52 weeks with Carolyn

A Theme Based Photo Blog


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Week 42 #45 Underneath

My father had a Hoya plant that originally came from my maternal grandmother.  She passed away in 1963 and my maternal grandfather in 1967.  At one point during that time period we acquired the original plant.  My sister told me she had it at one point but, admits she doesn’t have a green thumb so gave it back to my parents.  For years it sat on a fern stand in the dining room near a window that received southern exposure sun.  Several times I took cuttings from it and they would survive for a little while but, I never could keep them growing.  Shortly after my father passed away in 2012 while home to go through the arduous process of sorting through a lifetime of living, the Hoya plant was still there, not as healthy as it had been in its hey day, but surviving.  I decided to take several cuttings and hoped perhaps this time I would have some success.  We moved to Florida in 2014 and placed it outside.  I knew the plant produced beautiful white star shaped flowers because it has had a few blossoms since we moved here.  This spring I began to notice multiple buds forming on the end of each long tendril of leaves.  It has never produced so many flowers and I am thrilled to finally have this beautiful plant at its peak to remind me of my grandmother and my father.

Since the theme for this week is underneath, the only way you really can enjoy the beauty of the flower is to look at its underside.  I don’t have it hanging but, setting on a table.  Took some gymnastic moves on my part to get the photo.

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Week 41 #40 The Good Old Days

We have a gardenia bush just outside the lanai.  Right now it is blooming and I am enjoying the sweet aromas of its white flowers.  I remember when I was growing up and wore corsages for various events, my mother telling me in “The Good Old Days”, gardenias were the most popular flower for corsages.  They became popular in 1937 when Rod McLellan invented the gardenia corsage.  Not only are they extremely fragrant they also don’t wilt very quickly.  Gardenias are synonymous with love and romance.

I did a little research on Google to check out the history of the gardenia and am quoting what information I discovered.  Gardenias originated in Eastern Asia.   In 1752 a Scottish physician and naturalist Alexander Garden moved to Charleston, South Carolina.  Somehow he became a “pen pal” with an English merchant John Ellis, who also was a good friend of Carolus Linnaeus, a famous Swedish botanist.   Linnaeus had developed the genus-and-species system for scientifically naming and classifying plants.  In 1758, Ellis visited a garden outside London to inspect an evergreen shrub thought to be a jasmine that had fragrant white double blossom flowers.  He and Linnaeus determined it was not jasmine.  Ellis convinced Linnaeus to name the newly discoverd shrub, gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) after his friend Alexander Garden.  In 1762, the first gardenia in America was planted in Dr. Garden’s garden.

Gardenias are still a popular flower for corsages and weddings, especially in the South.  Plants are found in Asia, Africa, Australia, England, Pacific Islands and the Southern U.S.  They also are popular houseplants.  My bush only is in bloom for less than a month, so I am always thrilled to see the first blossom open.

 

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