If the sight of a Magnolia blossom is an iconic symbol of the South, then in my humble opinion, the Gardenia would be the signature scent. In late May stepping out into my garden is a heady experience. The fragrance seems to roll off my Gardenias in waves. For me, this classic bloom evokes visions of vintage table linens, heirloom silver and strands of pearls under a moonlit sky. Gardenias speak to the charm and romance that characterizes the South. I also think they speak to the larger than life personality and the strength of South. While the blossom bring to mind white ball gowns, the evergreen leaves symbolize endurance. The powerful fragrance once you have experienced it, is instantly recognizable. The Gardenia, if you will pardon my expression, is no shrinking violet. I like to think southern girls are the same: graceful, unforgettable, and capable of great endurance through the ups and downs of life. So if you come across a Gardenia in bloom, close your eyes, take a deep breath and inhale. I promise it will conjure up the essence of the South and you will fall in love with this magical region I am blessed to call home.