I'm a transplant. I've been a southern girl for nearly twenty years. The only thing I miss about the Midwest, besides the fam, is the lilacs. There's no sweeter scent on earth. Nothing compares. Not roses, heather or honeysuckle. It adds a bit of heaven to its earthly surroundings. Unfortunately, the South's weather just isn't a lilac's forte, though with global warming/cooling that could change. Anyhoo, I wanted a sweet fragrant bush in my garden and since I can't have lilacs I researched and settled on gardenias. Climbing roses were also listed as having a sweet smell, but I'm all about easy and even my Knockouts require constant vigilance against pesky little, leaf-eating insects. (Anybody out there know of a sweet smelling, hardy climber that doesn't require a lot of care?)
I got my gardenia (and a dianthus that was on sale:) this weekend. We'll see if their fragrance compensates for not having lilacs.
Anyone out there grow gardenias? Are they hardy? Do you enjoy them?