When exploring our area, we try not to use pat phrases, such as ‘hidden gems.’ We’ll make an appropriate exception, with pride, to share the Crown Jewel, specifically, the Gardenia ‘Crown Jewel,’ selected from a controlled cross and developed by Oakmont Nursery. Meet the talented Philip Dark, the 2017 NC Nursery & Landscape Association’s Grower of the Year.
A few chairs, talk among the blooms, a soft scent carried by the gentle breeze, and a few flower enthusiasts are part of the impromptu garden parties that take place all the time at Oakmont Nursery. Friend to all who visit, Philip Dark is an expert and he is a font of knowledge, respected in the industry, and happy to share information and tips. Sitting among the gardenias, he’s an inspiration to those who visit. The Oakmont Nursery owner and breeder was inspired by the late JC Raulston of the JC Raulston Arboretum and Dr. Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia. The Gardenia ‘Crown Jewel’ has a US Plant Patent.
The royal treatment for all those who adore this scent of the South extends to the Gardenia variety, Prince Charles, also part of Oakmont Nursery’s special collection. Take a bloom and immerse yourself in the delicate beauty, offer it as a warm gift of appreciation to friends, buy a scented souvenir to take home and plant.
Also, take a thread to create a lovely adornment for your hair, an opportunity to wear white beyond Labor Day. The Indian culture considers plants and flowers as sacred, in addition to decorative. Bridal ceremonies showcase flowers at the temples, as an offering; woven among hairstyles; and also worn as fragrant necklaces, garlands, for the bride and groom.
Visit Oakmont Nursery, take a tour of the plants, ask questions. And stop to smell the Gardenias, the celebrated scent of the South.