For two months each year in the spring, Karen Shelton’s yard is quite a sensory spectacle. That’s when the massive gardenia hedge that lines the front of her suburban Orlando home is laden with velvety white blossoms. 

“I love the smell of gardenias—so did my husband. It was our favorite flower,” Shelton says. 

When the hedge is in peak bloom, the perfume can, in fact, be overpowering. “Before we remodeled a part of the house, the smell of the flowers would always permeate one of the rooms. So we ended up calling it the gardenia room.”

When Shelton and her husband bought the house in 1991, the plants were still small. During their home  remodel, they had to dig up and relocate some of the gardenias, but the move didn’t seem to faze them. Now, the hedge stands at more than 5 feet tall.

“My husband always fertilized them and kept the leaves green and shiny. He had a green thumb, unlike me. It was his relaxation time—to work in the yard.”

Her husband passed away almost 7 years ago. Since his death, Shelton has done little with the gardenia hedge. “I haven’t maintained it other than to get the hedge trimmed once in a while, but it still blooms like crazy,” she marvels.  

“These gardenias were my husband’s pride and joy. And now, I feel like he is making sure they are continuing to bloom every year.” +

Categories: Gardening