My Gardenia finally blossoms

2015-06-03 06.22.24

Finally, my Gardenia plant unfolds its first flower.

This plant took me three years to grow. It’s the only survivor of a large bundle of cuttings I smuggled home from the Writers Village in Valencia, Negros Oriental when I was a Silliman workshop fellow in 2012. It first looked like it too was about to die, but steadily it grew and now it’s a tall and lush bush.

The cuttings were from plants growing just outside our cottage in the Writers Village, Balay Magnolia. That, and because my mother had always called this flower ‘magnolia,’ was why I always thought it was the Magnolia. After a bit of research, and a friendly debate with Silliman’s Moses Atega, I found out that it’s actually called the Gardenia. But what’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or a magnolia. or a gardenia – you get the picture.

And speaking of sweet smells, its fragrance is my favourite among all flowers – it has a faint milky, ylang-ylang perfume that smells lovely when the evening air is wet with rain.

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