Belles Blooms: Gardenia

On May 6, 2016 by admin

For this week’s blog we were planning to talk about Orchids, because we adore them and there’s a million varieties, and colors, and they last so long, and you get the point.  But then a happy accident changed our minds a bit.

While processing flowers for this week’s wedding and prom orders we found a nice surprise in our shipment.  2 perfect packages of Gardenias were looking us in the face. We didn’t order them, but were very happy to see them, er, smell them!  Gardenias have the most fantastic fragrance. on . the. planet.  A quick call to the wholesaler confirmed they were sent by mistake, but allowed us to keep them as a thank you for the business, etc.  Sweet!

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Gardenias are often called Cape Jasmine, but they aren’t a Jasmine at all.  In fact, they are more closely related to Bouvardia and Coffee Beans!  Gardenias do best when they are kept in very high humidity, so they are always shipped to us in waxed boxed wrapped in plastic.  But that doesn’t stop me from stealing all of the smells from them immediately upon discovery!

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Occasions when we get to play with Gardenias are few and far between.  Not only are they on the pricier end of the spectrum, they are also extremely fragile.  Gardenias will turn a soft yellow when left at room temperature and/or exposed to air, so you cant open them until the very last minute. They are also incredibly delicate and bruise easily when touched, caused by a reaction to the acids and oils in people’s fingers.

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Since they dont have much of a stem, they are good for bouquet design, and floating.  And, well that’s really it.  But, man, oh man, all they need to do is float.  That scent makes up for the lack of design-ability any day.  Today we decided to float them in an over sized, short stem, martini glass.

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If you do encounter bruised blooms, you can lightly touch up any blemishes with white or ivory floral spray paint on a cotton swab, typing correction fluid or even baby powder.

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We were always taught to keep our hands wet while handling the blooms, and to always touch the flowers as little as possible, and only the backs of the flowers.  So, we carefully removed each bloom, cut a smidge off the end with a floral knife, and as quickly and smoothly as possible, removed the artificial foliage collar and placed them onto the water.

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Then we take more time to press our face into the box to steal the rest of the smells.  Deeeep breath in, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Heavenly.   As with many varieties of flowers, the more fragrant they are the shorter the life span, Gardenias have an average life of 3 days at room temperature.  So excuse us while we enjoy the next few days of intoxicating fragrance.

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