My sweetie told me that his mother--also named Sweetie--loved gardenias. They reminded her of the corsages she wore to debutante parties when she was young, back in the Roaring '20s.
One Christmas i gave her a gardenia plant, and when she died in 1995, i took her gardenia plant home with me. It's been limping along in my solarium ever since.
I knew gardenias like a foliar spray, but i never quite managed to spritz it regularly. Then i found a salmon plant food spray next to the fish emulsion at the garden center, and last month i began spraying the gardenia every day or two.
My sweetie complained of the fishy smell. The label does say it's a "superior fermented salmon product." Nevertheless, the stinky smell has reward me with a record 5 white blossoms exuding a heavenly fragrance.
Sometimes our meditation practice limps along--even for years--before we find just the right nutriment--a teacher, a teaching, or a community (at home or on retreat). Then our practice flowers, and we realize that the heavenly actually resides within us, right along with some of those "stinky" qualities.