Lilacs, you either love them or despise them. Those who hold them in little regard usually complain about their dull leaves, lack of season interest, and short bloom while taking big space. Ah, but those that love them speak but one word with that glassy-eyed expression of infatuation: fragrance!
The fragrance is evocative of old gardens, grandmothers, home dooryards, simpler times and simpler values. When what was desired of a garden was a little bit of pleasure and respite from the duties of one’s day. The lavender panicles giving musky sweet aroma on the air, lavishly filling indoor vases with flowers that manage to be both opulent and demure were relished by generations of gardeners. Some of us still carry that torch.
Since I moved to a country place, I have room to spare and one of my early activities included choosing a number of different lilacs for the garden. I have three whites, one is ‘Ellen Willmott‘, one’Mme. Lemoine‘, and an ‘Edith Cavell‘. The old fashioned syringa vulgaris was one of the few things that came with the original plantings here. An old bush that had lost its center, yet nevertheless a focal point of the front yard. It now shelters my aging adirondack bench. I sit there while resting between strenuous garden efforts, and it is there where a hummingbird taught me of God’s love and concern.
This year I took some pictures of my lilacs in bloom, though they are now finished for the year. I’d like to share a few of the photos with you.
the outer side of the old lilacs
‘Edith Cavell’ and ‘Andenken Ludwig Spaeth’, the newer lilacs, a single white and deep lavender. They are under trees, but face the western sun
a “blue” gray color of President Grevy
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